Tag Archives: Bucharest

Schwarzhalstaucher beim Brutgeschäft

Black-necked GrebeIn vielen Teilen Europas findet sich zur Brutsaison auf abgelegenen Seen alljährlich eine große Anzahl der seltenen Schwarzhalstaucher (Podiceps nigricollis) ein. Mit einem eigens konstruierten, schwimmenden Tarnzelt könnte man die Taucher beim Brutgeschäft beobachten ohne sie dabei zu stören. Denn sehr scheu sind die Vögel nicht. Im Gegenteil. Die ständige Anwesenheit von Naturschützern schützen die Schwarzhalstaucher und ihre Jungen vor illegalen Eiersammlern, Badenden und übereifrigen Anglern.

Ein rumänischer Freund hatte sich vorgenommen, Schwarzhalstaucher über eine Brutsaison aus einem schwimmenden Tarnzelt beim Brutgeschäft zu beobachten. Mit der Aussicht auf einen Fotografen-Sommer mit diesen wunderschönen Vögeln erwartete er die Heimkehr dieser kleinen, farbenprächtigen Taucher. Selten nur sieht man Schwarzhalstaucher im Flug ankommen. Sie tauchen einfach plötzlich im Frühjahr auf dem stark bewachsenen See auf.

Dies gibt Anlass zu der Vermutung, dass sie im Schutze der Dunkelheit ziehen. Nur in Zusammenarbeit mit Continue reading Schwarzhalstaucher beim Brutgeschäft

Alpensegler: eine Paarung im Flug

AlpenseglerWährend einer Reise vom 1. bis zum 8. Juli nach Rumänien und Bulgarien konnte eine bemerkenswerte Beobachtung in den rumänischen Karpaten im Bild festgehalten werden. Ein Männchen und ein Weibchen des Alpenseglers (Apus melba) wurden gesehen, wie sie unter einem Felsvorsprung in einer Steilwand flogen und dabei über mehrere Sekunden die Begattung vollzogen. Dies konnte in einer wunderschönen Schlucht im Piatra Craiului Nationalpark nahe der Stadt Zărneşti (Zarnesti) mit der Kamera fotografiert werden. Zarnesti liegt südlich von Braşov (Kronstadt) und befindet sich ca. 180 km entfernt von Bukarest, der Hauptstadt von Rumänien.

In der westlichen Paläarktis leben Alpensegler vor allem in Südeuropa, hier insbesondere in Gebirgen. Wie Mauersegler (Apus apus) wandern sie über den Winter in das südliche Afrika. Wie in dieser Schlucht zu sehen, baut diese Seglerart ihr Nest in der Regel Continue reading Alpensegler: eine Paarung im Flug

Birding in the city of Bucharest – Vacaresti wetland

Whiskered Tern feeding young with fishIn the South-Western corner of the capital of Romania, near and alongside the Dâmboviţa River, one of the nature jewels of Bucharest can be found. Park the car on the sidewalk and quickly you can see the first Whiskered Tern already, which fly croaking from the river and disappear behind you. Often the bird is carrying a small fish in its beak. Parallel to the city road there is a high dam which does not seem to promise too much. But then – if you stand on the dam – you will see a wide swampy landscape with only a few scattered willows. Otherwise, a lot of open water and almost no people. This is surprising, because right next door some pretty looking apartment buildings had been built in the last years. This is Vacaresti!
Soon you will hear the first Great Reed Warbler. A real bonus bird is the abundant Eurasian Golden Oriole. The Orioles you can hear all the time when you are walking on one of the paths that cross through the area. The paths – mainly trampled by anglers – pass the many ponds very closely. Thus keep a little distance, so the birds will not flush before you see them. If you keep quiet, you will see many birds – especially waders, ducks and herons. Last time, I had a female Common Pochard, right in the first pond. Whiskered Terns breed in the area and can be seen – as documented in the Gallery (here) – very closely feeding the youngsters.
The Vacaresti area was a development project of the ancient communist regime. Actually, planned as reservoir (flood protection and urban recreation area), this plan was abandoned after 1989 and the Vacaresti lake was created in its present form. Today, after more than 20 years, the area is a very interesting case of a natural ecological succession in an urban area. The area is approximately 155 hetares and is now home to a self-sustaining ecosystem with grasslands, lakes, temporary pools, puddles and partly an extensive reed beds. The area is home to many species of plants and animals and some of them are nor very common species. A team of botanists of the Botanical Garden Bucharest has identified two major plant communities: the Danube (Danubian) community and a community of settlement areas (anthropic community). Me, Cristian Mihai, have intensively studied the area visiting it many times in roughly 4 years (between 2007-2011) and identified more than Continue reading Birding in the city of Bucharest – Vacaresti wetland

