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Michael´s Fourth Year


michael-ibk

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michael-ibk

34/E34.) Greylag Goose (Anser anser) / Graugans

 

Chiemsee, 3/4. Europe´s default Goose. I think this one is starting to breed, it did not move away and started to hiss at me. It chose a really poor place, lots of people are walking by that spot in summer. Its teeth won´t help to scare away them all.

 

Chiemsee_34_Graugans.JPG.5d5f83020169befb4e5b41b9c6fa73ab.JPG

 

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-/G46.) African Skimmer (Rynchops flavirostris) / Afrikanischer Scherenschnabel   ASIB, but only a distant lousy sighting there. Gabon was far more generous, Skimmers seem to be doing well o

422/G52.) Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata) / Riesenturako   Another magnificent rainforest species. A few seen flying over (like 1st picture, from Akaka) but all very shy and never p

424/G55.) Mozambique aka Square-Tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus natalensis) / Welwitschnachtschwalbe   Two sightings in Loango. I stumbled upon the bird photographed on the beach by accident. F

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michael-ibk

35/E35.) Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) / Blaukehlchen

 

Chiemsee, Germany, 3/4. My main prize, very happy about this one. The area is the most reliable one for this bird in spring when they are a bit more visible. But still, never an easy bird, they are shy and hard to approach. I had to be patient until it came out.

 

Chiemsee_16_Blaukehlchen.JPG.b53a36c0004d7ffb857adb8d3de7e877.JPG

 

618987813_Chiemsee_21_Blaukehlchenb.JPG.772b7a5d2c447f5ed418ce805bc2afff.JPG

 

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xelas

Bluethroat ... one bird I have only saw on photos here. Chiemsee is very friendly to you this year. 

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Galana

Some nice birds here. Bluethroat is on my 'wanted list' every trip to Europe. I know several sites on my route but never got lucky yes!

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PeterHG

Good birds again! The Marsh Tit is the one I've never been able to take a decent shot of. 

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michael-ibk

36/E36.) Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dyrobates minor) / Kleinspecht

 

Murnauer Moos, Germany, 6/4. I was trying to get some of the rarer Woodpecker species today. Not exactly a rousing success (although a very nice spring day here in the Alps) but at least I got Greater´s little brother. Of all our very similar black-and-white species (Greater Spotted, White-Backed, Middle-Spotted and Syrian) it is the only one without red on the underside. Not a very common bird and hard to spot since this little guy tends to stick to outher branches high up where it´s not very conspicuous.

 

Murnau_6.JPG.5c11233fb5d17c13073533abc3ad0445.JPG

Murnau_4.JPG

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37/E37.) Common Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) / Fichtenkreuzschnabel

 

Murnaer Moos, Germany, 6/4. I normally get this bird in pine forests in the mountains, so finding it in a marshland habitat was pretty unexpected. (Mountains and pines are not far though). Unfortunately the more striking (red) male was not as cooperative as this female.

 

Murnau_13_Fichtenkreuzschnabel.JPG.09568bf50bf1eca2661e8f90c562a032.JPG

 

Murnau_14_Fichtenkreuzschnabel.JPG.2464f3816afca6230167e44a4fadec2c.JPG

 

 

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Dave Williams

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is very high up my list of want to see. Only ever seen one and that was in Hungary. Excellent photos as usual.

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TonyQ

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and a Bluethroat - excellent additions with great photos!

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Kitsafari

wow the bluethroat is gorgeous. 

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michael-ibk

It´s snowing here so it might help to think of sunnier things starting to post my Botswana birds. All photos taken between Feb 2nd and 17th, I´m too lazy to post individual dates. The locations were Chobe (river habitat), Savute (dry savanna), Khwai and Moremi (classic Delta), Maun, and Deception Valley (Central Kalahari). Birds in scientific order, following  the Sinclair "Birds of Southern Africa" book. On the trip I used the Robert´s app, and I have to say that´s the most amazing birding app I´ve ever had. Tons of information (much more than all books), good sounds and pictures. I wish every area had an app like this, it really is fantastic.

