Posts in Category: fauna

frogs

If there’s water, there will be life! In the last couple of years a lot of renaturing efforts have been made around Offenbach. The Hainbach has been “renaturiert”, hence they broke up the sleek and straight riverbed and generated sidearms that will overflow when enough water is present. This generates new sanctuaries for flora and fauna and animals like beavers are coming back. Same was done in a larger scale at river Main. New sidearms have been created.

While it still looks a little bald around the new formed ponds, life seems to get there quickly. Felled trees with clear signs of beaver teeth are present, as well as lots of birds and amphibians as these marsh frogs. The little pond is littered with tadpoles and you can hear the frogs quarks from a far. Shy as they are, they note when you get close. Took me over an hour to figure how to  sneak up to them and get some shots, which almost involved me taking off my shoes and shorts and getting into the lake. In the end I managed it through patients, slow tai chi moving and waiting.

 

wren

Did you know that a wren is called “Zaunkönig” in German? That means king of the fence. According how loud these very tiny birds sing, it is an appropriate name for its species. Mighty words by the tiny mighty king.

 

woody woodpecker

…once more. The more time I spent in the woods, the more of these funny birds I find – or at least their laughing sound can be heard everywhere. This was not so shy at all although he spottet me first and flew off a few meters. Sneaking up and moving very slowly he did not mind me anymore for a couple of seconds.

 


magpie vs blackbird

Rainy day and not much light. Usually not a day for good pictures, so I went out to the Gradierbau and sat in one of the beach chairs reading a book. Blackbird started yelling his alarm signal as two magpies came close to their nest. It even went after it and started attacking one magpie. I was in no good position to get a good shot, but the action is captured with distracting backdrop, high ISO grain and too high position…. next time I get myself out in the rain and down on the ground.

greylag goose

Just like the changeable weather, which overwhelms you with new moods every minute, it is just as wild and unsteady with the geese. There’s a bang every few minutes. They scold and threaten each other, flap their wings and chase each other across the lake. The graylag geese are naturally outnumbered and so they flew away to have their peace. Don’t know about you, but those grey geese along with its cousins, the domestic goose are the most beautiful and I alway look closely if I can spot Nils and carrot his hamster… 😉

 

buzzards nest

Two weeks ago I took a rest and got a seat in one of the beach chairs around a Gradierbau. Reading on my phone and enjoying the sun that finally made up its mind and came through the clouds, I heard buzzards call a fews times. Suddenly I noticed a huge bird landing in one of the nearby pine trees. I jumped to my camera and turned it on blindly not taking my eyes of the place where the bird landed, approaching it slowly. There it was: a big buzzard, right above a bridge that leads over river Usa and into the south park. A lot of people were minding their business below passing by and this huge, shy bird just sat there, till I came closer and once I got in a good position and plain sight, it noticed me as well. The camera lens, like a big eye pointing at it made him feel uncomfortable and so it flew off quickly.
A couple of days later I noticed that two bustards constantly hitting this tree again and again. Turns out they are building their nest, right at the top of this pine. Wisely they put it where it is hard to spot and no way to take pictures. Privacy rules, even in the land of birds. 

 

sparrowhawk

My rehab sessions are distributed over the whole day leaving me with scattered breaks of a few minutes to a hours each day. Today there was not enough time to go out during noon, so I watched some wildlife photography tutorials on YouTube. Suddenly I had a feeling that someone was watching me and noticed a movement at the edge of my perception. Yes! A sparrowhawk was having a break as well on the nearby clinic roof. I stumbled to the closet and got my cam out, throwing all my neatly hanging cloth off the windowframe that I put there in order to dry after washing and started shooting. Bird did not move much and I had only ten minutes till my next course startred. Sadly it did not fly off during that time (probably would have missed the shot anyway without a tripod), but I got some nice pictures nonetheless. Look how sternly he’s looking at me once my cloth were gone. I won the staring competition!

Always nice, when the “prey” turns the table and “hunts” you. 

 

treecreeper

This tiny bird can be found nearly everywhere in our hemisphere although spotting one isn’t easy. With its prefect camouflage it repeats the pattern of moss and bark and is almost invisible when not moving. A true master of climbing, it moves quickly up trees an branches hunting for insects. This particular one got a spider with its web out of an old apple tree . There are different subspecies with subtle differences that are hard to tell.

playing hide & seek with a blue jay

Love these blue jays! They are quite common and besides looking beautiful, they are clever as well. Usually they always show up in pairs or couples and always keep a fair bit of distance between them and us. This one was no exception: As you can see on the pictures, it alway flew off and hid behind some branches peeking back at me, observing what I would do next. I know, these pictures are far off the norm and are no good in terms of classical wildlife photography rules, but I really like the outcome – probably due to me being part of the hide and seek game I played with them?

