Tag Archives: Accipiter brevipes

Lammergeier at Mount Olymp/ Macedonia

BartgeierThe rush of wind through feathers is the only sound to break the silence as a huge bird glided by just a few meters from a crack high in the mountains around Mount Olymp. A Lammergeier or Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) soars above the mountains, scavenging for a meal. It is the only species of bird that cracks open bones to feast on the marrow inside. Lammergeiers are able lifting large carcasses to great heights. Then they drop them onto the rocks below to break up the bones and access the marrow. Smaller bones are swallowed whole.

Like other mountainous areas of Greece, Mt Olympus has a fine selection of raptors and these include Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus), Eurasian Griffon (Gyps fulvus), Cinereous Vulture or Eurasian Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus), Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus), Levant Sparrowhawk (Accipiter brevipes), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)  and Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus). A national park in the eastern part of the Olympus Mountains of northern Thessaly includes some of the most dramatic scenery in the whole of Greece and is popular with hikers as well as birders. Lammergeiers were regularly seen until a few years ago and they were thought to be no longer permanently resident in the area.

But this year, an adult Lammergeier has been seen and photographed on the 6th April in Mt. Olympus by Thomas Nikolopoulos. The Lammergeier in flight appeared with a Golden Eagle on the grey sky.  This is the first observation of an adult plumage bearded vulture since several years.

Two years ago, though, a 2nd-3rd calendar year bird was observed. Lammergeiers do occur in Crete, where the population is stable, at around 7 pairs. In the Alps the population has been increasing Continue reading Lammergeier at Mount Olymp/ Macedonia

Bird Migration in Eilat/ Israel

SteppenadlerBirding in Israel in general is unique. But the observation of the spring migration of thousands of raptors is literally breathtaking. The Steppe Buzzard (Buteo buteo vulpinus) is one of the first raptors, you can observe migrating. On good days, migration starts as early as before 8 am. Then the birds pass the city of Eilat between Sholmo and Mount Yoash in about 300-400 meters above sea level (asl). During the morning, migration normally moves a little to the northwest of the area between Mount Yoash and Moon Valley. However, the migration may also switch to southeast, directly over Eilat if there is bad weather in the Negev desert. The Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus) forms the conclusion of migratory events in the spring around the end of May. Approx. 1 million birds of this species migrate within just two weeks through the area, in some years, the birds migrate even in the course of just one week. In early May usually the temperature drops at night below 25 degrees Celsius, which means that the Honey Buzzards do not have to wait until the air is heated by daybreak. Therefore, you can already Continue reading Bird Migration in Eilat/ Israel

Vogelzug in Israel

FalkenbussardEs ist noch stockdunkel, als wir uns in der Lobby des Hotels von Eilat treffen. Wenig später stehen wir schon auf einer Landstraße am Berghang des Mount Yoash. Ein frischer Frühlingsmorgen, die aufgehende Sonne im Osten. Schnell ist es taghell. Ein weiterer Tag an der Südspitze Israels, dem südlichen Hotspot für die Zugvogelbeobachtung westpaläarktischer Vögel. Früh am Morgen muß man aber auch raus, um die besten Stehplätze zu ergattern.

Der Falkenbussard (Buteo buteo vulpinus), oder im Englischen Steppe Buzzard, ist in Eilat einer der ersten Greife, die ziehen. An guten Tagen beginnt der Zug bereits vor 8:00 Uhr. Dann passieren die Vögel die Stadt zwischen Sholmo und Mount Yoash in etwa 300-400 Meter NN. Im Laufe des Vormittags verschiebt sich der Zug normalerweise ein wenig nach Nordwesten auf das Gebiet zwischen Mount Yoash und Moon Valley. Der Vogelzug kann sich aber auch nach Südosten, direkt nach Eilat verlagern, wenn im Negev schlechtes Wetter herrscht. Der Wespenbussard (Pernis apivorus) bildet Ende Mai den Abschluß des Zugvogelgeschehens im Frühjahr. Rund eine Million Vögel dieser Art ziehen innerhalb von nur Continue reading Vogelzug in Israel

Das Macingebirge: Brutvögel im National Park

TurteltaubeEs ist schon 2 Jahre her, daß im Anschluß an einen Ausflug in das Donaudelta auch das Landesinnere von Rumänien besucht wurde. Etwas süd-westlich des Donaudeltas – nur 1 Stunde Fahrt von der lokalen Hauptstadt, Tulcea, entfernt –  liegen die Macinberge mit ihren Granithügeln. Mit einer Höhe von max. 450 m NN sind die Macinberge nicht übertrieben  hoch. Dennoch zeigen sie eine eindrucksvolle Topographie. Die Berge des Macin gehören Continue reading Das Macingebirge: Brutvögel im National Park

Top Birds at Romania´s Black Sea Coast

South of the Danube Delta is a wide stretch of a sandy shoreline with shallow lagoons. This is part of Romania´s Black Sea coast. May is Migration and early breeding time. Whereas the association of the east Romanian countryside is normally with the core Danube Delta with its speciality birds like Pelicans, Black-necked and Red-necked Grebes, Glossy Ibises, Spoonbills, the stretch of coast just south of the Danube Delta up to the northern city limits of Constanta is an excellent birding spot, too. A small group of bird photographers went for that countryside, with the area called Dobrudja more to the west and the area of Vadu at the coast. The tour was organized by Sakertours. The Bird Diversity we enjoyed was high; over 90 species of birds we found in only 3 days, some had just arrived from their wintering grounds in Africa. Highlights of the tour you will find in the gallery. Among others we made photoshots of Great Bittern, Botaurus stellaris, European Honey-buzzard, Pernis apivorus, Montagu’s Harrier, Circus pygargus, Long-legged Buzzard, Buteo rufinus, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Aquila pomarina, Imperial Eagle, Aquila heliaca, 2 species of Sparrowhawks Continue reading Top Birds at Romania´s Black Sea Coast

An Eurasian Sparrowhawk with Long-legged Buzzard in Romania

May is migration time at Romania´s Black Sea coast. Thus it is prime birdwatching time. After having seen many of the speciality birds like Pelicans, Grebes, Glossy Ibises, Spoonbills in the Danube Delta, a small group of bird photographers went for steppe habitats further south. There were already lots of excellent sightings of raptors (e.g. White-tailed Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle and Imperial Eagle) but what we saw in the Dobrogea/ Dobrudja near Constanta was a surprise. A pair of Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus, was circling in the sky. Shortly afterwards joined by a circling Long-legged Buzzard. More photos you see here….

The Eurasian Sparrowhawk is widely distributed in Europe. In Romania it occurs as a breeding species, too. Its occurrence status is: Native due to birdlife, but in the east of Romania you can see the Levant Sparrowhawk, Accipiter brevipes, too.  If I am right, this observation was the only one of Eurasian Sparrowhawk during the whole 2 weeks we spent at Romania´s Black Sea coast. But of course it is not a strange thing to see one in Dobrogea. During the winter, Romania has a larger population of the Sparrowhawk because birds from the northern areas of Europe use  to move to the southern areas of the continent.

 The Sparrowhawks are partially Continue reading An Eurasian Sparrowhawk with Long-legged Buzzard in Romania