In my blog I currently reports about bird life and nature of the island of Cyprus with Infos, images and videos. Older blog
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Kostis had to spend a few more rainy days in the protection of the veterinary station before the release could be carried out.
Goose vultures observe with their sharp gaze everything that moves around them. Also in nature, griffon vultures find their food only through their sharp eyes, which can distinguish non-moving carcasses from moving carcasses.
Contrary to the usual assumptions, griffon vultures cannot perceive a smell of carrion, as the sense of smell is not particularly pronounced in the species Griffon Vultures.
Here are some pictures of Kostis in rainy weather and just before the release in the sunshine.
Monitoring of the successful breeding and rearing of the offspring of the griffon vultures in Cyprus.
Extract from Wikipedia: Poison baits are still the greatest threat to residual stocks in south and south-eastern Europe. In Cyprus, for example, 80% of stocks died from pesticide poisoning, 36 of them in 1996 alone. The following year, the number of breeding pairs halved from 16 to 8 and has remained virtually unchanged since then.
In 2015, the severely decimated population of griffon vultures in Cyprus was already severely decimated when the program for the settlement of young griffon vultures imported from Crete was launched. Now, 5 years later, there are also persistent breeding successes in the brood-pairs, which have newly formed in Cyprus.
The nests are built in rock walls on ribbons under overhangs or in forward-open niches and caves. They consist of sticks and branches and are laid out with green branches or grass. The start of laying falls quite uniformly throughout the distribution area in the period from the end of December to the end of March.
The nest consists only of an egg, which is mostly pure white or rarely has small reddish-brown spots. The eggs have an average size of 92.0 x 70.1 mm. Both partners breed, the breeding season lasts 47 to 57 days. The boy is also alternately fed by both partners, which is brought to the nest in the goat and strangled there. The young bird leaves the nest on average after about 135 days, in southern Europe about mid-July to mid-August. He is cared for by the parent birds for a few more weeks and then migrates. The exodus is undirected.
What happened? Why does the excellent Panasonic GH5 have to go and the Panasonic DC-S1 full-frame camera comes for the video area in my photo bag? Well, this has very special reasons, which has
exclusively to do with my camera - field of application nature photography.
Of course, the more modern full-frame camera Panasonic DC-S1 also has technical advantages in other areas, full format, 24.2 MB sensor, V-LOG 4:2:2 10bit internal recording, lowlight range up to -6.5 aperture levels, switchable to APS-C format in the video area, autofocus with animal and eye recognition and much more.
But the main reason for my decision was that the mft system with the 20 MB sensor clearly showed me its limits when shooting in the July midday heat. During the monitoring of the Griffon Vultures
in Paphos Forest, photo and video recordings with a very long distance to the subject were required. While the full-frame camera Panasonic DC-S1R delivered very good results in both the photo and
4K video range, the shots of the mft camera DG-GH5 were very blurry and spongy. Focusing in AFS and AFC mode was also almost impossible, in manual mode focusing was also severely restricted. I
think this is due to the double crop of the mft system, the prolem became particularly visible in the midday heat at 35°C and strong heat-related air flicker.
On the GH5 the Panasonic Top Lens Leica 100-400mm f4-6.3 was mounted, for photo and video I only used the AFS focus, on the Pana DC-S1R the Sigma converter Mc21 with the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary was in use, also with AFS focus. The difference in the results delivered is serious, so I have replaced the complete mft system with full format.
Since December 2019 I have the full-frame camera Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R with 47 MB sensor, IBIS, L-mount bayonet in use for the photo area, which provides me with excellent full-format RAW recordings. I was surprised that the Pana DC-S1R with its high-resolution 47 MB sensor also delivered better results in all video recordings than the GH5 with the Sigma MC21 converter and the Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 Contemporary. The video quality of this combination was also very good in the shots with 1.6-fold crop connected to the camera.
Therefore now also in the video area the full-format system with the Panasonic DC-S1, which I have additionally retrofitted with the V-Log Update to save 4K video in 4.2.2. 10 bit recording format directly in the camera. The 24.2 MB sensor integrated in the Pana DC-S1 is equipped with special lenses on the sensor, which provide excellent and particularly low-noise shots in the LowLight range in the photo and video area. A great all-rounder.
For the Panasonic full-frame cameras I use the L-mount lens Lumix S 24-105 f/4 OIS, the Sigma L-mount 70mm f2.8 Macro, the Sigma L-Mount 24mm f:1.4 DG HSM and the Sigma Adapter MC 21 L-Mount in my photo bag. On the Sigma MC 21 adapter I can attach all EF+EFS mount lenses, at the moment the Sigma EF mount 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary.
The next lens with L-mount is the new Sigma 100-400mm f5-6,3 DG DN OS Contemporary L-Mount in the inlet, I will bring a report here in the blog.
The first young bird of the Rollers has left the brood cave at my location in the crumbling building. The second followed a day later.
Now they commute from the nearby mulberry tree and their brood cave and also make short trips around the tree. The Adult birds feed the young-birds on the tree, obviously one or more young-birds is to be supplied in the brood-cave.
