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Michael´s Sixth Year


michael-ibk

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michael-ibk

152/E152.) Eurasian Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus) / Pirol

 

Drauhofen/Carinthia, 16/5/21. Distant shots but easily my best photos of this species so far. Given how colourful they are and considering how clearly they announce their presence in Spring with their beautiful song it´s quite incredible how hard to see they are. Male and female were close together - looks good for little Orioles soon.

 

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Thanks everybody! And indeed @xelas, we missed you and Zvezda a lot!     Let´s just say I had a really, really, really good day!   80/E80.) Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) / B

83/E83.) Ruff (Calidris pugnax) / Kampfläufer   Flughafen Innsbruck/Tirol, 19/3/21. Tirol is a wasteland for waterbirds, and we very rarely get waders (except the odd Common Sandpiper or Lit

229/E229.) Yellow-Crowned Bishop (Euplectes afer) / Tahaweber   Reserva Natural do Estuário do Tejo. Great seeing them - a little bit like being in Africa. Portugal has several self-sustaini

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Galana

I feel really sorry for that poor little Semi-collared Flycatcher. Miles from home and nobody to love.

Love your Little Bittern in flight.

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michael-ibk

153/E153.) Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus) / Ringdrossel

 

Dobratsch/Carinthia, 14/5/21. The Alpine equivalent of the Blackbird.

 

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This was a really lovely morning. We went up very early and had the mountain all to ourselves. Snow is just about receding and a sea of crocus is emerging.

 

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That´s Slovenia in the background - Hi, @xelas! (And spot the Chamois!)

 

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michael-ibk

154/E154.) Dunnock (Prunella modularis) / Heckenbraunelle

 

Dobratsch/Carinthia, 14/5/21. Another one singing his heart out.

 

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Water Pipits are just starting to reclaim their territory here - they stayed unusually long down in the valleys because of our seemingly never-ending Winter.

 

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Crossbills already have fledglings. Well, "already" is not quite correct for this species - they are known to breed anytime in the year!

 

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michael-ibk

155/E155.) Alpine Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus) / Alpendohle

 

Dobratsch/Carinthia, 14/5/21. An easy species - they are not shy at all. They spend the Winter down in the city - I often see them flying around the office. But much prefer them up here.

 

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156/E156.) Citril Finch (Carduelis citrinella) / Zitronengirlitz

 

Dobratsch/Carinthia, 14/5/21. A specialty, and one of our rarest breeders. This is the only known place in Carinthia, with no more than 5 to 7 pairs every year.

 

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157/E157.) Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) / Birkhuhn

 

Dobratsch/Carinthia, 14/5/21. The main target. Took about an hour and I already feared it was becoming too late but then I was lucky to find a male who was so busy doing his mating parade that he let me approach quite closely. Certainly my best sighting so far!

 

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elefromoz

oh my goodness, the Crocus meadows are just so pretty, glorious mountain vistas. Lovely photo of the little Citril Finch and so few over such a big area.

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xelas

So close, @michael-ibk, and yet so far away :(. That was one heck of a birding days in Carinthia, would love to be at your side.

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Soukous

What a fabulous collection Michael. Especially like the Bittern & the Black Grouse - and the mountain views. 

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Galana

Oh those Alpine vistas made me jealous and sparked off Withdrawal symptoms as I missed them last year and this year is looking unlikely too. Even your friendly Yellow-billed Choughs brought back memories of picnics in their company. Or were we sharing with them?

Terrific Black Grouse. Rarely seen by me despite trying.

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Kitsafari

spectacular views of the meadows and highlands. very envious. 

 

That's a beautiful oriole

and whew you're fast catching up. now you guys in Europe will now have a fast growing count as all the migratory birds have arrived up north!

 

 

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TonyQ

Superb additions, 150 passed and rounded off with a wonderful Black Grouse. Well done!

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PeterHG

Mouth-watering additions and great photos, Michael! 

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Zim Girl

Beautiful set of new additions, very jealous of the Black Grouse!