Copula in flight of Alpine Swift in Romania´s Carpathians

Alpine Swift During a trip from July 1st till 8th 2013 to observe birds in Romania and Bulgaria a remarkable sighting could be noted. A couple of Alpine Swift (Apus melba) was seen flying below a crag in a steep rock and copulated for several seconds. This could be seen in a beautiful gorge near the town of Zărneşti (Zarnesti), in the Piatra Craiului Nationalpark. Zarnesti is located south of Brașov (Brasov) approx.. 180km away from the capital of Romania, Bucharest.

In the Western Palearctic Alpine Swifts breed in mountains mainly in southern Europe. Like Common Swifts, they are migratory, and winter in southern Africa. As happened in that gorge the species builds its nest on cliff faces typically. Alpine Swifts build their nests in colonies in a suitable cliff hole or cave. It is well known, that Alpine Swifts spend most of their lives in the air, living on the insects they catch but up to now, a copula in flight could not be photographed. At least Bird-lens could not find a photo on the web. Consequently Bird-lens is proud to show images of a flight copula of this remarkable species.

As is mentioned in the „Handbuch der Vögel Mitteleuropas“ (Handbook of the birds of Central Europe), Volume 9 “Columbiformes – Piciformes” by Urs N. Glutz von Blotzheim, the male Alpine Swift usually holds the female with the beak in the neck and with the feet in the back plumage of the quiet female partner in copulation. While the female raises its tail, the male winds down his abdomen. For the Common Swift (Apus apus), also a copula in flight is described. Bird-lens is proud to show images of a flight copula of the much scarcer species Alpine Swift. A copula in flight resembles a courtship flight. During courtship Continue reading Copula in flight of Alpine Swift in Romania´s Carpathians

Birds in autumn in the Comana Natural Park / Romania

Having seen a spectacular bird migration in the Macin Mountains and at the Black Sea Coast near Constanta we decided to look for birds on a different spot. Maybe not really an important migration hotspot but a wetland near the capital of Romania should be still good at the end of September.

An excellent choice. Arriving early at around 7:00h the activity of the birds were already high. The fog was still hovering over the open water dotted with sedge and reed. We stopped the car from the country road on a dam connecting the Comana village with it´s famous Comana Monastery to the neighboring villages.

Immediately we saw masses of ducks and egrets on the water. A short walk along the newly built concrete dam (thanks to aid from the European Community) gave excellent views on the wetland.

But the highlight, which drew our attention was a feeding Little Crake, Porzana parva. This time of the day was just right. We did manage to observe a single individual for almost 15 minutes – sometimes really close. But the next birds were already waiting for us. A Spotted Redshank, Tringa erythropus, was quite relaxed when we approached him carefully. Just a few meters more and we saw a young Common Nightingale, Luscinia megarhynchos, preening in the rays of the early morning sun. Beautiful images!

Another highlights were a Sedge Warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, feeding on a spider, picking him out of his net. A comrade of the Sedge Warbler was caught by a Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus, in the meantime. This shows, that all is within the cycle of life.

The Comana Natural Park (Romanian: Parcul Natural Comana) is a protected area situated in the southern part of Romania, on the administrativ territory of Giurgiu County. The park is located at the Neajlov Delta and is just a 40-minute drive from downtown Bucharest. More information you will find here.

Other successful shootings you can see under: www.bird-lens.com.