 

38/B1.) Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) / Rosapelikan

 

Only one not very close sighting of this iconic bird in Moremi NP. Pink-Backed does also occur but was never seen. Great Whites are not threatened globally but classified as "Near Threatened in Southern Africa. Breeding has failed in recent times at many places due to human disturbance. They are voracious feeders, so plastic garbage also is a problem. Several dead individuals have been found with plastic bottles inside as cause of death.

 

540161864_Botswana_3029_Moremi_GreatWhitePelican_(Rosapelikan).JPG.4d24a74bae4e494812c6dcb7c9723804.JPG

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michael-ibk

39/B2.) Reed Cormorant (Phalacrocorax africanus) / Riedscharbe

 

A common water bird, often seen in Chobe and the Delta especially. Their classic open-wing resting pose is mostly assumed to help dry wings but might actually more serve passive warming and accelerate digestion by warming stomach contents.

 

959171144_Botswana_505_Kasane_ReedCormorant_(Riedscharbe).JPG.1efb090626e8f30b3ae90386a6cd0a7b.JPG

 

40/B3.) African Darter (Anhinga rufa) / Afrika-Schlangenhalsvogel

 

Also quite common, especially at Chobe and deeper in the Delta. When swimming typically only neck and head remain above surface which is why it´s also sometimes called "Snakebird".

 

974117725_Botswana_114_Kasane_AfricanDarter_(Afrika-Schlangenhalsvogel).JPG.b9002669b60f63d425948a5ca985f4cb.JPG

 

A surprising omission was that we did not see a single White-Breasted Cormorant.

 

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michael-ibk

41/B4.) African Spoonbill (Platalea alba) / Afrikanischer Löffler

 

Seen regularly but not too often, mostly in Savuti. This bird prefers shallow aquatic habitats so of course the ever-flooding Delta is a good place for them.

 

1874043254_Botswana_1049_Savuti_AfricanSpoonbill_(AfrikanischerLffler).JPG.d997f814c61675a97497abe6917c227f.JPG

 

 

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42/B5.) African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) / Heiliger Ibis

 

A very common bird but one of those you never stop for to take a photo. For many centuries, Sacred Ibis  were commonly mummified by the Ancient Egyptians as a votive offering to the god Toth. It´s really no fun being chosen to be a sacred bird. Eventually an estimated 8 million birds were mummified and entombed. To sustain sufficient numbers for the large and sometimes growing demand for sacrifices by the people, dozens of ibis breeding farms (called ibiotropheia by Herodotus) were established.

 

616934215_Botswana_2371_Khwai_SacredIbis_(HeiligerIbis).JPG.cd22d88de0e37949e50aedecc32f62ae.JPG

 

43/B6.) Hadeda Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash) / Hagedasch

 

Heard a couple of times (and it really is not the nicest sound) but actually seen only once in Khwai, midday against the sun in the shadows.

 

1437601360_Botswana_2130_Khwai_HadadaIbis_(Hagedasch).JPG.5c6942a73948a4aaaccbb30cad148694.JPG

 

44/B7.) Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) / Sichler

 

Only one distant sighting in Khwai. Well, at least for this bird there´s hope to find it somewhere in Europe later in the year. It´s the most widespread Ibis species, found on all continents except Antarctica.

 

1823127617_Botswana_2129_Khwai_GlossyIbis_(Sichler).JPG.439278746a6bc7a9157872b99adeaf7f.JPG

 

 

Edited by michael-ibk
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45/B8.) Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath) / Goliathreiher

 

I´ve never seen so many of this impressive Heron. It´s the world´s largest one. Normally it´s a bit special spotting a Goliath Heron on safari but we saw it a couple of times every day (except in the Kalahari obviously). This one is from Chobe.