The third boy of the brood-pair 1 has now, two days later, also come to the tree. Family 1 should now be complete.
The alto-birds of the two other brood-pairs continue to feed their offspring in the brood-caves, but also often sit at their entrance and in the tree, call and lure the Chicks. But there is no movement yet. Sometimes you can see the head of a curious young bird protruding from the masonry, but obviously the last kick to start in the uncertain
It goes wildly confused at the brood-bird - main road.
In addition to the Roller, the magpies, Collared pigeons and Cyprus Wheatear can be seen, along with large flight troops with Jackdaw, who move with their young birds from the spring
through the surroundings.
There are no young blue-racks yet to be seen, the alto-birds are on the road with food every 15 minutes.
With a small rat as fodder, a blue-crack arrived today at the breeding cave.
After the cornfields with the combine harvesters were harvested the day before, the view of the ground was now clear. In the following period the feeding times were much shorter, the Roller had much better view of the locusts, crickets and other big insects.
On the weekend around 15 June I looked in Androlikou to see if there is a second nest in the Hoopoe brood cave, unfortunately without success.
For this purpose, all 5 young birds were present at the Old Walls at the stone owls and provided wonderful situations for the photographer.
I was even more surprised by the fact that on the road to the old town hall the air was full of blue-racks, which flew with food to the old, half-decayed buildings.
Also in other parts of Androlikou the blue-racks were really strong at feeding. So I decided to accompany the Androlikou blue-racks until the young birds fly out in their brood.
It is my second visit after 7 days around Ineia and Androlikou to see which of the breeding birds are still to be seen.
The Hoopoe pair brooding in the olive tree has completed the first brood, the young and alto-birds have left the brood-cave.
Of the 6 brood-caves of the Blauracken only one was occupied with young-bird, the alto-birds were also to entice this young-bird from the brood-cave.
At the stone owls in the center of Androlikou, 3 young birds sat outside the building, together with the mother. The young birds - see photos - are quite far grown and will surely leave the place
The question remains whether one of the species, as last year, will tackle a second breeding season.
After the lock down I walked 3 months after my last visit the Anarita Park area as far as Nata to see because it is going on in the bird world, especially with the breeding pairs.
To my surprise I have uncovered another stone owl brood-pair, so that now 3 pairs at the same time breeds and raise their boys there.
I was also able to observe several pairs of blue-racked and a lot of kestrels, in the area near Nata then also red-swallows and dohlen, all there to nest-pairs.
I was also able to take a few pictures, especially the newly found incubator of the stone owl was very ergifty.
In Androlikou itself I could observe two young stone owls at the brood cave, the male was in the olive tree nearby. With the blue-racks, however, the number of brood-pairs is obviously lower, I could find only 7 brood-caves in Androlikou.
End of March - beginning of April is the time of the arriving flycatchers, the beginning made this year the mourning catcher, then came the collared snapper and the half-ring snapper. The
Grauschnäpper was the last arrival of this bird species.
In addition, the two Hoopoe couples were on the road almost daily in the garden and the surrounding area. The highlight of the Hoopoe were the feeding rituals, which were seen as part of the bridal advertisement under the olive trees in the garden.
The Hoopoe pairs have meanwhile moved to their brood-caves, the brood-business is in full swing. Unfortunately, one of the breeding pairs was then driven away by clearing work and permanent noise from last year's breeding tree.
In the meantime, I have rediscovered them a little further away. The Hoopoe male also comes again and again into the precinct and desets his reputation.
Here are some photos of the flycatchers and Hoopoe, a new Hoopoe Video you find on my YouTube Chanel - https://youtu.be/kX7heR2fLy4
At the beginning of April, the number of different bird species at the meeting point Feigenbaum is highest, which is a reflection of the arrived songbirds on the bird migration to the west and
Now the flycatchers also come to the present ground-eaters, and so at the meeting point Feigenbaum full action is called for. Also with the Wiedehopfen the calling males become more and more audible and indicate their precincts.
Here are some pictures of the bird species present.
In the last days of March, other feathered guests have arrived in our garden, many of them using the public bird bath in the garden.
I have listed some of them below.
After the government in Cyprus imposed an exit ban on us because of the coronavirus, I am glad and grateful that I can move freely in our orchard.
Apparently, this has also been talked about by migratory birds and I can't complain about the influx of feathered guests. I probably wouldn't have found more outside in the surrounding area.
The Hoopoe couple from last brood year has arrived again and with him a second couple. I'm curious to see where the settles are.
The Hoopoe often stay in the garden, still completely relaxed. The brood business will probably have to wait a little longer, but I'm there with photo and video camera. In the meantime, I have
set up the second observation tent. Since we still had some severe thunderstorms with storm gusts at the end of March and the old camouflage tent was badly damaged, I have to build a small wooden
hut for the residence next spring, preferably two.
Now I show a small selection of what has changed at the end of March.
Difficult times are these with the Corona Virus for everyone, even here on the island of Cyprus, much is no longer going its usual way.
