We are in the middle of a cold-ish spell here in Tirol - the mountain peaks surrounding Innsbruck are all covered with snow down to about 1700m. Changing weather conditions always make birdwatching a little more interesting as the dramatic changes in temperature that we experience here in the Alps force birds - especially - to move a little.
Looking out of my window now, I can see a flock of about 40 Alpine Choughs (Pyrrhocorax graculus, Alpendohle) moving around Innsbruck. They are fairly common down here in the city during winter, when they move down off of the high peaks in to the relative warmth of the Inn River valley. Having said that, they seem to take readily back to the mountains as soon as it warms up a little. Sunday is likely to be a warm enough day for at least most of the snow on the mountains to melt, so I dont think the choughs will be hanging around for too long. But before long, the peaks will be under solid snow, and the beautiful little choughs will be spending more and more time gracing our city skies.
Their call is beautiful and I love hearing it as I walk around town... it reminds me of the mountains.
Here are a couple of photos of them from Große Bettelwurf, taken last year September. Inquisitive creatures. And rather photogenic with a typically stunning backdrop.