 

mouse

When you walk in the woods mice are almost everywhere. To spot them is not so hard, to take picture of them is tiny challenge already. This fellow was so kind and just sat a few moments and stared at me.

 

kingfisher

This is the second time in my life that I met a kingfisher. The first was about 10 years ago while walking along the Heinbach. Suddenly there was a tiny blue shimmering spot on a brach over the water. Turned out to be one of them and it was gone so quickly that I hardly trusted my vision. Was it really a kingfisher? Whenever I come back to the Heinbach I hope to meet one again and having my camera with me. Truth is, that I almost spent half of the first covid lockdown – almost half a year – there nearly every day and never saw one again. 

Today I went for a walk from Bad Nauheim to Friedberg, along the river Usa. After a few meters on track it occurred to me that I probably won’t make any good pictures here. Lots of people passing by and hardly any birds to be seen. When I finally took out the cam to observe a tiny bird on the other shore, an older man stepped up to me, asking “Are you taking pictures of the little holes in the grass?” I told him what I was aiming at. He smiled and replied “There is a kingfisher down the river”. I was not sure, if I understood him correctly and I thought, how could he know?  Those birds are shy and tiny. You have to look very close to find them. Turns out, he was right. A few hundred meters down the Usa gets split up and one arm ends, right before a bridge in some kind of natural shallow pool. The topology and vegetation is perfect for kingfishers: partly flowing river, with basins of still water and branches and bushes reaching over. And really… from a far I could make out this tiny saphire blue shining glow through the bushes. I got closer, but as soon as I raised the lens, it flew off, leaving me with a no-photo, as messed up shots are called by some photographers. Anyway. As this is my blog and documents my progress, I will post it here – stick it to my wall, reminding me that I have to learn a lot more about sneaking uo to an animal and will do my best to improve. This bird is just one of the most beautiful out there and with this entry it is save that this is my new mission, to find and take a good foto of a kingfisher.

Ohhh yes.. there is a good foto of a kingfisher on this site, but that was shot in India and this species is not shining like a blue diamond. > kingfisher

Funny addition: While I was crouching through the bushes, trying to get a climpse around the next curve, suddenly something made a splash in the water. Turned out it was this fish that just had caught an insect. I came closer and eyed me from below. Always like it, when animals are as curious as I am. 

 

no singing in the rain

This female Black Redstart had no ambition to sing along when the raindrops start to fall. I did

blue tits bad feather day

Weather is a changing and it feels like april already. Lots of wind, tons of rain and constant chasing light. I love this, although my lens seems to have some issues since the last rain shower. I looses contact with the camera, resulting in an error. Have to check the bionette which seems to be a little loose. A slight turn and it registers again, but already cost me two shots. Birds don’t seem to care much about the conditions… how could they? Although these blue tit had its bad feather day, after the shower. Kein Drei-Wetter-Taft in sicht. 😉

 

 

fieldfare

A new bird that I saw a while back but had no clue what it was as it was always too far away of me too slow. A Wacholderdrossel as they are called in German. Lucky me met took my chance and went out as soon as the rain stopped for a couple of minutes. The whole family consistent of a couple that is building a nest right across the street of my rehab was very busy in collecting material like grass, sticks and hay.  Once new material is dropped into the nest, the whole buddy is used to shape up the interior making the bird sometimes look like its back is broken and you can only see tail and head sticking out.

a moment with robins

First day of my rehab gave me time to explore the woods around Bad Nauheim. Skiwiesen is a lovely spot and next to it the NABU had taken reign over some old “Streuobstwiesen” and the whole spot screams Owls and it is a paradise for most birds. Here are some pictures of robins that showed as much interest in me, as I had in them. Don’t ask me what happened to the one with its beak on the wrong side of its head. Guess it was shaking hard, as it was raining a bit prior to this shot.

woodpecker

Same day on which I had the luck to meet both relatives of the woodpecker family and this fellow was sitting quite low on trunk. Doesn’t it look very stern?

Light was not the best so I had to crank up the ISO and used some tools to make those images look nicer. Location: somewhere between Maunzen- and Jacobiweiher.

