Birkhahnbalz in Finnland

BirkhuhnNaturfotografen, die im April nach Finnland fahren um den während eines Workshop jin der Nähe der Ostsee den Bartkauz (Strix nebulosa) zu fotografieren, kann – ganz nebenbei – weitere schneebedeckte Gebiete besuchen um ein ganz besonderes Naturschauspiel beobachten zu können: die Birkhahnbalz. Will man Fotos von der Birkhahnbalz machen, sollte man schon allein aus naturschützerischen Gründen nach Skandinavien fahren und nicht auch noch die letzten Überreste heimischer Populationen dem Streß der Fotografie aussetzen.

Früh muß man aufstehen, um sich vor Tagesanbruch in den stabilen, gut-isolierten Holzverschlägen mit Matraze und alten Schlafsäcken häuslich eingerichtet zu haben. In dem Versteck muß man sich dann vollkommen ruhig verhalten. Nach und nach kommen die Hähne näher an die schneebedeckte Ebene. Der hintere Bereich eines Continue reading Birkhahnbalz in Finnland

Land under water in Poland

RotschenkelIn the 18th century settlers made the long, marshy lowland area of ​​the Warta and the river Netze habitable. Individual farmsteads and villages from that time can still be seen from the dike of the Warta. None of the houses has no stork nest.

Today, only the diked areas at the Warta estuary reminds of the original landscape. The meadows between Kostrzyn and Slonsk are gradually being drained here via an old trench and canal system.

Today only a few farmers graze their cattle and horses here. Therefore, herbaceous thickets and willow bushes are increasingly spreading to many areas that have long been no longer cultivated in today’s national park. The easiest way to get to the national park is from Kostrzyn via the main road 133 to Slonsk, a larger village that used to have city rights in former times. After entering the village turn left at a grocery store to take the road to Przyborow. In this village, a paved road leads to the right of the paved road to a concrete country road, which ends for cars at a bridge with a sheltered hut. Behind it, the concrete runway meanders over three kilometers along the Postomia to the Warta. Another easy-to-access gateway starts at Przyborow, on the right off the main road, just opposite a simple shop. The bumpy side path leads down to the causeway along the canal, where Great Grebes (Podiceps cristatus) are often seen. Sometimes Red-necked Grebes (Podiceps grisegena) or Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea) can be found there, and seagulls (Larus spec.) and Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) almost always Continue reading Land under water in Poland

Wie fotografiert man ein Alpenschneehuhn

AlpenschneehuhnIn einem vorherigen Blog wurde bereits kurz beschrieben, daß man sich entweder in den Norden Europas oder hinauf in die Alpen begeben muß, um ein Alpenschneehuhn in Europa zu sehen. Alpenschneehühner (Lagopus muta) stehen zu Recht ganz oben auf der Wunschliste sowohl von Fotografen als auch von Vogelbeobachtern. Ein Tip ist das nördliche Skandinavien im Winter. Ein Alpenschneehuhn zu finden ist eine Sache, aber zu wissen, wie man sie fotografieren kann, ist noch mal eine andere Herausforderung.

Sobald man ein Alpenschneehuhn gefunden hat, muss man sich vorsichtig, aber zielstrebig nähern. Das Vorgehen kennen Fotografen, die sich einem Sanderling (Calidris alba) an der Küste nähern, der am Spülsaum nach Nahrung sucht. Das Wichtigste in diesem Ansatz ist, unter dem Vogel zu bleiben. Wenn man versucht, von einem höheren Hang zu kommen oder über einen Felsblock zu steigen, bringt man den Vogel fast sicher zum Abflug. Wenn man ein Alpenschneehuhn unterhalb der eigenen Standortposition findet, ist es am besten, zu einer Stelle unterhalb des Alpenschneehuhns zu gehen und dann wieder aufzusteigen, sobald man sich unterhalb des Vogel wähnt. Vom Herankriechen ist eher abzuraten, da dies dem Alpenschneehuhn suspekt erscheint. In einiger Reichweite liegen zu bleiben, ist jedoch in Ordnung; sofern man die Kälte abpolstern oder vertragen kann.

Sobald man sich in akzeptabler Reichweite wähnt, sollte man eine ruhige Position einnehmen und darauf warten, dass etwas passiert. Continue reading Wie fotografiert man ein Alpenschneehuhn

The Yellow-legged Gull on the Azores

MittelmeermöweThe appearance of a black head mask or cap makes the Azorean subspecies of the widespread Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis atlantis) interesting. Although in the Azores several species of gulls of holartic origin might show-up, the best bet throughout the archipelago is always a Yellow-legged Gull.

About the size – a bit smaller – of other gulls of the genus Larus like the Herring Gull (Larus argentatus), the identification of a Yellow-legged Gull of the subspecies atlantis is quite straight-forward, at least if you are looking for adult birds. The general tone of the plumage of the back and wings is grey. The wing tip is black with white spots. The throat, chest and abdomen white is white with a variable extent of black streaking on the head (the cap!). The beak is strong and yellow with a red spot almost on the tip. The legs are yellow – sometimes shining bright yellow. The eyes are white with a red orbital ring, which is even identifiable on some distance.

