Large Hawk-Cuckoo in mangroves of Malaysia

The labyrinthine mangroves of Malaysia, where twisting roots intertwine like the veins of the earth, are home to many mysterious birds. One of these, spending at least some time during migration amidst the humid heat, dense foliage and murky water, is the elusive figure of the Large Hawk-Cuckoo (Hierococcyx sparverioides). It is a bird with… Continue reading Large Hawk-Cuckoo in mangroves of Malaysia

Epaulet Oriole in the Pantanal: Taxonomy issues

The morning is still fresh and I want to visit the light gallery forest within the Fazenda in the morning. Again a great sunrise. I start walking with my Nikon Nikkor AF-I 300mm f/2.8 D ED on a Gitzo Monopod and a Metz flash MZ-5. Right at the beginning, there is light forest with its… Continue reading Epaulet Oriole in the Pantanal: Taxonomy issues

Bornean Banded Pitta at the montane hill forests at Trus Madi Forest Reserve

Eventually a Bornean Banded Pitta (Hydrornis schwaneri) shows up in the arena of a shady wood on a steep slope. We sit side by side in a dark hideout that barely has slots for camera lenses. We’ve been waiting for a good 1 hour. There she is: the beauty. The Bornean Banded Pitta is a… Continue reading Bornean Banded Pitta at the montane hill forests at Trus Madi Forest Reserve

Identification of the Long-tailed Tit ssp. caudatus in Middle Europe

Now they are moving from the north again. A chatty flock of tits in autumnal Germany could also contain Long-tailed Tits (Aegithalos caudatus) with a largely or even completely white head, which are often immediately counted as Aegithalos caudatus caudatus. The Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) exhibits complex global variation, with 19 subspecies recognized. They can… Continue reading Identification of the Long-tailed Tit ssp. caudatus in Middle Europe

The Common Chaffinch will be split in 5 species

The Eurasian (Common) Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) will be split – or has been split recently. In the Species Updates for the IOC Version 13.2 the Chaffinch will be devided to African Chaffinch (Fringilla spodiogenys) (including africana and harterti), Azores Chaffinch (Fringilla moreletti), Madeira Chaffinch (Fringilla maderensis), and Canary Islands Chaffinch (Fringilla canariensis) (including bakeri, ombriosa… Continue reading The Common Chaffinch will be split in 5 species

Little Gull at Cape Gilazi in Azerbaijan

Out car stops on the edge of a wide sandy beach. The wind dies down for a moment. The sea stretches wide and overwhelming, outlined by black and white foam caps and a distant, dark gray horizon. Dozens of Little Gulls (Hydrocoloeus minutus) dot the white of sky and earth. On the way back from… Continue reading Little Gull at Cape Gilazi in Azerbaijan

Pygmy White-eyes at Borneo Jungle Girl Camp in Trus Madi Forest Reserve

High-pitched “tsee-tsee…”-calls come from the low canopy of trees. A flock of Pygmy White-eyes (Heleia squamifron) roam through the trees in search of small fruits and small berries and maybe some tiny insects. During our stay in the hills and mountains of Borneo, ranging from Mount Kinabalu to the Kelabit Chain but especailly in the… Continue reading Pygmy White-eyes at Borneo Jungle Girl Camp in Trus Madi Forest Reserve

Leucism in the Red-backed Shrike

During a search of a known migratory birding spot in north-west Cyprus, a “white” shrike was observed on the outskirts of the area used as a camping site, which was only sparsely park-like and which at first glance could not be a Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor) despite the light color. The smaller size and… Continue reading Leucism in the Red-backed Shrike

A Plain Leaf-Warbler – winter visitor at the Hajar Mountains – UAE

In the early morning light we go to Green Mubazzarah, which is located at the foot of the Hajar Mountains. Green Mubazzarah is a true paradise in the morning. Green Mubazzarah is a picnic area with streams, grass and chalets at the north foot of Jebel Hafeet before the road begins to climb to the… Continue reading A Plain Leaf-Warbler – winter visitor at the Hajar Mountains – UAE

Pink-footed Goose in Rudow-Altglienicke/ Berlin

This time there was no need to patiently monitor flocks of geese with a spotting scope in windy weather and sleet and snow showers. It was cool and wet, but the Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) in the Landschaftspark (landscape park) Rudow-Altglienicke could be seen quickly in flocks with Greylag Geese (Anser anser) and 2 Greater… Continue reading Pink-footed Goose in Rudow-Altglienicke/ Berlin

Yellow Wagtail subspecies in Palatupana Salt-/Wetland, Thissamaharama, Hambantota?

Western Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) are quite common in Sri Lanka in wintertime. So in the Palatupana Salt-/Wetland, near Bundala NP at Hambantota on the southern tip of Sri Lanka, too. At least for a western birdwatcher they seem to be. Recent studies on wagtails occurring in Sri Lanka has suggested that both Western and… Continue reading Yellow Wagtail subspecies in Palatupana Salt-/Wetland, Thissamaharama, Hambantota?

Cinnamon Hummingbird for Science

This beautiful scene of a hummingbird hovering in front of a purple-red flower is a common sight in the tropics. Seemingly weightless, the hummingbird, a Cinnamon Hummingbird (Amazilia rutila), sips nectar. This photo even made it into a Science article published on May 6, 2004. Ironically, in comparatively cool Germany, in a clay pit in… Continue reading Cinnamon Hummingbird for Science