 

mr. green

They are quite a common guest in the woods around here and they are not even hard to track down once you learned about their call; it sound a little bit like a high pitched laughter. The hard part, is to get a decent shot of the green woodpecker. Quite shy, it stays in the upper reaches of the trees, despite hunting for insects on the ground. So it would take patients and time to get this right. I am not at the point where I am ready to spent a day in a hideout and wait for the bird to come into my viewfinder. All these images here are more or less drive by actions and so this one is shot from below, while it was climbing up a tree and singing… eh.. laughing at me, when on top. 😉

This was taken at the Jacobiweiher.

canadian goose

This was an early trip to Maunzenweiher mostly due to the time change – summer time, although it is still freezing at night. I sadly missed the dispute between two goose couples. Basically they were fighting for being close to me, as I was having a croissant for breakfast. They had been lamenting and shouting at each other for minutes when finally one took off darting at the other couple. Lots of spray and splash and then they went off the other direction, leaving me with my croissant on the muddy floor and this one shot that depicts one goose approaching and shouting for the third attack.

Afterwards the couple that was already close to me came by and started shouting and head banging at me. Probably this is how they beg for food – they got none!

buzzard

Taking a longer walk from the Schlosspark Rumpenheim back home this buzzard was waiting on a tree besides the dam. I was on the dam and on the perfect eye level – sadly it was facing the wrong direction and the sun was right behind it. Too late I noticed that is was actually a couple, but having Spike on a leach dragging me away it is wonder that I even captured it. A lot of retouching later…

White heron

We got quite used to the grey herons. In the last ten years you can find them around almost every billabong, but the white ones, especially the bigger ones, I did not encounter the frequently. This one was very shy and when I crushed into the scene with my bike and its screeching brakes, it was clear that he had a keen eye on me. Half the way on the ladder to the nearby perch it flew off and left me with at least two nice images. Need to learn how to approach shy animals.

 

 

nuthatch

The big advantage of living in a metropolitan area is that you basically are never alone, even in the woods. With the Frankfurt airport nearby and big autobahns like the A3 crossing our region it is even never really silent and so the animals adopt to people and noise and sometimes are not shy at all. I passed this nuthatch on my bike and when I turned and unpacked my camera it was sitting there, just watching me as I was aiming and shooting a it. Truth to be told… this does not happen this often and I spoil and do scare away more birds than I like to admit. Improving my fieldcraft is probably the next thing to do. But this shot made my day, right at the beginning of my trip.

 

mandarin duck fight

Ahhh mating season! Although these shots were from last weeks visit to Maunzenweiher where it was still freezing cold (see the ice the birds sit on?) the first spring feelings among the mandarin ducks were already sensible. There was a lot of pushing, shoving and fighting going on among the colourful drakes. It was almost noon but sun was weak and hanging low, if at all. Most of these shots are retouched and still are far from perfect, but they tell the story.

 

Karbenmoran

I’ve been working at the Dögelmühle in Karben for more than twenty years, crossing the Nidda almost every day. It had been a more or less straight channel, with trees and vegetation cut back in order to provide unhindered flow. The effect of this is that you hardly could see any water birds that usually show up such places. Luckily a certain area had been renatured a few years ago and those measures seem to show effect: ducks, coots, swans and cormorants I found. One of the latter was resting in the middle of the stream on a sunken tree and was not so shy as it siblings I encountered elsewhere. Spent a good hour with it and although I missed the shot I was hoping for – it taking off and flying away – I got some really decent pictures.

 

nut crow

Crows are everywhere in Offenbach. They are smart, get quite old and tend to rummage through waste bins. This fellow found a peanut on the ground. No time to observe it any further, as the Spike was running ahead, while the kids were heading in the other direction – photography takes time and patients…

 

Zoo Frankfurt

The kids got their school reports and as a tradition we as a family do something special on that day. We went for a nice asian buffet (we ate far too much) and headed for the Frankfurt Zoo. When we arrived, it was raining and only about two hours left before it closed, so not the best signs. The images you see here were all shot with high ISOs and were partly very noisy. I had to push them through a few tools and so they are all heavily altered.

The all new enclosure for the penguins is great. All my life, I saw them in the Exotarium, living in that tiny space behind glass. Now they got their new home right next to the seals – outdoor and a much bigger basin to swim in with a viewing area for the visitors. Great! The old reigns has yet to be redefined, as many of the penguins uttered calls to mark their territory.

