Tag Archives: Barn Swallow

Irrgäste auf Bird Island/ Seychellen

KurzzehenlercheMit ohrenbetäubenden Schreien segeln Rußseeschwalben (Sterna fuscota) Tag und Nacht über der Lichtung des Palmenwaldes. Nicht nur für die Massen an Rußseeschwalben oder die Sichtung der wunderschönen Reiherläufer (Dromas ardeola) machten den Trip auf die Seychellen zu einem großen Erfolg.

Es war für die  Beobachtung der Zugvögel – und damit für die „selteneren“ Arten der Inselkette – genau die richtige Zeit; vor allem auf Bird Island. So waren neben den Vagrants ja vor allem die vielen Limikolenarten gut vertreten. Zu den Vagrants bzw. den westpaläarktischen Migranten schrieb ich Adrian Skerrett vom lokalen, den Seychelles Bird Records Committee. Er ist begeistert von meinen Meldungen und schreibt auf der Seite des Seychelles Bird Records Committee, daß ich bei meinem Besuch auf den Seychellen Ende Oktober bis Anfang November einen Einfall von Seltenheiten auf Bird Island zu berichten gehabt hätte. Zu nennen sei die Kurzzehenlerche (Calandrella brachydactyla) (4 SBRC record), Orientbrachschwalbe (Glareola maldivarum) (16 bisherige Rekorde von SBRC akzeptiert), Pirol (Oriolus oriolus), (19 SBRC records), Uferschwalbe (Riparia riparia), (25 SBRC records – was mich ehrlich bei diesem Weitstreckerzieher doch verwundert), Grauschnäpper (Muscicapa striata), (35 SBRC records) und die Rauchschwalbe (Hirundo rustica) – eine jährlich durchziehender Vogel in geringen Stückzahlen). Schade, dass ich eine eigentlich zu erwartende endemische Art wie den Seychelles Kestrel nicht auf Mahe angetroffen haben. Meine Life List konnte ich immerhin um 22 weitere Vogelarten (neben den Endemiten eben auch Keilschwanz-Sturmtaucher (Puffinus pacificus), Audubonsturmtaucher (Puffinus lherminieri),  Rotschwanz-Tropikvogel (Phaethon rubricauda), Continue reading Irrgäste auf Bird Island/ Seychellen

Erster Erfahrungsbericht mit der Canon EOS 1 DX Mark II

Als zufriedener Canon EOS 1D X und ehemaliger EOS 1D Mark IV – User wollte ich irgendwann natürlich auch die nächste Generation dieses Profimodells testen. Über die Jahre hatte ich festgestellt, daß mich sowohl die Canon EOS 1D Mark IV oder auch die D1 X fast immer voll überzeugte, aber eben auch nur fast immer. Bei beiden kritisiere ich den lauten Silent-Mode. Weiter war ich davon überzeugt, daß es inzwischen technische Verbesserungen in der AF-Verfolgung geben müsste. Trotz iTR AF in der Canon EOS 1D X waren die Ergebnisse gerade vor strukturierten Hintergrund nicht wirklich überzeugend. Fliegende Vögel stellen die Technik eben nicht nur aufgrund ihrer Geschwindigkeit sondern auch aufgrund des vielfältigen Lebensraums vor einige Herausforderungen.

Vögel im Flug zu fotografieren ist eine der anstrengendsten aber auch erfüllensten fotografischen Herausforderungen. Die Vögel in Continue reading Erster Erfahrungsbericht mit der Canon EOS 1 DX Mark II

On migration: a Siberian Rubythroat on Happy Island

RubinkehlchenHappy Island is considered to be (one of) the best location to watch the East Asian migration. This turned out to be already on the first – very successful – photo morning of my stay on a late autumn day on Happy Island. Wow, a real hotspot for migratory bird observation on China’s south-east coast. I got up at 5:45 am. I grabbed not only the Continue reading On migration: a Siberian Rubythroat on Happy Island

Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) on Laguna Alalay – Bolivia

Graubrust-StrandläuferEarly morning, 5:30 am. Haze over the water and I am watching through my camouflage tent here on the edge of Laguna Alalay on 2,600 m (asl). Waders are my main interest. At 4:30 am I got up already. The starry sky promised a nice day. In fact, at 5:00 am I pitched my tent in the dark. I pitched it on a site at the Laguna, which I had chosen yesterday. Great Continue reading Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) on Laguna Alalay – Bolivia

