The Alps is not a rarity hotspot. It is not now. It will never be. That's just how it is and I have found my peace with it.
But yesterday, TWO people phoned me to tell me that there were some Ferruginous Duck (Moorenten; Aythya nyroca) down on the River Inn between the Innsbruck Airport and the village of Völs. Some of us had to work so dashing off to the river for a country tick yesterday afternoon was just not going to happen.
But I did pray for bad weather overnight (to keep them from migrating on...)
I awoke to cloud and snow - yippee!
Needless to say I was late for work, but I did get a couple of horrible photos ;-)
Male Fudge Duck showing off his white eye
The ducks are somewhere there in the background. The Innsbruck Airport is 2m behind me.
After that start, I was in a bird mood and so took the afternoon off to go birding with Paul and my father in law. We picked up two male Goosanders and a female as well as lots of wagtails hawking over the River Inn in Mils and a single Chifchaf. A search for the Great Grey Shrikes Paul had seen in the morning was fruitless, but we did pick up a flock of 49 Lapwing, 5 Golden Plover and a Common Gull (all three being Tirol ticks for me) on the fields in Thaur. We also picked up our first swallow of the spring (a Crag Martin)
Here is a photo of a Golden Plover a very very long way away. If you want to see real photos of Golden Plovers then you should visit Chris Photo Nature.
A shot of the fields in Thaur where the Lapwings, Golden Plovers and Common Gull were. This gives you an idea of the power of digiscoping because the plover shot above was taken at this same point and the birds are in the lighter brown area between the first white field and the white field behind it - way too small to make out on this photo.
Spring is in the air!