Saturday, May 30, 2009

Camera Critters: Wildpark Lueneburger Heide

We visited the Wildpark Lueneburger Heide last Monday. It's a zoo that focuses on native species (German/European), with a few additions and has huge enclosures in a lovely landscape. I like it because apart from the zoo animals, you can see tons of other wildlife since it's kept as natural as possible.
I saw a Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) for the first time in my life, the most beautiful of all native species for me, just look at the red face!

A White Wagtail (Motacilla alba), there were a lot of those around. The are called Wippstert in the Hamburg dialect, wipp is wag and stert is tail

A male Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)

and a male Dybowski's Sika Deer (Cervus nippon) - the antlers are just growing and are very warm and soft to the touch (but he didn't much like being touched there - he enjoyed being scratched behind the ears, though)

A Husum Red Saddleback Pig, also called a Husum Protest Pig. At the beginning of the 20th century raising the Danish flag was forbidden for the Danish living in Northern Frisia (it had been something of a Danish colony before, but then and now belonged to Germany). So instead the farmers bred these pigs which show the national colours red and white.

a European Robin that came to see if we dropped any crumbs - it came very close and wasn't shy at all - I didn't zoom in for this picture.

a Heidschnucke, a special breed of sheep once common in the area around Lueneburg. The Lueneburg Heath was created by those sheep and depends on them, so after almost dying out, the Heidschnucke is now bred again and you may even see a shepherd with a flock of them wandering across the Heath.

a baby Mouflon (Ovis orientalis orientalis), one of the ancestors of domestic sheep.

a Fallow Deer (Dama dama) - it had learned how to operate the water fountain meant for humans with its mouth and so could have a drink in peace while the other deer had to jostle at the fountains actually meant for them. It has to press down a switch with its tongue or maybe bite on it, but anyway it worked well enough.

a Kodiak bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi), the largest of all brown bear species.

an adult and a baby Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra)

a Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) busy gathering food for her chicks

a very content wild boar (Sus scrofa) snoozing in the sun

an Ural Owl (Strix uralensis)

can you see the butterfly? It's amazing how well camouflaged it is with its wings closed.

it's a Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) ... butterflies have such cool English names!

I hope you enjoyed the tour and if you want to see more animals, check out the Camera Critters meme


Teena in Toronto said...

I love parks like that! They have quite a collection of animals! You have some great shots!

I played too :)

Joy said...


Every photo was better than the last and they were all wonderful! And I learned bunches too!

Anya said...

Wow !!
Its a beautiful park :)
Soooooooooo many fantastic shots,
we thank you for so many shots :)

storyteller said...

MARVELOUS photo series! Thanks for sharing your 'critter' visit with us today. Makes me want to take MY camera out to visit such a place soon. I'm playing on all three blogs this week ;--)
Small Reflections features Molly at Play, Sacred Ruminations highlights Pelicans in flight against a blue California sky, and at Happily Retired Gal I share Pelican metal sculptures against grey skies.
Hugs and blessings,

Cezar and Léia said...

wow what a wonderful blog you have here! Nice surprise! I like particularly the deer and bear pictures!
Thanks for your visit to my blog!
Purrs from Brazil
Luna ( and dad Cezar )

Snap said...

Wow! What a wonderful collection of photos! I'm trying to decide which one I like best and I can't. I do like drinking from the fountain ... sort of reminds me of my kitties who love to drink from the faucet!

Sue said...

Wow! Great series of pics! I especially enjoyed the deer, and owl pics :) Happy weekend and thank you for visiting :)

Karen said...

Great captures of the animals in the park...

I love the ones of the deer..

Sharon said...

Wow, you really shared a lot of great photos with us! Thanks!!

jabblog said...

Lovely photographs!How wonderful to be able to touch a deer.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That is a lot of critters! Thanks for sharing.

fishing guy said...

Jeeifer: You capture wonderful photos of the animals at the park. I loved them all, thanks for sharing.

Dina said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your sharing of the zoo! We could wrote a whole page of comments on all those animals.
But the Protest Pig is amazing, the history!

Mara said...

It was hard to pick a favourite: the deer with their lovely eyes, that brown bear, the unseen butterfly, but I think my preferred one is the owl. Great photos!

Staci said...

All those shots were terrific - but how I love the owl!

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Rajesh said...

Very beautiful snaps. That is lot of animals

Indrani said...

Wow! You have an amazing collection of critters today. Such well captured shots!

Denise said...

Must be a wonderful place to visit. These were all such excellent photos and beautiful animals. Thank you for sharing them.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

I Enjoy Wildlife a lot and appreciate the way you capture them..Fantastic photos especially The Owl is so gorgeous...Loved the Shots...Also I Have Started My Own Website And Would Like You To Have A Look At It.I Would Love To Have Your Comments On That Also.Unseen Rajasthan