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  #41  
Old 21.12.2007, 09:41
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Re: Bird watching

If you ever go to Piz Gloria (Schilthorn). Look out for the Bartgeier. It used to be extinct in CH and has been successfully reintroduced. Used to be also called a Lämmergeier (lamb vulture) which of course did not make it popular with the farmers. It has a huge wingspan and is a majestic glider.
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  #42  
Old 21.12.2007, 11:17
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Re: Bird watching

Saw some in France earlier this year and they are awesome.
Also, the red-orange colouring they have is artificial. Those parts of the bird are actually white, but the birds find iron ore deposits and smear it over their feathers. They're not quite sure why they do it, but birds in captivity that have been deprived of it become very depressed and die, so it's not just for show.
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  #43  
Old 21.12.2007, 15:41
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Re: Bird watching

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Ah, the photo I put up was the female of the bottom one of Stephanwolf's. In winter, they're even duller (this one was in springtime). It's a Chaffinch (Buchfink, Fringilla coelebs). One of the most common European birds and regular visitor to feeders.
Ah. I didn't know they changed color. How cute!
I can't take a picture of them now as they aren't there during the day. I'll try tonight before it gets too dark. Let's see what time they come home!

Oh, and I see some of the seed ball has been eaten!
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  #44  
Old 21.12.2007, 15:42
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Re: Bird watching

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Ah. I didn't know they changed color. How cute!
I can't take a picture of them now as they aren't there during the day. I'll try tonight before it gets too dark. Let's see what time they come home!

Oh, and I see some of the seed ball has been eaten!

You better be quick as today is the shortest day of the year so light will be fading fast
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  #45  
Old 21.12.2007, 17:29
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Re: Bird watching

Now that's a funny point one of the professors at work brought up. Today is indeed the shortest day, but it got darker earlier yesterday. The earliest sunset was a couple of weeks ago, it's just the dawns have been getting later over the last couple of weeks. Strange, but true...

http://aa.usno.navy.mil/faq/docs/dark_days
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  #46  
Old 21.12.2007, 18:04
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Re: Bird watching

Managed to see a mistle Thrush today on the Gurten, which is the first time I've seen one here and also a Short-Toed Treecreeper, which is the first time I've ever seen one. They look remarkably like the Common Treecreeper, except that they are a bit more brown on the flanks, have some small white spots on the wingtips and (most importantly) don't sound like Common Treecreepers. Luckily this one was sat nicely in a tree and showed off pretty much all I needed to see to identify it as well as calling nicely for a few minutes.
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  #47  
Old 21.12.2007, 18:07
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Re: Bird watching

Here a pic. Can you see anything? They have there faces turned away. I can tell you they didn't appreciate the flash at all. Can you see how they are poopin' all over my awing!?

bird-watching-bird-mini.gif
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  #48  
Old 21.12.2007, 18:12
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Re: Bird watching

House Sparrow!


It's a female.
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  #49  
Old 21.12.2007, 18:42
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Re: Bird watching

That's funny because I see sparrows in the neighbor's yard, but i never thought they would be shacking up at my house! How silly of me. Of course, they are the same!!
Thanks, your pictures are lovely.
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  #50  
Old 21.12.2007, 20:53
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Re: Bird watching

I should probably have suggested them first, but in a way, you get a bit naughty for overlooking the really common stuff after a while to the point where you think 'Oh, just another sparrow...'
I never thought it'd happen to me, but after a few months, I got round to thinking that about Black Redstarts. Back home (unless you live in Reading where they're moderately common), you'd climb over your grandma to get a look at one...
If you live right in the far south of Switzerland, you stand a bit of a chance of seeing an Italian Sparrow. This has been causing some trouble for about 200 years to taxonomists as they've never really been sure if they're a full species, a hybrid of House and Spanish Sparrows or a different race of Spanish Sparrow.
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  #51  
Old 22.12.2007, 10:53
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Re: Bird watching

Is this a hybrid female duck? Or something else altogether?
It's really big!




I just thought this Greylag goose is comical looking -- but that's just me being anthropomorphic.


(Hey, I can't post pictures again! What did I do wrong?)

