A Walk In The Park

Here are some more photos that I took during the short trip to Wiesbaden. The Biebrich Palace Park was literally filled with birds. I was welcomed to the park by a soaring Red Kite, a lifer, as soon as I stepped across the gate. I knew right then that it would be a good day.

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The scarce Red Kite soaring over Biebrich Palace Park. I’ve always longed to see this beautiful raptor since I first arrived in Europe. Luckily, I finally got to see one just before I left this continent.

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Egyptian Geese were extremely common, not only at this park, but also in most parks that I’ve visited. They seemed to be practically everywhere in this region. Personally, I think they’re one ugly bird, but I just couldn’t help but taking photos of them as they walked by under the warm afternoon light against green background.

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Despite having seen many tame Common Wood Pigeons, I’ve never really got to take any decent shot of them. Whenever I was without my camera, they just seemed to show up everywhere walking around and perching fearlessly. But when I got my camera ready in hand, they just seemed to disappear or became extremely shy.

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What I noticed about birds in Europe was that the ones in cities and parks are way more approachable than the ones in forests and countrysides. This applied to the devilishly shy Green Woodpecker as well. I could finally get some pretty nice shots of this species here in the busy park.

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I was happy to come across this cute Little Grebe in a small stream in the quieter zone of the park. I’ve never really got any good shot of this shy bird in breeding plumage. Even though this one still hasn’t completed its moult, but at least most of the cheek and throat was already rich chestnut.

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It was surprisingly obliging and I could get many decent shots of it under good afternoon light. The subspecies T. r. ruficollis of Europe has dark brown iris which makes it look very different from the SE Asian subspecies T. r. poggei that has white iris which I’m familiar with.

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And while I was trying to focus on the grebe, these Mallards just couldn’t stop getting in my way……

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Many of the drakes were performing courtship display to attract the females.

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Common Coots were also extremely numerous. It was funny to see their plumpy bodies moving around on the grass next to the pond. Back in Thailand, I rarely saw this duck-like bird on land, so it was also interesting for me to see their oversized webbed feet.

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The smaller Common Moorhen was on the other hand, less numerous and much shyer. This was the best I could get of this more colourful crake.

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Many Common Starlings were already on their way moulting into breeding plumage. Several small flocks were seen foraging on the ground all around the park.

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Despite being one of the commonest birds in Europe, it is undoubtedly one of the most amazing songsters. I was in awe when I first heard its song. Never expected a bird like this give such interesting and complex song like that.

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Apart from birds, I could finally take photos of the Red Squirrel! I’ve seen this super lovely creature several times before but could never get any photo of it. This time, it was kind enough to let me grab some shots in good light before running away into the bush.

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The palace is located right next to the Rhine River where many ducks and Black-headed Gulls are constantly fed by the passers by. There were also 3 Mute Swans staying at the river. One of them was still in a juvenile plumage with some greyish-brown smudges on the head, neck and back. I spent some time taking photos of them until sunset and left the park.

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