Monday, 27 December 2010
Friday, 24 December 2010
Monday, 20 December 2010
I could not find the Waxwings, but I enjoyed the crispy freezing cold in the “Maasheggen”. At the end of the afternoon patches of fog emerged above the white hedge-bordered fields near the river. I spent quite some time photographing a snow-covered bare corn field (I like bare corn fields!), but I also want to share with you a tree silhouette in the astonishing soft colors that sometimes appear just after sunset. The air echoed with the high-pitched calls of V-shaped formations White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons/Kolgans) migrating to their sleeping places. When I was back in the car the display indicated an outside temperature of -11°C.
I hope the fresh molehill doesn’t disturb the serene scenery too much (of course I also have a photo without the black dot :-).
Friday, 10 December 2010
Saturday, 4 December 2010
Monday, 8 November 2010
However, the typical English weather was a killjoy; rain and a fierce wind kept the owls from going out. Luckily we found some cooperative Teals (Anas crecca/Wintertaling) dabbling around in a pebble pool.
Sunday, 7 November 2010
When autumn turns into winter hundreds of Grey Seals start hauling themselves onto the sand banks. Together with Marijn Heuts, I spent two days in the Donna Nook Grey Seal colony. The bulls mostly laze around all day, sleeping, huffing and groaning and arguing with the other bulls, the adolescents are practicing their fighting skills in the surf, and a few ♀♀ had already give birth to their pups.
Friday, 29 October 2010
Sunday, 24 October 2010
This Saturday I went with some like-minded members of the nature photography association Eindhoven (that I recently joined) to an old forest near Arnhem to look for toadstools. Despite the fact that the mushroom season is over the top I found some fresh ‘wanted’ species. Here are 2 of them:
- The well-known Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus/Grote Stinkzwam). The latin name needs no further explanation. This mushroom belongs to the fungal order Phallales and is known for its foul smelling sticky spore mass, or gleba, borne on the end of stalks called the receptaculum. The spore mass attracts flies to help disperse the spores. All species of the Phallaceae family begin their development as oval or round structures known as ‘devil eggs’.
- A yellowish slime mold, very aptly named Scrambled Egg Slime (Fuligo septica/Heksenboter). The literal translation of the Dutch name is “witch butter”, also well chosen. Formerly they were classified as fungi, but today they are no longer considered part of this kingdom.
Saturday, 9 October 2010
After a couple of minutes it was scared off by a Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus/Witgatje), and flew away. Somewhat later a second Green Sandpiper appeared at the scene. Both birds stayed for more than 2 hours and I watched them washing, doing their feather care, feeding, and resting. Just before taking a bath they performed a very rapid zig-zag flight low over the water. Does anybody know the meaning of this strange behavior?
Green Sandpiper is very much a bird of freshwater, and is often found in sites too restricted for other waders, which tend to like a clear all-round view.
Saturday, 18 September 2010
The large variety of shapes and colours keeps inspiring me. Here are some (rather common) toadstools that I found in one of my local forest patches, “Refelingse Heide” in Nuenen.
- Angel’s Bonnet (Mycena arcangeliana/Bundelmycena) – A tiny one, densely and disorderly stacked into a goblin pension.
- Pearly Webcap (Cortinarius alboviolaceus/Lila Gordijnzwam) – A fibrous gilled mushroom that I have never seen before.
- False Death Cap (Amanita citrina/Gele Knolamaniet) – The less familiar akin of the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria/Vliegenzwam), see also my previous upload.
Friday, 10 September 2010
By the way, did you know that:
- The name of this mushroom in many European languages is thought to have been derived from the fact that it was used as an insecticide, when sprinkled in milk.
- Fly Agarics were used for its hallucinogenic properties (with its main psychoactive constituent being the compound muscimol) by the peoples of Siberia, and has a religious significance in these cultures.
Saturday, 21 August 2010
Vague in the background there is a group of noisy adolescent Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus/Kievit).
Saturday, 14 August 2010
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Saturday, 31 July 2010
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Sunday, 11 July 2010
Friday, 2 July 2010
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Monday, 7 June 2010
I also added a confiding Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus/Velduil) that we spotted on our way from Vestre Jakobselv to Vardø.
Sunday, 6 June 2010
Despite overexposure in the field, I had to add an additional ⅔ stop in Adobe Lightroom.
Saturday, 5 June 2010
Thursday, 3 June 2010
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
We started in the lake district near Kuusamo, Finland. To hear ‘our’ winter birds like Redwing (Turdus iliacus/Koperwiek) and Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris/Kramsvogel) sing and defend their nest against obtrusive Hooded Crows (Corvus cornix/Bonte Kraai) is an amazing experience. It somehow closes the circle. Despite intensive efforts we didn’t see any owls. But we did see several singing Red-flanked Bluetails (Tarsiger cyanurus/Blauwstaart) at the well-known hills of Valtavaara. Other personal highlights were Velvet Scoters (Melanitta fusca/Grote Zeeëend) and Little Gulls (Larus minutus/Dwergmeeuw) in full summer plumage.
Another colorful surprise was the beautiful Calypso Orchid (Calypso bulbosa/Bosnimf). They are only to be found in undisturbed northern forests, such as those in Oulanka National Park, close to the Russian border. It is the only species classified in the genus Calypso, which takes its name from the Greek signifying concealment, as they tend to favor sheltered areas on conifer forest floors.
With respect to photography I had to make compromises, but all in all this was more than compensated by traveling with a diverse group of experts. On my own I probably overlooked these tiny shadow-lovers.