The humidity was so hight that I could not get my lens clean, when entering the ape house (Borgori-World) – next time.

Cormorants

Cold and slight sleet showers were not the ideal weather to go for a shoot, but I needed to get some fresh air and went for a walk to a nearby lake called Maunzenweiher. Usually there are a lot of ducks and a few herons around, but this time I even noticed two cormorants. I wrongly took the grey feathered head for a sign of age, but it is just the opposite: this one is young fellow – and although a lot of people were hiking, jogging and walking around the lake, it was again me stopping and pointing a big lens (eye) at it, that made it play hide and seek with me. At some point I got a few decent shots of him sitting and cleaning his feathers, but I missed his flyoff, touching the water with his feet, the first few swings. Crap!

Cormorant was NABU bird of the year 2010. Another German name for it is “Berufsfischer” (professional fisher) and indeed fishermen don’t like them very much. They are good divers and and their main dish is fish. Since a couple of years the population seems to grow  again constantly after they were consequently hunted throughout the first half of the last century.

A walk in the ISO-park…

… well, actually it is called the Fasanerie in Auheim (near Hanau) which is a wild park. Took my new Nikon D7200 for a walk, along with the family. No sunshine, low clouds and my trusty old Sigma 150-500mm that tends to be not the sharpest at 500mm. Usually I dial it down to 400-450mm and it will go up to F 5,6 or more. Bad conditions that would have been for my D90, but the D7200 cranks up the ISO on its own, when set to auto-ISO and that was the right day to test how far I can get with this setting. Turns out the images look far better than those out of the D90 with a quarter of the ISO – non the less there is big loss in sharpness, texture details and light.

Saviour was Topaz Labs duo of Denoise AI and Sharpen AI. Results are far from professional, but good enough for me. Usually most of these shots would have been no-photos and end up in the trash bin. I count this as a good exercise on how to deal with bad weather, unsharpened lens and high ISOs. Now you can polish shit and make it shine like gold.. at least a bit. 🙂

Robin

May I introduce you to one of the my beloved bird friends. This is Robin or Rotkehlchen, as they are called here in Germany. They are very common and are all but shy. Quite the opposite: they are very curious and are not afraid of getting close to you. Whenever I come across one of them, if feels like it is rather watching me instead of me watching it.

This little fellow didn’t even move when I approached him with my bike and stayed when I hit the my squeaking brakes and stopped a few meters away from it. He took notice of me, fiddling with my gear and the big lens,  was so curious and came closer. In the end, it even sat on my bike, right beside me as it wanted to have a nice chat with me. Love it!

 

Impact

The rooftop sides of our house are pure glass with wooden frame structure. I remember, as a kid, when birds would try to fly in not noticing the glass and ending with a loud thump on our balcony. Depending on the speed and the angle they hit the glass front they ended up in a wide range from broken neck and dead to just dazed. My parents had those stickers of large birds of prey silhouettes on every big window and they helped a lot. About 10 years ago they were coming off and I replaced them with Space Invaders …. off course! 😉 A few birds still don’t seem to notice and so we do have impacts from time to time.

The most prominent was a woodpecker who’s brain is luckily made for taking a hard bang. He was just dazed and when he regained his consciousness back poked me right in the hand – completely different type than those pigeons that do it usually. Pigeons tend to give in to their fate and once you got hold of them don’t seem to fight. Guess this one had a hard time recovering, if it did at all. There was the whole head, body wings – you could see every wingtip) on the window. I had a hard time capturing it and only partly succeeded, but will probably try it again.

 

Dexter gone

I don’t have words for this kind of incidents: death belongs to live and without it there would be nothing. You know that a lifespan has and end – sometimes very abrupt sometimes you see it coming. In case of Dexter there were signs. During the last half year he went from old but active to very old and somehow sluggish, though he took his duties in ernest: barking at the postmen, looking after the kids… he was brave and never complained. The cancer won over and raptured his liver, so it was time to see the doctor for the last time. Another empty spot on the sofa and and in our hearts. We miss you, old friend! Say Hello to all that went before and are waiting in doggy heaven. Love and rest in piece.

the storks of Werben

Werben is called the city of storks and this is not without a reason. While stroks appear more and more around here in Offenbach, they are still not a common view. Werben, with its vast, lush Elbauen right in front of its gate is a feast for storks and so they come to raise their breed; every year and they go back to their old nests sometimes not without the trouble of fighting off some new occupier. There are more than a dozen nests on roofs and poles around Werben.