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Peter Connan

Beautuful stuff Michael!

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Dave Williams

Cracking stuff Michael. Too many favourites to mention but the flowering crocus growing wild like that are amazing. One of my memories of a visit to Slovenia was that there were cyclamens growing wild in the Alpine woodland.

I'm afraid my only visit to Austria was a long weekend in Vienna, a most impressive city indeed even if a performance of the Vienna Boy's Choir features in my top 5 tourist rip offs. I'm not a church goer usually and I certainly won't ever unknowingly pay to go in to a church service ever again!! It was made worse by the fact we actually couldn't see the main church, we were in the cheap ( not that cheap) seats in the vestry and had to watch on a TV!! I told Claire that there was no way I was going to put anything in the collection box... wrong. It was a pouch on the end of a stick which I assumed wouldn't reach the back row were I was... wrong. It was a telescopic stick deftly handled by a well practiced extortionist in priest's robes.

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  • 2 weeks later...
michael-ibk

Last week Austria emerged from a very long lockdown. For the first time since November we were allowed to stay the night outside our homes, restaurants and hotels were finally allowed to re-open. So at the very first day possible we ran off naturally and went to Seewinkel, Austria´s premier birding place. The weather did not fully cooperate, it was unseasonally cold, often rainy and windy. Normally at this time I walk around there in shorts and sandals, now it was boots and fleece or rain jacket. But still, it was fantastic to be out again, having a mini-holiday and we made good use of the few sunny streaks we got. And of course got a few new ticks for the count.

 

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michael-ibk

158/E158.) Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) / Braunkehlchen

 

Seewinkel, 20/5/21. While I´ve seen a fair number of migrating Whinchats this Spring none of them gave me good photo opportunities. They were scarce in Seewinkel, only saw two or three this time. Also very distantly unfortunately.

 

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Their close cousins were far easier:

 

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159/E159.) Grey aka Black-Bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) / Kiebitzregenpfeifer

 

Seewinkel, 20/5/2021. A rarity in Austria, and more "frequently" seen in autumn. This visit was a bit late for wader fun. Most migrants had already moved on, and the few remaining mostly stuck to "scoping places".

 

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160/E160.) Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans) / Steppenmöwe

 

Seewinkel, 20/5/2021. I will probably never really get into the fineties of Gull identification but this very clean, whitish bird was distinctive enough to recognize it´s not a (default) Yellow-Legged Gull. A second-year individual. Caspians breed in Eastern Europe and Asia, but like all Gulls they travel far.

 

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161/E161.) Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) / Löffler

 

Seewinkel, 20/5/2021. The area is one of only two breeding spots in Austria. Always cool to see these impressive birds.

 

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162/E162.) Rook (Corvus frugilegus) / Saatkrähe

 

Seewinkel, 20/5/21. Some birds I really only photograph because of the Big Year. Case in point here. We don´t have Rooks at home in the Alps. Not that that helps my excitement for them.

 

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michael-ibk

163/E163.) Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) / Säbelschnäbler

 

Seewinkel, 20/5/21. One of my favourite waders. They are common breeders in the area. We did see some of the very first chicks. Unfortunately breeding success is extremely low (same for Stilts and Godwits), very few make it to adulthood.

 

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We also had good fun with the Stilts (also common there). Not sure what these birds were going about, mating or fighting?

 

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michael-ibk

164/E164.) Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula) / Sandregenpfeifer

 

Seewinkel, 20/5/21. One of the very few migrants we got. The wader situation was a bit frustrating, exciting species like Sanderling, Broad-Billed and Pectoral Sandpiper or Knot were reported. But all of them clustered together in two areas where photography is totally futile, they can only be watched with a scope there. So we did not even get common species like Dunlin or Little Stint. Even all the Ruffs had already left. That was different last year, we saw way more waders even at the end of May. Our terrible weather may have been a contributing factor as well - it´s now official, we had the coldest Spring in more than 25 years.

 

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