Observations of a Great Reed-Warbler in the Rhine Valley

DrosselrohrsängerBased on a message in Ornitho.de in the beginning of May I when visited the Schiersteiner water works in the vicinity of Wiesbaden in the Rheingau region. This area is about 50 km west from the Frankfurt city center. A singing Reed Warbler had been seen. Maybe a nice photo opportunity. Shortyl after arrival at least one individual of an intensively singing Great Reed-Warbler was found . The individual was singing all the time – as shown in the photo. It showed-up repeatedly on the high stalks ends of last year’s reeds in a water pond called “the Lagoon”. The water body is easily detected from the flood dike. The shooting Continue reading Observations of a Great Reed-Warbler in the Rhine Valley

Lowland birds in and around Kuehkopf

Schwarzer MilanThe nature reserve Kuehkopf-Knoblochsaue (in German: Naturschutzgebiet or NSG Kühkopf-Knoblochsaue) is one of the best sites of riparian forest along the river Rhine. The reserve is the largest protected area in Hesse, with 2,369 hectares. It is located on the right bank of the upper Rhine. Towns nearby are Leeheim, Erfelden, Stockstadt and Biebesheim all roughly 60km south of Frankfurt/ Main. The NSG comprises an artificial puncture of the former Rhine floodplain. It is characterized by islands, riparian woods and meadows. Additional features are open water areas, oxbows, mud fields, reed-beds, floodplain meadows and soft wood forest (willows and poplars) and hard wood forest (including oak and elm). The area has a bird list of about 250 species. Approx. 120 species of birds breed here.

With fellow ornithologists I organized another birding walk along the banks of the Rhine at Kühkopf a few weeks ago. The goal was to see various species of water birds, the first migratory Continue reading Lowland birds in and around Kuehkopf

Keoladeo National Park, a paradise also for Western Palearctic birds

White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)Is it possible to combine business and birding in India? The country is large, the distance too and most business is performed in a metropolitan area – New Delhi. Although supposedly in the area of New Delhi only 250,000 people live after the Indian census of 2011, but there are at least several million in the greater Delhi area . Nature must stand back there. Nearby , however, is Keoladeo . According to wikipedia is a national park in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Keoladeo is also known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary or Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary. The National Park is located about 50 km west of Agra near the town of Bharatpur and not too far south of the city of New Delhi, the capital of India. As a business trip to New Delhi allowed for a few days off for birding, I opted for the Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary.

From Germany first the trip went to New Delhi. I stayed in the city, had four grueling days in business meetings with constantly running air conditioning in darkened rooms and then went on a weekend to my well-deserved relaxation destination, the Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur. But before the bird’s enjoyment there are more exhausting times to cope with. Although there are only about 200 km to the Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary. But they are strenuous. At least 3 hours – rather 4 hours – you are traveling on dusty, crowded highways in almost constant traffic jam. But then you’re on your final destination: in Keoladeo, India´s paradise for water birds. It is for India which for Botswana is the Okavango and the Everglades mean for America. The local population knows Keoladeo as “Ghana” . In their language the word means “forest” or “jungle”. Keoladeo was originally the private duck hunting ground of the Maharajas of Bharatpur. In the swamps many water birds from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China and Siberia are wintering. Supposedly over Continue reading Keoladeo National Park, a paradise also for Western Palearctic birds

Bird migration in late fall on Seychelles – an abstract

Escaping the cold and shorts days in Germany in late fall is a real privilege. This time the target was the Seychelles Islands. Relaxing and birdwatching is both possible on these famous island near the equator. Whereas the bigger islands as Mahé or Praslin are famous for its endemic (and rare) land birds the smaller islands are famous for huge seabird colonies where several thousands of birds breed in densely packed colonies on rocks, sandy beaches and trees. Looking mainly for western palearctic birds to complete the gallery for www.bird-lens.com the real thrill was to find migrating birds. Late fall is a perfect months as you find migrating and wintering birds side by side with the above mentioned endemics and sea birds. Birds visiting Seychelles also include a good number of Asian species which are vagrants to the western palearctic, too. Another good reason to travel to the Seychelles. But anyway, the list of all birds recorded in Seychelles is long and includes visitors from almost all over the globe. Thus one more reason to do the trip and shoulder the long flight.

During this 2-week journey at the end of October/ beginning of November it was possible to visit the bigger islands as well as small islands like Bird Island. Here we were very successful with several waders like Grey (Black-bellied) Plover, Pluvialis squatarola, Common Ringed Plover, Charadrius hiaticula, Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos, Little Stint, Calidris minuta, Curlew Sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea, as you see in that gallery.

Whereas these birds are regular visitors to coasts of the Western Palearctic too, the good numbers of both Mongolian (Lesser Sand) Plover, Charadrius mongolus, as well as the Greater Sand Plover, Charadrius leschenaultii, were a most welcomed observation. The black-and-white Crab Plover, Dromas ardeola, was another Continue reading Bird migration in late fall on Seychelles – an abstract