 

1553317728_Botswana_139_Kasane_GoliathHeron_(Goliathreiher).JPG.4b2ce6f59a9c3433f481cfaa192e735a.JPG

 

46/B9.) Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) / Purpurreiher

 

Far less common than its cousin when we were on game drives but on our boat excursion into the Delta it was abundant, seen every 15 minutes or so. Our European birds do migrate to Africa there´s no evidence that Palearctic birds ever reach Southern Africa, their classic winter holiday spas are in Western Africa.

 

1830218146_Botswana_2876_Moremi_PurpleHeron_(Purpurreiher).JPG.60f8d08c4c40bdc3494ab5362c198298.JPG

 

896098918_Botswana_2911_Moremi_PurpleHeron_(Purpurreiher).JPG.669f3f993d49b92c3c83bc24932852ae.JPG

 

47/B10.) Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) / Graureiher

 

Our "European" heron. Seen regularly everywhere except in the Kalahari but because of its familiarity I did not really bother too much with this one.

 

Botswana_1957_Khwai.JPG.05ffe57cccbc6bd51fc81b84c58a9412.JPG

 

The curious one missing out here was the Black-Headed Heron. Often one of the most common Herons but apparently it does not like Botswana (although it does occur there).

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Galana

A good start and one could add in the nicest way "about time too!"

It should snow more often!!:o

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michael-ibk
1 minute ago, Galana said:

It should snow more often!!:o

 

It should not, they are really overdoing this "Winter is coming" promo stuff this time! I realize it´s the final season but still ... ;-)

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Galana

OK. then maybe just 'earlier'!

If it is of any comfort to you we are currently getting blasted by the same cold easterly wind that is keeping our birds 'inside'. But the calendar says Spring and the sun is over half way up the sky so there is hope.

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michael-ibk

The whole white bunch was common in the wetter parts of Bots.

 

48/B11.) Great Egret (Ardea alba)

 

One photo taken in Chobe, and then I forgot about them. A bit of a shame about common birds, one tends to ignore them. But the Great Egret is actually a marvellously beautiful one. This one is in breeding state, one can tell by the lime-green lores.

 

1613818001_Botswana_160_Kasane_GreatEgret_(Silberreiher).JPG.5c4332d8fbeaf9d59f2e3d722d528b64.JPG

 

49/B12.) Intermediate aka Yellow-Billed Egret (Egretta intermedia)

 

Probably the most-overlooked White Egret. Little has the black bill and yellow feet, Cattle the orange crown but there are less clear ID markers for this one. The shorter gape and bill are the best attributes to enable ID.

 

359591562_Botswana_2377_Khwai_IntermediateEgret_(Asien-Mittelreiher).JPG.bd8d3f42f4076d95873134d62840e11d.JPG

 

50/B13.) Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

 

A succesful colonialist,  during the late twentieth century, the range of the little egret expanded northwards in Europe and into the New World, where a breeding population was established on Barbados in 1994. The birds have since spread elsewhere in the Caribbean region and on the Atlantic coast of the United States.

 

1771343084_Botswana_2017_Khwai_LittleEgret_(Seidenreiher).JPG.ad0db1facb12c23ea756d33b0dff4972.JPG

 

51/B14.) Western Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

 

292217646_Botswana_1419_Savuti_WesternCattleEgret_(Kuhreiher).JPG.668bf05d60b5f8ce8c8fd98573131c81.JPG

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michael-ibk
6 minutes ago, Galana said:

If it is of any comfort to you we are currently getting blasted by the same cold easterly wind that is keeping our birds 'inside'.

 

Of course it is comfort, I always take great joy in the misery of others. :P

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michael-ibk

52/B15.) Black Heron (Egretta ardesiaca) / Glockenreiher

 

Seen a couple of times in Chobe and Moremi. One was kind enough to entertain us with their hilarious "umbrella" shtick. The reasons for this hunting technique are still debated, with suggestestions including the elimination of refelction on the water, luring fish to a false refuge, and obscuring sudden movements by the bird. Their canopy behaviour is apparently instinctive, captive birds even went umbrella over a plate of food.

