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Nature Hot Spot: 
Val di Fassa (Dolomites, South Tyrol)

We discovered a lovely hike up to the Rifugio Passo le Selle, in the Fassa Valley (Val di Fassa, Fassatal), which besides offering lovely sceneries, was fantastic for nature and wildlife-photography as well. We took the bus starting from the town Pozza di Fassa, nearby the Dolomites Geyser Restaurant, that took us up to the lodge Malga Manzoni. From there it is roughly a 45min hike (altitude of 300m) up to the next lodge, Rifugio Taramelli. I was discovering a swarm of red crossbills during the hike up there. From the back terrace of the Refugio Taramelli, I was able to watch two nutcrackers, who dared to come rather close to the cabin and hence I was able to get some very nice shots of this beautiful bird. The highlight was when a golden eagle appeared out of the mist.

On the second stage of the hike, from Rifugio Taramelli up to the Rifugio Passo le Selle, I was able to watch and nicely photograph marmots. There are quite a few of them housing in their burrows in front of and around the small mountain lake Lago delle Selle, Sella Lake. On the meadows surrounding this lake, I was also able to observe and take pictures of the wheatear and the meadow pipit. Overall, a fantastic hike, highly recommended not only for photographing wildlife, but also to enjoy the outstanding scenery!

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