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Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains

November 24 2016

#Binoculars #Wildlife watching

Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
  • Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
  • Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
  • Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
  • Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
  • Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
  • Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
  • Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
  • Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
  • Exploring the alpine wildlife in Austria’s mountains
  • Even though most of Austria lies within the wonderful alps, the more densely populated lowlands traditionally get much more attention from naturalists and wildlife watchers. But mountain summits, rocky slopes and montane forests host a wide array of stunning and little known species. This is why I try to use every opportunity to hike up one of the country’s countless peaks, to get new insights into the fascinating living world of Central Europe’s largest mountain range.

    When outdoors, I never want to go without supreme optics - but saving weight is a prime concern when planning a hiking excursion to the mountains. The small and lightweight CL Pocket binoculars are a perfect companion on these trips, being both compact and of state-of-the-art optical quality. Having tested them for several weeks, I also found them to be the best “fits every pocket” binoculars. They are easy to take with you literally everywhere, also when you would normally leave your regular binoculars at home for weight or space reasons. From now on, no excuses!

    A grail bird of the alps is the typically confiding Eurasian dotterel (Charadrius morinellus). Although rather widespread in Europe’s far north, the alpine population of this odd wading bird remained little known for the longest time. In Austria, the species was even believed to be extinct as a breeding bird. But the strong attention the dotterel received in recent years changed things for the better: Several breeding locations have been found and the focus of birdwatchers resulted in an ever-increasing number of records across the country.

    Dotterels are rather easy to observe and frequently fearless of people. Other species, especially the ones that are hunted, are often much more wary and can only be observed from a distance. In these cases, a spotting scope can be of great importance. I choose the slim ATX 65 when I have to carry my equipment over long periods.

    Having a scattered distribution over elevated parts of central and eastern Europe, the Alpine Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) has an important stronghold within the Austrian alps. Most hikes produce several sightings of this goat-like bovid mammal and in some places, seeing up to a hundred of these animals is no exception.

    About the author

    Leander Khil is an ornithologist, birdwatcher and wildlife photographer from Graz, Austria. Driven by his love for birds, adventure and the outdoors he travels the world since he was a child.
    web: www.leanderkhil.com facebook: facebook.com/leander.khil instagram: www.instagram.com/khil.birder.photographer

     

    Text and photos (c) Leander Khil

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