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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring arrives in Burgenland

Just a few weeks ago....

Burgenland was in the grip of an icy winter - Neusiedler See (Lake Neusiedl) frozen over.
What wildlife that remained was hibernating or surviving
by scratching up buried seeds from the previous summer

By the end of March the only ice in sight is the 2076m alpine Schneeberg, the highest mountain in Lower Austria. A pair of Shelduck dabble for the aquatic molluscs proliferating after the big freeze.

Almond trees are in bloom...

...and at dawn a Purple Heron arrives from its wintering quarters in Africa

A pair of newly-arrived White Storks commence their synchronised courtship
on a nearby village rooftop

A colourful Stonechat proclaims ownership of his territory
by means of a chirpy song from his lofty perch

A grass snake has emerged from hibernation and warms his blood in the sunshine...

...and "sniffs" the air with its forked tongue to discover if there are any tasty frogs on the menu.


Blogger Sunshine said...

wow Maalie.. You know when i luk at the 1st picture i felt like I am in heaven...other one's are nice too but the 1st is just touch your heart and you feel so relax.. amazing isn't it..


10:33 pm  
Blogger simon said...

is the snake venomous? Great shots.. Typing this on my nokia at the airport mate..waiting to board.

3:40 am  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

Show off Simon! Love the snake shot.... were you at a suitable distance? (You know all Kiwis are paranoid about snakes...)

6:34 am  
Blogger Maalie said...

Thanks so much Sunshine :-)

Simon, I don't think it is venomous but I have sent off a picture for proper identification.

Kiwi, I got to within 6 - 12 inches and used my macro setting. It showed no aggression at all, I got the feeling it just wanted to be left alone.

9:48 am  
Blogger donsands said...

wonderful photos. just awesome. Thanks.

Happy Maundy Thursday to you.

1:01 pm  
Blogger Craver Vii said...

That snake shot is phenomenal! I tried with my old camera to get the timing right with the slithering tongue, but it was too slow. I can't wait now, until I see my next snake.

8:01 pm  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

I love seeing the shelduck in that water where the mountains are reflected. And you would be one of the few who would recognise that heron had just arrived from Africa! Storks will always mean northern Spain to me, so it is interesting to see them so much further to the east..

3:58 am  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Beautiful, and leaves one full of wonder. "All creatures big and small."

11:38 am  
Blogger Judith HeartSong said...

Wonderful images!

10:22 am  

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