While I love this blog, I now pretty much only write on my other two blogs: BirdingBlogs.com and 10,000 Birds - I would love to see you there!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

A Black Kite!

Wow, sweet!
I went for a mtn bike ride this afternoon along the Inn and saw some pretty cool things wizzing by. (that is me trying to convince you that I ride fast - did it work? I didn't think so, I had trouble convincing myself as well).
I did, however, get some great views of a black kite that was scouring an open field near Mötz. I really loved always having the kites around when I was growing up and every year we would check the sky religiously at the beginning of August (did I remember the month correctly?) to see when we spotted the first kite. Invariably, they would be seen on the northern KwaZulu-Natal coast first, then around Durban, working their way up the N3 towards Johannesburg and then explode throughout the country. It was always rather dramatic and certainly very exciting.

So, seeing my first kite of the northern hemisphere season brought back lots of happy childhood memories. Now, I am not going to get all pop-psychology on you, but it was rather cool. I hope to see more. Soon. I must say, it is fascinating to see all these species that I knew from southern Africa migrating here, and seeing them here in their "other" home. It brings a whole new dimension to my birding life.

The Alpine Winter was, however, a rather dull time for birds. My bird list remained static for months and I was forced to amuse myself with other hobbies. (skiing and tobogganing are, luckily, more than a little fun, so I was not too depressed). But now, with the onset of spring (oh, if someone sees the manager in charge of the weather, would you please tell them to turn the snow machines off already!) we are seeing lots more birds about. and they are all singing. the blackbirds sing their beautiful Turdus lyrics and the crows are building nests. Oh, and if you have never seen a Gold Finch Carduelis carduelis (here they call it a Stieglitz) then do yourself a favour and find one! Their lovely little white-rimmed scarlet faces makes them looks like they got a little too excited about the whole lipstick thing and permanently ruined their porcelain white doll faces.

The sun is due to make a bit of an appearance this weekend so I plan to take the plung and dust off my swarovski's and hit the woodland. If you live in the Alps (or anywhere else for that matter) you should probably do the same because, honestly, what can be more rewarding than finding a pretty little finch to look at as it fluffs itself up for the ladies!

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