So I have also greatly reduced my trips to the various hotspots for migratory birds. Tourists and photographers as guests have no or very limited access to the island at the moment. The entire BirdLife Cyprus crew has been working with each other from home via telephone and video since 16 March.
But regardless of the limitations of the Corona virus, life in nature continues and with it the migration of migratory birds. I would like to tell you something about this.
Last week on March 16th I shortened the very high grass around our fig tree in the garden, it is time for the spring guests and migratory birds to come. For this purpose, I set up a camouflage
tent for the light in the morning and a second for the light in the late afternoon at a distance of about 10 m to the fig tree. The fig tree is ideal as a residence, because the figs and leaves
form fully in the next 4-6 weeks, now it is bare and in mid-April I don't see the tree anymore.
On Tuesday, March 17th, after my Dog Walking Round (2 km from 6-7 o'clock) I went to the camouflage tent with a jug of coffee, i just wanted to watch if something was already happening out there at the fig tree. The usual suspects, sparrows, pigeons, tree pigeons, monk grass mosquito and Zilpzalp came to the watering place, which has existed for years, for drinking and bathing. But no one stayed there for a long time, everyone flew back to the surrounding fields and plantations.
And then suddenly there was a very loud noise, the call came from behind from the olive trees, now I can only hope that the screaming neck also comes forward to the fig bam, vileicht to the water.
Anyone who has ever heard a heanie cuckoo knows what I'm talking about. Yes, that's how the stories begin and the nature photographer is back in his element.
A week ago, Raya and Howard spotted the Booted Eagles on the Akrotiri Peninsula.
Yesterday I was lucky enough to see the two smal eagles in the Akrotiri Marsh and take some pictures of the Booted Eagle.
The Booted eagles are comparable in size to the Common Buzzard, but have 6 fingers at the wing ends instead of 5.
One Booted Eagle was seen in the bright morph and the second in the dark morph.
On Saturday 25 january I was again in the Akrotiri Marsh - Fasouri on the Akrotiri peninsula. I was completely surprised that even there, right by the sea, the grass was covered with a little
There are always large groups of ducks to be seen, but only when they fly a round by the cane harriers terrified. Some dwarf divers and ducks were in the water, Fitis and cane singers fetch the insects from the reed plants.
A Bekasine put a short stop in front of me, silk heron sonands and spurkiebitze also passed again and again on the shores. A kingfisher always stayed at a distance from me in the middle of the pond.
The weather in January is very wintry, storms, thunderstorms, heavy rains, everything is there. Not exactly an invitation for migratory birds. So it is not surprising that very few reports /
sightings are made.
Also with us in the garden only the sparrows are active and already on the expansion of the nests. A few finches, blood-hangings and sledge, a house red-tail, that's it. In the Anarita area, the stone owl can already be seen around the incubators and, as always, from November, the rock-stone-slingiser is native to the Plateu.
The number of flamingos in the Akrotiri Salt Lake has risen to about 12,500 birds (Colin Richardson) between the holidays. As soon as the weather plays along I will also go to the salt lake.
Panasonic will replace my Canon Equipment at the turn of the year.
Unfortunately, the first mirrorless full-frame camera from Canon EOS R has never delivered the one I had learned since it was purchased in October 2018. Neither in the severely restricted video area nor in the photo area could the EOS R provide the performance of the previously used EOS 5D Mark IV.
In the meantime, Canon has already announced a successor model for the EOS R (after 1 year) instead of upgrading the camera in terms of performance. If you don't want to miss the technical advances that other camera manufacturers have been offering for a long time, a further investment is definitely imminent.
But now in the DSLR - DSLM area you no longer depend on Canon and so I sold my complete Canon equipment and made a system change, towards Panasonic.
For 2 years I have been using the high quality Panasonic GH5 (mft) for my video work to my highest satisfaction. So I was informed about the new Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R with 47 MB sensor, IBIS,
full format camera with L-mount bayonet and tested the camera. On the basis of my tests, also regarding camera handling, the Pana S1R then bought to cover the photo area.
Until now, I have also used my Canon lenses at the GH5 for the video area, which I connected via a Metabones Ultra adapter. Now I use the native Panasonic lenses on the Lumix GH5 to take full advantage of all the technical possibilities of the camera lens connections. This is also about the fantastic cooperation of the internal 5-axis mounted image sensor - stabilizer with the stabilizers of the lenses. The Leica DG 100-400mm (KB = 200-800mm) f/4-6.3 OIS and Leica DG 12-60mm (KB 24-120mm) f/2.8-4 OIS have now been added for video use.
For the full format camera DC-S1R is the new L-mount lens Lumix S 24-105 f/4 OIS and the Sigma adapter MC 21 L-mount in my photo bag. All Canon EF-Mount external lenses can be connected to the Sigma MC 21 adapter. So I use the Sigma EF-Mount 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary for bird photography.
Further Sigma lenses of the ART series are already offered with L-mount and promise best recording quality. I will report on this on occasion.