Sunday, 12 July 2015

Austria June 2015 Mayrhofen - Birds and Beasts

By the time I have weeded through my photos there were not many birds and beasts left.
Given the wet first week there were probably more butterflies than I would have expected. I saw a lot more birds that I managed to photograph and there were the ones that got away including a small snake (or more likely a legless lizard).
On our first walk a Wall Brown settled down to lick the salt from our arms which looked like a good omen.
 Later there was a White Admiral settled on the woodland ride that allowed me to get close and take a number of shots before it had been disturbed enough and flew away.
 But then with wet and colder weather butterflies became scarce and we didn't see many until the second week.
Black veined White - Aporia crategi feeding on Wood Cranesbill
Then there were the common British species such as
Small Tortoiseshell

Red Admiral

Painted Lady

and Speckled Wood

as well as a blue that I have failed to identify

One afternoon there had been a mass emergence of a small white moth and every tree along the river bank had hundreds of these which looked like Thistle Ermine - Myelois cribrella 

In the village gardens one afternoon there were numbers of Humming-bird Hawk-moths which I assumed were migrating northwards though the valley. Beautifully camouflaged.

 On one of the wet days quite high up we found this beetle which we thought had been attacking the slug which had come out on to the wet path. If it had been attacking the slug we realised it was coming off worst and was desperately trying to disengage as it was becoming seriously ensnared in the slime that the slug was producing. Eventually the beetle managed to struggle away. The beetle was magnificently colloured with metallic green stripes and coppery coloured thorax and legs.

Another day we saw a black beetle that had metallic blue legs

Another of the wet days the riverside path was covered with hundreds of slugs and quite a lot of the Edible or Roman Snail - Helix pomatia

We were surpised by the large thrush in the riverside fields which had just been cut for hay. They were Fieldfare and appeared to be collecting food to feed young.
In most villages and in the higer meadows there was the regular rattling call of the Black Redstarts, here seen on a barn roof.
 Linnet in the forest

On a couple of occasions we were lucky enough to see Chamois on the hills above us. Probably being driven down to lower levls by the fresh snow.

And finally we spent a lot of time photographing some very tame marmots. Apart from being very confiding they are also ridiculously photogenic.



  1. Another wonderful set of photos, no matter how many you take, when you get home you always wished you had taken more!
    The marmots are very cute..
    Amanda xx

  2. Brilliant finds - I especially like the green beetle! Thanks for your comment on my scavenger post and for bringing your blog to my attention through it! I've only had chance for a quick look but it looks a great blog, will follow :)