Waders at Lake Neusiedl | Lake Neusiedl part 3

Lake Neusiedl is well known for its wide diversity of waders and waterfowl. Especially in the salt lakes and meadows, various waders live and breed. Most of the salt lakes are under protection and the birds can usually only be seen from long distances. But because the salt lakes dry out completely in the summer, the birds have to move away. Suddenly the birds come to crowded swimming lakes and fishing ponds.

1/500 | f/ 6.3 | ISO 360 | 600mm

First try at the Zicksee: Wood sandpiper in harsh lighting

After I photographed the European ground squirrel at the Zicksee I dedicated myself to the new inhabitants of the beach. Ruffs, wood sandpipers and little ringed plovers were foraging at the shore while out in the shallow water, avocets and stilts searched for food. I went to the beach and lay down on the mud. But as long as I waited, not a single bird showed up. The light was also anything but optimal. The beach was situated in such a way that the evening sun shone on the birds from the side. So, the illuminated side of the birds was completely overexposed, whilst the shady side was too dark. After 2 hours and a single wood sandpiper. A bit disappointed, I packed up my camera. So many birds on the beach but only one in front of the lens!

1/800 | f/ 6.3 | ISO 250 | 600mm

Second try: Ringed Plover and Avocets

Two days later I tried my luck again. This time I was looking for a spot on the beach that was a little better situated in terms of light. Just as I was about to walk to a small headland, I heard a loud call. I looked around and discovered a Little Ringed Plover nearby. Instead of flying away he stopped and relied on his good camouflage. Slowly I laid down on the floor to get a better angle. After a few minutes he seemed to have forgotten me and continued walking up the beach.

After I arrived at my spot, it did not take long until an avocet came along the shoreline. Unfortunately, it was relatively windy that evening and the water was choppy. But the wonderful light and the elegant bird made up for it.

1/1000 | f/ 6.3 | ISO 1250 | 600mm

Third try: Avocet family

A day later I tried the same spot again. But on this day, there wasn’t any wind at all. Arriving at the Zicksee the water surface was as smooth as glass. At the same headland, I discovered a family of avocets. The parents were busy scaring away a conspecific. This allowed me to slowly get closer to the fledglings. Fortunately, the parents didn’t notice me, even after they had chased the conspecific away. So I was able to observe and photograph the family for a long time while they were searching for food.

1/1000 | f/ 6.3 | ISO 360 | 600mm

Unfortunately, 3 tourists discovered the family. With their phones drawn, they ran towards the fledglings. The family immediately took to one’s heels. After the tourists finally disappeared again, I still got to photograph a stilt. So I was able to tick off one of my last target species for this holiday

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Nicolas Stettler

Weyernweg 27

2560 Nidau

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16.8.2022

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