Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I planned to visit Lac du Der on the way back, but the Cranes came to me on saturday. Driving across the border between Belgium and Luxemburg I saw a huge flock of big birds in a typical V-formation. This area is not really know for Geese or Cormorants, so could it be!? Luckily there was a parking and I could soon confirm they were indeed Cranes, and they were on the move!

Departure conditions must have been very good that morning in Lac du Der; in the next hour several huge flocks slowly passed by, often thermalling at great height. In total there were many 1000's.

The Gemmipass was a different story. Weather-forecast looked promising but on the top there was not enough sun for the big ones to fly. Luckily I already met the target-species along the way up to Leukerbad!

Golden Eagle in golden landscape

the same bird, an adult
Bearded Vulture
Gypaete barbu
Several hours on top of a cloudy Gemmipass (2270m) did not produce any of these, in fact there were only 4 birds present; 2 Alpine Choughs and 2 Snowfinches..
local Snowfinch
I was rather surprised that the AF could keep track of the bird as it took off! (D3, 300mm + TC14III)

On the way back I had a look at the impressive Rheinfall. This is an amazing waterfall on the border between Germany and Switserland, and a real challenge for Salmon!

I can recommend the new Nikon 300mm. The only disadvantage I have found is the slow hunting/refocus of the AF when the focus is lost on flying birds, also without the TC14 extender. Just stay focussed:-)