Last edited by argus; 22.12.2007 at 10:56. Reason: can't post pics
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  #52  
Old 22.12.2007, 12:02
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Re: Bird watching

Might need resizing if it's straight from the camera.
Short description in the meantime?
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  #53  
Old 22.12.2007, 12:19
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Re: Bird watching

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Is this a hybrid female duck? Or something else altogether?
It's really big!




I just thought this Greylag goose is comical looking -- but that's just me being anthropomorphic.


(Hey, I can't post pictures again! What did I do wrong?)
Blogger and Picasa don't allow "hotlinks". Use the forum's attachment feature instead, or Imageshack, or get some real webspace

The anthropomorphic goose was bigger than 488 KB and therefor couldn't be uploaded before a resizing.

//Back on topic. Two days ago I saw a noticeable bird from above when it fled away from me. I must have surprised him on the grass. He was a bit bigger than a blackbird and mostly black. On both sides it had a clearly visible white stripe between wing and body. I don't think I've seen one like this before here.
Attached Thumbnails
bird-watching-dscn2646.jpg   bird-watching-image003.jpg  

Last edited by Nathu; 22.12.2007 at 12:37.
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  #54  
Old 22.12.2007, 12:37
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Re: Bird watching

Aha, managed to find the link in the page source...
Looks very much like a domestic Mallard, which can be absolutely massive in some strains of them. Domestics can be a real mash of plumages, but you can still see the bill colours and pattern of a male Mallard.
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  #55  
Old 22.12.2007, 12:39
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Re: Bird watching

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//Back on topic. Two days ago I saw a noticeable bird from above when it fled away from me. I must have surprised him on the grass. He was a bit bigger than a blackbird and mostly black. On both sides it had a clearly visible white stripe between wing and body. I don't think I've seen one like this before here.
Could be a Great Spotted Woodpecker (see Stephanwolf's photo above). I've seen a few foraging on the ground round here. Mostly black (from the back) with white panels.
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  #56  
Old 31.12.2007, 03:40
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Re: Bird watching

Something I just stumbled across:

Red Shouldered Hawk

and not a bird, but has wings and is a nice photo anyway
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  #57  
Old 31.12.2007, 09:31
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Re: Bird watching

Very nice.
Some notes (and by no means comprehensive....) on intercontinental birds names:

US - English

hawk - buzzard
buzzard - vulture (sometimes)
sparrow - bunting (usually)
warbler - wood warbler (although not to be confused with the European Wood Warbler - the US wood warblers are an offshoot of the buntings)

Interational birding can get very confusing sometimes.
I mentioned the German/English gull names above and made a reference to the even more convoluted scientific names, so here's a link to that:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/scinames.htm

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In other cases however, the scientific and English names do not match up. For example the scientific name for Little Tern, Sterna albifrons, means white-fronted tern. This is a perfectly good name – one of the features of the Little Tern is that it retains its white forehead in breeding plumage – but quite different from the English name.
A particularly entertaining example is formed by the gulls. Larus melanocephalus is applied to the bird known in English as the Mediterranean Gull, but actually means black-headed gull. The scientific name for the Black-headed Gull is Larus ridibundus, which means laughing gull. The scientific name for the Laughing Gull is Larus atricilla, which means black-tailed gull. The scientific name for the Black-tailed Gull is Larus crassirostris, which means large-billed gull. The scientific name for the Large-billed Gull is Larus pacificus, which means (of course) Pacific Gull. At this point a disappointing touch of sanity intervenes, because Pacific Gull is another name for Larus pacificus.
Also, from the same site, a rather handy pronunciation guide:


http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/pronounce.htm



Sorry, that was probably all a bit boring...
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  #58  
Old 03.01.2008, 12:26
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Re: Bird watching

Happy New Year to you all.

Just got back from Cantabria where I took some new pictures:



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  #59  
Old 03.01.2008, 12:28
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Re: Bird watching

Awesome efforts.



*sulks in a corner.
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  #60  
Old 11.01.2008, 11:38
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Re: Bird watching

I literally StumbledUpon this site, thought I would share it ...

Wild Aperture
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