Although the Yellow-legged Gull is preferably marine, it also frequents other biotopes, usually on the coast, such as beaches, ports, marinas, beaches, coastal cliffs and pastures

These gulls nestle throughout the Azores in good numbers throughout the year. Look for them on the water-filled volcanic caldeiras as well. From time to time they like to swim and bathe in the sweet water of these lagoas.

The Yellow-legged Gull nestles mainly on the coasts of the Iberian Peninsula and France, on the islands of the Azores and Madeira and the Canaries, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. In winter it is distributed along the European Atlantic coast, from Denmark to Western Sahara, and along the Mediterranean coast. On the sea, this Gull has a markedly coastal distribution, not moving towards waters beyond the continental shelf. Similarly in the Azores it uses the waters near the coast, and may be further from the latter in the post-nuptial period

Most of the population is sedentary and even young birds disperse relatively short distances. Some individuals can make wider dispersive movements and ringed birds on islands of the Atlantic were observed in the first two years of life in the United Kingdom, northern France, southern Spain and Morocco.

In order to satisfy the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of Western Palearctic, Bird-lens.com has undertaken dedicated trips to nearby and distant bird areas. This is to be able to do anything to provide excellent images of the birds of the Western Palearctic. Sometimes the yield of images is enriched by bird species, which are very unlikely to show-up in the Western Palearctic. The results in images even of rare Western Palearctic birds are very good. The beautiful image of the blog is only a first impression of what you will find in behind “Picture Shop” very soon. Simply contact bird-lens.com if you need an image of a bird before the newest images are online.

A Birdwatching Guide to Brandenburg and Berlin: a new field guide

The east of Germany, especially Brandenburg and Berlin is one of the »hotspots« for birdwatching in Germany with a rich variety of birds and many rare species.

Until recently, trips has to be fully based on the birding guide for North-east Germany (Vögel beobachten in Ostdeutschland; Wagner and Moning 2009, Franckh-Kosmos Verlag). This splendid book with clear maps and numbered stake-outs brought already many birdwatchers to several good birding sites you might not have heard of before.

If you try bird-lens.com as a guidance, a good intro for the spring visitor you will find here: http://www.bird-lens.com/2017/04/11/observation-site-for-spring-migration-on-the-river-oder/

In the meantime, a new field guide was published: White: A Birdwatching Guide to Brandenburg and Berlin. Roger White has created an outstanding field guide for his Continue reading A Birdwatching Guide to Brandenburg and Berlin: a new field guide

Fotografie von Seevögeln: Wann und wo

BasstölpelSeevögel sind generell sehr dankbare Fotoobjekte. Die Möglichkeiten die Kombination aus Brutgeschäft und Luftkämpfen vor steilen Klippen fotografisch zu nutzen, ist außergewöhnlich. Manchmal führt an den besten Gebieten ein schmaler Pfad dicht am Brutfelsen entlang. Wenn dann morgens die Sonne scheint, herrschen ideale Bedingungen für Aufnahmen von brütenden und anfliegenden Seevögeln wie Gryllteisten (Cepphus grylle), Trottellummen (Uria aalge), Tordalken (Alca torda), Papageitaucher (Fratercula arctica), Sturmmöwen (Larus canus), Mantelmöwen (Larus marinus), Dreizehenmöwen (Rissa tridactyla), und Krähenscharben (Phalacrocorax aristotelis). Der Vorteil ist, daß die Vögel im Flug überhaupt nicht scheu sind.

Der Futterneid ist groß. Mit Kampfszenen ist immer zu rechnen. Möwen packen sich manchmal an den Schnäbeln und fallen kreisend 20 bis 30 Meter abwärts. Aufnahmen von wie Pfeile ins Wasser stoßender Basstölpel (Morus bassanus) sind vom Boot aus möglich. Von St. Abb’s an der Ostküste Englands kann man beim Continue reading Fotografie von Seevögeln: Wann und wo

Great Bittern at Colfiorito in Umbria

RohrdommelIn early January, the weather forecast announced a Siberian high above the Mediterranean and the Italian west coast. After a few mild winters, the upcoming cold now seemed to reverse the trend of recent years. In fact, temperatures dropped on the Italian peninsula, especially in northern Italy and in the center of the southern Apennines  lower than in the last 10 years.

The wetland Colfiorito in Umbria is located at about 800 meters altitude on a karst plateau in the central Apennines. Due to the altitude, snow and cold temperatures are not uncommon, but this year it was extreme. The temperatures were between -5 ° C and -12 ° C every day in the early morning and often remained below 0 ° C during the day.

The marshland was quickly frozen, and after a few days the ice was Continue reading Great Bittern at Colfiorito in Umbria