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!

Monday, 20 October 2008

Autumn colours and mountain birding

Having lived all my life in the tropics or subtropics, I had never really experienced the wonder of northern hemisphere autumn colours. The splendour still enthralls me. Walking / casual birding around Adolf Pichler Hütte the weekend before last, the lovely reds in the grass, and a fine sugar-coating on the mountains made for a spectacular walk.

Birds were few, however, and besides a few willow tits (Weidemeisen) and flocks of Fieldfares (Wacholderdrossel), we did not see much.

Yesterday brought mildly better birding success. We spent the day exploring Kühtai and the Sellraintal for decent Autumn birding spots. We picked up a hunting Golden Eagle (Steinadler) on Kühtai's sunny slope, and a very shy three-toed woodpecker (Dreizehenspecht) behind Haggen bei Sankt Sigmund.

happy birding

Monday, 13 October 2008

Weekend birding and Autumn migrants

The weather was lovely on Saturday morning and so I headed down to the Inzinger Gaissau to see if any new migrants had turned up.

Last weekend had delivered two Wigeons (Pfeifenten), about five Pochard (Tafelenten), and a very shy group of five Teal (Krickenten). We also heard a Water Rail (Wasserralle) calling from the western-most reed beds near the railway line, and the day before, I had seen a Cormorant (Kormoran) for the first time here.

This weekend, however, there were no signs of the Wigeons, Pochards or Teal (they seem to have just been passing through), but there were unusually large numbers of Mallard (Stockenten) and a Cormorant fishing about. The Little Grebe (Zwergtaucher) numbers have now gone down again, after a peak at about 30-35 individuals at the end of September.

(a poor photo of Wigeons - they really were playing hard to get! this photo was taken in a rush, looking through a bush as they buzzed by)

There are still some Barn Swallows (Rauchswalben) about and the Chifchafs (Zilzalp) are still calling. It seems rather late for them to still be here - there are already considerable numbers of Barn Swallows in South Africa 6000km away!

The most interesting sighting of the day was groups of up to 50 Skylarks (Feldlerchen) feeding in the Maize stubble fields just to the south of the pond. This is the same area where scores of Yellow Wagtails (Shafstelzen) were hanging out in the freshly ploughed fields in spring.

Happy birding
Dale Forbes