 

1780086634_Botswana_2560_Moremi_BlackHeron_(Glockenreiher).JPG.99f6ef13118907120336fca6a95d61f8.JPG

 

1702771465_Botswana_2550_Moremi_BlackHeron_(Glockenreiher).JPG.99b0a5b3908e2a374467c6d6192bbb8c.JPG

 

1666096488_Botswana_2543_Moremi_BlackHeron_(Glockenreiher).JPG.ac9ca1492a49c49d93dadd8d7efb4509.JPG

 

53/B16.) Slaty Egret (Egretta caerulea)

 

One bird seen in Khwai, and I had to climb on the roof of the car to get a picture. Delighted about this species, I´m not sure I´ve ever seen it before. I possibly might during my last Botswana trip in 2014 but that was before I became a proper (or according to some improper) birder. The yellow-greenish legs (not just feet) are the best way to tell the two species apart from afar.

 

1583814539_Botswana_2110_Khwai_SlatyEgret_(Braunkehlreiher).JPG.a441d484c57a6f6e1f71e45f7d9e89e9.JPG

 

IMG_6538.JPG.8f44e115221a779850a319db254ce5d8.JPG

Edited by michael-ibk
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michael-ibk

54/B17.) Rufous-Bellied Heron (Egretta vinaceigula)

 

From Khwai. I have seen this bird before in Akagera NP but never a gorgeous adult breeding specimen like this one. It´s supposed to be a "fairly common resident" in Northern Botswana but we only had this one sighting (of a couple of birds).

 

719607085_Botswana_1971_Khwai_Rufous-BelliedHeron_(Rotbauchreiher).JPG.3e5c78ba00b41e2de85588bf3968341e.JPG

 

IMG_6403.JPG.ebfea231bca2d50b387ec87ec9d2819f.JPG

 

55/B18.) Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)

 

Photo from Moremi. Abundant on any safari with some wetlands, and this was no exception. A couple of them pop up every year in Austria and then birders from all the country race there to see it.

 

627898287_Botswana_2868_Moremi_SquaccoHeron_(Rallenreiher).JPG.f2ec8722d296d12525e0db41d5389a57.JPG

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michael-ibk

56/B19.) Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) / Nachtreiher

 

One sighting in Khwai. I would have loved to see a White-Backed one but no success there, I was told the Panhandle is the best place to find this secretive bird.

 

150070464_Botswana_1961_Khwai_Black-CrownedNightHeron_(Nachtreiher).JPG.271c7e1b68f4d46569430e3c499120fb.JPG

 

57/B20.) Dwarf Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) / Graurückendommel

 

Very happy about this one, a clear "lifer" for me. One in Savuti, two in the Southern parts of Moremi. A migrant within Africa but once in a while they seriously overshoot on their wanderings, birds have even been spotted in France.

 

762426223_Botswana_3320_Moremi_DwarfBittern_(Graurckendommel).JPG.424c48fdca77fd1819f0173b95d617ef.JPG

 

1164839234_Botswana_3363_Moremi_DwarfBittern_(Graurckendommel).JPG.6ca27b310ca71fd14db4fdf0511cd257.JPG

 

58/B21.) Green-Backed Heron (Butorides striata) / Mangrovereiher

 

Very common in Chobe (where this photo was taken),  quite regularly seen in Moremi.

 

1285713036_Botswana_107_Kasane_Green-BackedHeron_(Mangrovereiher).JPG.7ae0505fb0d6d09b449ad141094b46f4.JPG

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TonyQ

Good to see the botswana birds being posted - a treat for us!

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Galana
4 hours ago, michael-ibk said:

that was before I became a proper (or according to some improper) birder. The yellow-greenish legs (not just feet) are the best way to tell the two species apart from afar.

I think the latter description would gain favour in some circles!:D

 

Turning to the real subjects, the herons and egrets I find the 'white chin' of the Slaty a good guide too. Some ;lovely photos here with special comment on the 2nd Rufous-breasted. Congratulations on the Dwarf Bittern too.

Edited by Galana
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