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Posts Tagged ‘Canon SX-50’

I spotted this White-throated Dipper (Cinculus cinclulus) on Sunday on the Ammer River in Oberammergau, Germany. This little bird, which is about 7 inches in length (18 cm) is also known as the European Dipper or simply a dipper.

Remarkably this bird walks on the stones on the bottom of a moving stream against the current, with its head downwards to locate prey, according to an article on oiseau-birds.com. According to this report, the current’s force against the bird’s bowed back keeps it on the river bed as it walks, propelled by wing movements. Of note, the White-throated Dipper is the national bird of Norway, according to Wikipedia.

White-throated Dipper

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Here is a shot of some of the distant mountains that surrounded me on Sunday afternoon as I wandered about in Oberammergau, Germany. From this small Bavarian town, there are impressive mountain views in virtually all directions.

There was already a significant amount of snow on the mountains and we had almost 6 inches of additional snow on Monday. Unlike in the Washington D.C. area where I live, things functioned as normal with this snowfall, including a surprising number of people riding bicycles.

mountain view from Oberammergau

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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It’s amazing how many different species of dragonflies I have been able to spot and photograph during my brief stay here in Brussels, Belgium. One new species for me is the Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)—there were quite a few members of this species active at a pond in the Rouge-Cloître park. Unlike some of the species that I have seen here, this species is also found in North America, where it is known as the “Four-spotted Skimmer.”

This species is so popular that,  according to one website, it won a contest in 1995 to become the state insect of the state of Alaska. That may sound a bit strange to some readers, but personally I am happy that it beat out competitors that included the mosquito. (I have heard stories that mosquitoes in Alaska are large and aggressive and possibly are even larger than dragonflies, though that may be a slight exaggeration.)

Four-spotted Chaser

Four-spotted Chaser

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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As I was walking to work through the streets of Vienna Friday morning, I passed by the Spanish Riding School in the Hofburg Palace and was thrilled to get a glimpse of some of the world-famous Lippizaner stallions. They were mostly hidden in their stalls, but occasionally one of these beautiful horse would pop its head out or a door would open briefly. I was also able to snap some quick photos as one of the horses was being prepared and was then walked across an open area.

Perhaps someday I will see a performance of the Lippizaners, but for now I am happy to have caught a glimpse of them on my last working day in Vienna for this trip.

Lippizaner

Lippizaner

Lippizaner

Lippizaner

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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