animals, bird, photography, seasons, summer, wildlife, world

Throwback Thursday: remembering last summer

European bee-eater (Merops apiaster) / Bienenfresser

 

These beautiful birds are coming quite late to middle Europe for growing their offspring. Early June is still mating time and by the end of August, they are already away to the south. They depend completely on the availability of big flying insects like bees, bumblebees, wasps, hornets, or dragonflies. Although they are native to Europe, they are quite new in more northern parts of i.e. Germany. They benefit from the warmer summers. Following the river the Danube in western direction from Romania to the Kaiserstuhl area in the south-western state of Baden-Würtemberg and then along the river Rhine to the north. For a couple of years, a tiny population is known west of Düsseldorf and another one near Porta-Westfalica next to the river Weser. A third well-known bigger population resides in the middle German state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Besides big flying insects, they need open steep slopes consisting of clay to dig their brood cavity. Such a brood cavity is usually 1-1,50 meters long and can be up to 2 meters long with a diameter of 5-7 cm. Suitable slopes can be found in some parts of some rivers or in man-made gravel pits. Surprisingly, the machines seem not to disturb the birds as long as no human shows up and enough insects are around. In addition, the slope must be big enough to offer space for more than one couple, because they live in (huge) colonies.

In Germany, bee-eaters are a protected species as it is red-listed as an endangered species.

Take care

 

 

animals, bird, photography, review, wildlife, winter

Throwback Thursday: starlings

Exactly one year ago, I noticed a small troop of starlings in our garden. It was the first time I saw starlings here in our region. Enlarge the image to see the beautiful little heart-shaped spots on their feathers. Unfortunately, they picked a quite bad day for their visit. Because they came back from the warm south (Mediterranean region) quite early, everything was covered by snow. Having snow is in my region nowadays a very rare occurrence. So, they had to dig through the snow first to find some food below. And bad for me, because of the lacking sun, the beautiful colorful metallic glow in their plumage wasn’t visible.

Take care

 

 

animals, mammal, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Monday 8-38

Some of you might already have seen this image on Instagram. It was so great to be able to have the cheetah coming so close to me and accepting me as a distant visitor (literally he was simply ignoring me, and that was perfectly fine)

In this image, I really, really love how the low standing sun models the body of this beautiful cat. Thus, the monochrome version is much nicer than the color version.

Take care!

animals, bird, nature, photography, review, wildlife

Throwback Thursday: orxy antelope

oryx antelope

Although they seem very intense colored with the strong and distinct bars on their face, body, and legs, when looking at them directly, they vanish easily in their surroundings in the Kalahari desert and where else you spot them in Namibia. Regardless if the landscape is gray or reddish, they merge with the background. It’s really fascinating.

The first image was taken at 8:45 a.m. The second at 6:30 a.m. and the third at 8:40 a.m.

The last one is taken at 11 a.m. Do you find the second oryx in the image?

As usual, click on an image to enlarge it.

Take care!

 

photography, summer, travel

Throwback Thursday: high-speed beauty!

white-tailed tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) / Weißschwanz-Tropikvogel

 

I loved watching these birds flying fast above the coasts of Seychelles. I’ve had the impression, they really love and enjoy flying. It’s already 11 years 😲

Take care!