In love with the Allgäu and the Alps.
In love with the Allgäu and the Alps.
en Eurasian coot
The Eurasian coot is a member of the rail and crake bird family, the Rallidae. It occurs and breeds in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. It is resident in the milder parts of its range, but migrates further south and west from much of Asia in winter as the waters freeze.
The coot is an omnivore, and will take a variety of small live prey including the eggs of other water birds, as well as algae, vegetation, seeds and fruit. (source: Wikipedia)
en Common frog
The common frog is a semi-aquatic amphibian of the family Ranidae, found throughout much of Europe as far north as Scandinavia and as far east as the Urals, except for most of Iberia, southern Italy, and the southern Balkans. They are also found in Asia, and eastward to Japan.
Common frogs metamorphose through three distinct developmental life stages — aquatic larva, terrestrial juvenile, and adult. They have corpulent bodies with a rounded snout, webbed feet and long hind legs adapted for swimming in water and hopping on land. Common frogs are often confused with the common toad Bufo bufo, but frogs can easily be distinguished as they have longer legs, hop, and have a moist skin, whereas toads crawl and have a dry ‘warty’ skin. (source: Wikipedia)
Four-legged neighbours marching towards the sunset.
en Pool frog
de Kleiner Wasserfrosch
The pool frog is distributed over much of Europe, ranging as far east as the southern Ural Mountains of Russia. It is absent from the Iberian Peninsula, much of Scandinavia, central and southern Italy, and from the Balkans.
It is present in deciduous and mixed forests, forest steppe, steppe, bush lands (e.g. riparian alder groves), meadows, fields and fens. It may often be found in shallow stagnant waterbodies (usually without fish) such as lakes, ponds, swamps, large puddles, clay and gravel pits, and ditches, often covered with dense herbaceous vegetation. It breeds in these wetlands, but may be found hibernating away from waterbodies.
It is threatened by habitat loss through agricultural intensification and urbanization, channelization of waterbodies, drainage and pollution of wetlands, and the introduction of predatory fishes to breeding sites. (source: IUCN Red List)
en Bank vole
«John Burroughs once said that if you were to sit under an oak tree for an entire day, you would have enough information to write an entire book. The first time I read that I thought it would be impossible. But since I was also young and curious, I went ahead and tried it. I sat under an oak tree for an entire day, and I was amazed. Had I been able to record it all, I could have filled volumes with the beauty and drama that passed before me.
But I find that many people are bored with sitting. They ask me, “Tom, how can you sit on a trail for four or five hours at a stretch, much less an entire day?” I am tempted to ask them how they can sit in front of a television set for four or five hours watching nothing but a series of flashing lights. The world of nature is at least alive and real, and it’s constantly putting on an elegant and dramatic display. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the greatest show on earth. People get bored with it because they have not let go of their concept of time and learned the rewards of patience and solitude.
Don’t let speed and time rob you of wonder and discovery. Slow down. Better yet, sit down. Become an inconspicuous stump, an all-seeing eye. When you are truly still, both without and within, then nature will begin to unfold its secrets.»
— Tom Brown, Jr., Nature Observation and Tracking, 1983.
en White stork
The white stork is a large bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. The two subspecies, which differ slightly in size, breed in Europe (north to Finland), northwestern Africa, southwestern Asia (east to southern Kazakhstan) and southern Africa. The white stork is a long-distance migrant, wintering in Africa from tropical Sub-Saharan Africa to as far south as South Africa, or on the Indian subcontinent. When migrating between Europe and Africa, it avoids crossing the Mediterranean Sea and detours via the Levant in the east or the Strait of Gibraltar in the west, because the air thermals on which it depends for soaring do not form over water.
A carnivore, the white stork eats a wide range of animal prey, including insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and small birds. It takes most of its food from the ground, among low vegetation, and from shallow water. It is a monogamous breeder, but does not pair for life. Both members of the pair build a large stick nest, which may be used for several years.
The white stork has been rated as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It benefited from human activities during the Middle Ages as woodland was cleared, but changes in farming methods and industrialisation saw it decline and disappear from parts of Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Conservation and reintroduction programs across Europe have resulted in the white stork resuming breeding in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden. This conspicuous species has given rise to many legends across its range, of which the best-known is the story of babies being brought by storks. (source: Wikipedia)