 

along comes molly

Together with my sister, we visited the Wildpark Schwarze Berge and they do have flight show, sporting a range of birds, from owls to birds of prey. This is Molly an almost adolescent eagle, a really impressive animal. Light was gone due to some upcoming clouds but Molly was on the slower side of things and gliding majestically over our heads.

 

Jerry

I don’t know what it is, but I really like owls. Jerry was the first on the flight show in Wildpark Schwarze Berge, that showed off his talents. No noise, when he flies, and look at those eyes…. they will find you even in the darkest, moonless night.

Kestrels in the fields

We spent ten days at Hilgernriedersiel and our appartment was located right behind the second dike with a roof window that gave view towards the meadows. Everyday I saw a couple of Kestrels hunting in the fields and I tried a few times to get close enough to get a decent shot.

Than, after a lot of misses and fences that I was not alowed pass one Kestrel sat down right at a pole, a couple of meters away from us while we were going home. I tried to calm the kids and told them to stay silent, duck down, put my 500mm lens on, looked up  and it was gone. Cursing lound and stuffing my gerar into my camera bag, I finally stood up again, just to see the bird again…still sitting at the very pole, looking in my direction. I had looked looked at the wrong pole! He seemed to have pray lying at he bottom and so he stayed. Lucky me, lucky kids and very decent shot, that I usually wouldn’t have deserved to take. Was our last day at this spot, so probably gift from the Kestrel to me? 😉

 

black squirrel

One week off, with friends and kids in Schwarzwald. This did not sound like I would have time nor the chance to shoot wild animals at all but these images tell a different story. Fortunately this squirrel was as curious as our kids are and so I had some time to frame the shot. It was used to people and came quite close. The next day, we returned in order to meet it again and we were not disappointed. Besides, squirrels don’t like eating apple that much. 😉

One week off, with friends and kids in Schwarzwald. This did not sound like I would have time nor the chance to shoot wild animals at all but these images tell a different story. Fortunately this squirrel was as curious as our kids are and so I had some time to frame the shot. It was used to people and came quite close. The next day, we returned in order to meet it again and we were not disappointed. It was curious as the day before… at least for half a minute and then started collecting moss for its nest.

Besides, squirrels don’t like eating apple that much. 😉

great crested grebe

The second time this year that we attended a Landal Park in the Netherlands. This time it is Esonstad, which is right beside the national park Lauwersmeer – a huge inland lake that once was derived from the north sea. We had been here before, almost ten years ago, in winter and I could only imagine what its fauna and flora will look in early summer. The resort is not only a place for families with kids – it is also a habitat for a big range of birds living in all the “Krachten” (water channels that run through the park and between the houses).

Here we got a creseted grebe. When the kids finally had gone to bed it was the ususal 10 minutes too late and the sun had already sunk behind the dike, so high ISO and a coupld of shots it was to get this picture. I had to go knee deep into the sea to get close enouth to it. Like the outcome as the water is almost white and nicely washes off after the subject.

gold pheasant

Right at our arival at Landalpark Port Greve, I could hear the scream of a gold pheasant. One of those really colourful birds used to live at my workplace and after I started to fead him, he came back day after day for a couple of month – so I could tell it was one of those. What I didn’t know is that around the park seemed to live more than one couple. We spotted them everyday and could hear them from far away. The one on the picture used to live around our house and in its garden and was not so shy as the others. Thanks for posing Mr. P.

meditating heron

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Browsing through my old pictures, I came across this neat shot of a heron warming his chest in the midday sun, while the moon is already looming over him.

alien lizard

Taking pictures of my kids and old computers has become the major part of my photography and to tell the truth: all pictures are taken with the iPhone camera. The quickness of pulling it out of my pocket and having it ready within seconds is key to freeze the right moments with your kids – shooting with one hand only, while holding back my daughter from hazzardous traffic with the other is another big point why my trusty D90 is covered with dust.

