January water bird count

•January 22, 2016 • 1 Comment

This year the weather for the water bird count was difficult. Actually it was nice with the first real snow fall of the winter – the landscape was beautiful.
snowy water fowl count
But counting the birds was impossible at times. Have you ever realized that the snow fall is even denser when looking through the binocular? There were also waves on the lake that made half the birds on the water disappear – and the next second the other half.

With some breaks to warm up we still managed to finish the count and even take some photos.

Common Reed Bunting – Rohrammer – Emberiza schoeniclus:Rohrammer

Gull in the snow, probably a Yellow-legged Gull – Mittelmeermöwe – Larus michahellis):snowy

Common black-headed Gulls and snow flakes (Lachmöwen – Larus ridibundus):Schnee

Yellow-legged Gull – Mittelmeermöwe – Larus michahellis:Mittelmeermöwe

Can you see the Water Pipit – Bergpieper – Anthus spinoletta?Lachmöwen und Bergpieper

Common black-headed Gulls – Lachmöwen – Larus ridibundus Lachmöwen

Me after the last snow shower…
a snowy waterfowl count

 

Birding Blogger Shout Out

•January 12, 2016 • 1 Comment

Yesterday I was looking at some birding blogs. I follow most of them for many years now. There were years when I posted much more bird photos (and I would like to do it more often in 2016) – but looking at this fabulous posts of others made me smile. Therefor I thought of doing a shout out today.

Here they are – in no specific order:

Two podcasts I love(d) to listen to: (but I’m having problems downloading them: used to have them on iTunes but they don’t seem to load anymore. Any hints?:

Enjoy and happy birding in 2016!

A rare visitor

•December 27, 2015 • 1 Comment

This male Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris – Ringschnabelente) is visiting Zurich, Switzerland.

ringNecked

ringNeckedDuck2

Spiderwebs in the fog

•September 29, 2015 • Leave a Comment

On my walk in the fog I saw many spiderwebs. They stood out because they were outlined by tiny water drops.

I tried to capture them on film – which one do you like best? (click on the photo to enlarge)

20150926_spiderweb-10

20150926_spiderweb-11

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20150926_spiderweb-14

20150926_spiderweb-15

Walk in the fog

•September 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Fall has started – and with it comes fog. Luckily it is eaten away by the sun after a while. (Please click on the photos to enlarge)

foggy morning

fog on the water

fog on the water

waterbirds in the fog

The time of the sunflowers is over:
sunflowers

sunflowers

Not really: the birds dive into the field to pick the seeds. This is my favorite photo of the day.Kleiber - Nut hatch

And there were the birds enjoying the sun – finally. There are Eurasian Teals (Krickente) and some Common Snipes (Bekassine) in the photo.the sun is out

Fire salamander in the morning

•June 23, 2015 • 1 Comment

What a start into the day!

I walked on my normal way to work, along the Lake of Lucerne. Yesterday I saw a big dead fish on the shore and a very green caterpillar on one of the trees. This is the reward for my habit of looking around. 

This morning it was wet and gray. I was a bit sad that all the feathers of the swans, that they are loosing now while molting, were wet and so I couldn’t collect them. 

But suddenly I stopped in my walk – and I’m glad I did. One more step and I’d have stepped on a fire salamander!

It was definitely in the wrong place: on the tarmac between traffic and the lake. Absolutely not the place for an amphibian besides that it was wet (at the moment).

So I lifted it up and called karch.ch (coordination for amphibians and reptiles in Switzerland). She told me, that fire salamanders need a little creek in a forrest or so. Nothing like that close bye. 

So I took the beautiful salamander to the office and showed it to my colleagues. The were all surprised and fascinated.   

the box outside my office window, where it had to wait

 

beautiful salamandra salamandra terrestris

 After another call I decided to bring it to the Rootsee, where there is a hopefully perfect habitat.    

The person I called did not forget to tell me, that fire salamanders are poisonous and I should wash my hands.   

How lucky am I to see such a beautiful creature!  

Songbirds and a lifer

•April 21, 2015 • Leave a Comment

The first part about my walk of last Monday was about waders and waterbirds. Today I show you some photos of songbirds and my lifer #499. (Please click on the photos to enlarge.)

The lifer #499 showed me once again how important it is to look at every bird – even when it looks like a common sparrow:
sparrow?

As soon as it lifted its head I saw it wasn’t a sparrow but an Ortolan Bunting (Ortolan – Emberiza hortulana)Ortolan

There were even two of them:
Ortolan

One I haven’t seen in years in Switzerland is a male Common Redstart (Gartenrotschwanz, Männchen – Phoenicurus phoenicurus):
Common Redstart - Gartenrotschwanz

And never in Switzerland at all the Yellow Wagtail (Schafstelze – Motacilla flava):Yellow Wagtail - Schafstelze

The Grey Wagtail is pretty common (Bergstelze – Motacilla cinerea):Gray Wagtail - Bergstelze

Pretty common but I still don’t have a good photo of it: male Common Chiffchaff (Buchfink, Männchen – Fringilla coelebs): Chiffchaff - Buchfink

Tree Sparrow (Feldspatz – Passer montanus) collecting stuff for the nest:Tree Sparrow - Feldspatz

Tree Sparrwo - Feldspatz

A Barn Swallow (Rauchschwalbe – Hirundo rustica):Barn Swallow - Rauchschwalbe

A female European Pied Flycatcher (Trauerschnäpper, Weiblich – Ficedula hypoleuca):Pied Flychatcher - Trauerschnäpper

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Buntspecht – Dendrocopos major) made some noise:Woodpecker

And there was also a frog:Frog - Frosch

 
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