Marie discovered a lizzard today and it vanished into a gap, between two stones. The gap was shallow and so I gave my iPhone cam a try. Take a look… I am very pleased with the result and it looks really good, as long, as you don’t start to zoom into the details with lighroom, where you can see the algorithm of noise reduction and balance struggle with the nature of this tiny sensor chip. Let’s see how they will improve the next cameras.

pleasing pheasant

Two years ago I had to move my office, out of the main building to the remote house a little set back on the companies property. The house was pretty run down and I was told to have office of my own. At first I was really shocked and kind of felt left alone, but it did not take long to get accustomed. The really good thing at my new spot is the window grants a view directly into the little woods. This area has been left alone for quite some time and so the nature and its inhabitants spread out. Daily visits from blue jays, squirrels and rabbits are a fine way of distraction from the daily routine.

For three weeks now, I have a new guy on the stage: Please welcome the pheasant. He had been around for quite some time, as I could hear his scream prior to spotting him. But the last two weeks, we kind of made friends. I had some birdseeds lying around, that I forgot to take home, so I pooped some out of the window, while he was down there. This had become some kind of ritual. He shows up, screams and I open up the window and feed him a little. Today the weather was finally good enough to bring my camera to take some pictures. I didn’t expect it to be that hard to get a decent shot. Belonging to the chicken race, this fellows head seldom stays in the same spot for more than a couple of milliseconds. These are the best shots of today and I hope there are more to come.

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Gull

St.Ives is very touristic and around the harbour you find a lot of food shops, cafes and bars, where you can sit and eat or take away your favs. Also you will find many seagulls that team up in gangs. One or two start pulling the attention towards them and a third fleis by and steals your meal. We withnessed it a couple of times, while sitting in a restaurant…. under the sunroof, off course.

starling posing

There are so many different bird species but when it comes to food, you can devide them up into two categories. The ones that vanish as soon as you appear and those that approach you when you have something to eat. Starlings belong to the latter kind.

Grey heron

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Meet my new friend! This really big grey heron can be seen in the Vogelpark in Niendorf. He has one crippled claw and his nostrils was jammed with dirt. Obviously his ability to fly away had been disabled by cutting his feathers on the left wing. Sitting in a rather dull spot at the farest end of the park he reminded me of an old captain, stranded, with no water and chance to ever get away. He seemed to have some story to tell and was absolutely not shy, which is usually the case with herons. Whenever they see you with a lens pointing at them with no cover at all they fly away. I spent a few minutes with him, waiting at the fence that kept him from getting away by feet. We stared at each other and than he made a step towards my position, picked up a tiny branch and tried to move it my direction. I try to think that this was some kind of inviational gift and this gesture really touched me. I will post another picture of him right away as he is actually a good looking bird, at least from the side.


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Here he is with the tiny branch that he tried to throw in my direction. I really felt sorry that he got caught, but his behavior, his broken claw and him not beeing shy of people at all made me believe that he actually was lucky stranding here. Who knows: perhaps he was found with his claw crippeled and got a second chance to live on thanks to the people in the park.

lynx

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Majestic lynx patrolling along his compound. I really do dig this big and elegant cats. Shot in the “Alte Fasanerie” near Hanau.

moose

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I really feel kind of lucky to have natrure around me, and even parks that are nearby and are build very well. Together with Claus and Michael I went to the “Alte Fasanerie”, an ancient park near Hanau. It was a bright day and all the animals seem to enjoy it even more than we did. Here’s a youg moose posing in the bright midday sun.

swanlake

A small trip to the Grünen Seen (green lakes) last weeked to catch some fresh air. The sun had dissapeared for… well I don’t know excatly, but it felt like forever…. and now it was out the first day. Till we reached the lake, it already was about to vanish again, but none the less, I caught some swans going after their business in the partly frozen lake. Like the composition and texture of of this, so I share it with you.

common buzzard

Around the Grüne See (green lake) there are alway alot of birds of prey. Usually they are far, up in the sky and if you are lucky and find one on a tree it mostly spots you first and flies off. Not this time. This one turned out to be a very very patient object to shoot. The sund had alrea

big wader

…or “großer Brachvogel” as this one is called. Shot at the Zuiderzeewerke/Ijselmeer/Netherlands. A great day, with great animals. Enjoy!

duck studies #1

Happy new year everyone. We spent our new years eve in Makkum/Netherlands which is kind of surrounded by nature parks with lots of birds. Ducks used to be quite common in my hometown, too. Lately the egyptian goose has concoured their resorts and ducks had to move. I was quite happy to see them again, even though far from home.

tiger moth baby

Yes… this caterpillar is actually a moth baby and was about 10cm long. We found it the meadows between Munkmarsch and Kaitum, along with many others. Brauner Bär (brown bear) is the German name and I think it fits quite well.