Ein niedriger Hain mit Stieleichen (Quercus robur), der über und über mit seinen Früchten, mit nicht ganz reifen Eicheln behangen schien, war an diesem warmen, aber bedeckten August-Sommertag der Anziehungspunkt für eine Vielzahl von Vögeln. Hier konnten 10 verschiedene Singvogelarten beobachtet werden. So jagte ein Familienverband von Grauschnäppern (Muscicapa striata) immer wieder aus dem Eichenhain und dem dahinter stehenden Kiefernwald hinaus auf eine Pferdeweide. Auch die Pfosten der Weide waren gern gesehene Jagdwarten. Am Waldrand fiel wenig später auch ein junger Gartenrotschwanz (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) auf. Dafür daß der Gartenrotschwanz in der Minderzahl war, konnte er sich gegenüber den Grauschäppern (sicher mind. 8 Exemplare) ganz gut durchsetzen. Trotzdem war die Konkurrenz – auch intraspezifisch – um die beste Jagdwarte unverkennbar. Immer wieder gab es Verfolgungsjagden, die in der Mehrzahl Artgenossen galt, ansonsten aber auch schon mal eine andere Vogelart betrag. Ein adulter und ein junger Pirol (Oriolus oriolus) stellten sich dann auch ein. Im hinteren Bereich waren es Buchfinken (Fringilla coelebs) und ein junger Kernbeißer (Coccothraustes coccothraustes), die sich zwischen Continue reading Grauschnäpper und Gartenrotschwanz in Eichenhain am Waldrand
Right now, there is a large invasion of Hawfinches (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) recorded for Great Britain. The peak took place in fall 2017, and good numbers have remained during the winter months. With fewer than 1,000 breeding pairs in Britain, Hawfinch populations are critically low and the bird is Red-listed as a Bird of Conservation Concern, according to the RSPB.
On the continent – especially in the eastern parts, Hawfinches are not as rare as in the western part of Europe. But to photograph them, is tricky enough.
Hawfinches are notable for their bright brown-orange-grey colors and for their unusually large beaks and strong jaws. Hawfinches are real beauties. Famous are their beaks, which can shear open hawthorn, cherry and even damson stones. Like all finches, Hawfinches use the cutting edge at the back of their bills to hold a stone while they crack it open and skilfully extract the kernel with their tongues.
Hawfinches love to feed on hornbeam seeds. If you find a suitable Continue reading Where and how to photograph Hawfinches
Warum sollte man allen Ernstes 8.000 km und neuneinhalb Stunden in eine berüchtigte Regenecke mit hohen Preisen fliegen, um sich Vögel anzugucken, die in den meisten Fällen auch anderswo viel einfacher, angenehmer und billiger zu sehen sind. Gute Frage! Hierauf ein paar Antworten.
Eine Antwort ist, daß es einfach Spaß macht, sich vor allem in den Zugzeiten an der schiere Masse an verschiedenen Vogelarten zu begeistern. Was einem Nordamerikaner anspornt wie die Möglichkeit Saatgänse (Anser fabalis), Reiherenten (Aythya fuligula), Zwergsäger (Mergellus albellus), Uferschnepfe (Limosa limosa), Grünschenkel (Tringa nebularia), Bruchwasserläufer (Tringa glareola), Flußuferläufer (Actitis hypoleucos), Kernbeißer (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) oder Bergfinken (Fringilla montifringilla) zu sehen, wird einem Birder der West-Paläarktis zwar eher ein müdes Lächeln entlocken.
Aber ein Grund ist auf dem Bild des Blogs schön zu sehen. Dickschnabellumme (Uria lomvia) sind an den normalerweise von WP-Birdern frequentierten Plätzen in Norwegen oder Schottland viel seltener als die allgegenwärtige Trottellumme (Uria aalge). Hier, auf den Alaska vorgelagerten Inseln ist das andersherum. Schön ist der weiße Streif am Schnabelwinkel der Dickschnabellumme (Uria lomvia) zu sehen. Perfekte Gelegenheit, um ausgiebig Fotos dieses auch in der Westpaläarktis Continue reading Nach Alaska für die WP-Birdlist?
Weit draußen in der Beringsee, fast 500 km westlich vom Festland Alaskas und knapp 400 km nördlich der Aleuten, liegen die Pribilof-Inseln im windgepeitschten Meer der Beringsee. Angeblich sind die Inseln nach dem russischen Pelzhändler Gavrill Pribylov benannt, der im 18. Jahrhundert in St. George Island an Land ging. Die Witterung ist rau, die Wolken hängen tief, es regnet praktisch jeden Tag. Was also treibt Naturfreunde und Fotografen auf so schwer zugängliche, kalte, regenreiche und kulinarisch unterversorgte Inseln?
Die Antwort ist schnell gegeben. Die Inseln beherbergen wohl die größten Seevogelkolonien der nördlichen Hemisphäre. Vor allem die Insel St. George verzeichnet das größte Vorkommen an Seevögeln in der nördlichen Hemisphäre.
In diesem Archipel herrscht ein unglaublicher Reichtum an Fischen und anderen Meerestieren. Viele der aus dem Meer ragenden Felsklippen sind daher von Seevögeln vereinnahmt. Mehr als 2,5 Millionen Seevögel von 230 Arten nisten auf den Pribilofs.
Die Pribilof-Inseln werden auch das “Galapagos des Nordens” genannt. Mit seinen riesigen Kolonien Continue reading Pribilof: Inseln im windgepeitschten Meer
Birding parks in big cities are often a stopgap in between two family arrangements. But parks are often good for excellent surprises. Berlin should result in a great place to combine a city trip with a birding excursion. I started from the flat of a friend at Prenzlauer Berg. Soon we arrived at a subway (U-Bahn) station at street level. We bought a U-bahn ticket for the westbound trip to Sophie-Charlotte Platz from where it is a short walk along Schlossstrasse to the Charlottenburg Palace. We had been told that the extensive gardens here are home to a pair of Middle-spotted Woodpeckers (Dendrocopos medius), a species that we had seen only once previously. The huge park is said to be full of gorgeous flowers and birds. It must be very nice to walk along the streams in the shade of huge trees. Unfortunately it rained and we decided to wait a while. After some hours, the weather Continue reading Birding Berlin: Charlottenburg Palace
Es 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
This morning all 4 species of Sylvia-Warblers which regularly occur in Germany could be seen. First the male of a Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) showed up in the first light of this chilly but sunny morning. Then a beautiful singing individual of a Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) could be seen very near to a observation tower which is located on the eastern end of the old gravel pit. A Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca) showed up briefly afterwards. And finally even a silent Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin) could be seen catching a caterpillar in a dense bush.
When photographing it was obvious to see that breeding is in full swing. Singing and other territorial habits were rare and normally quite short – with the exception of the singing individual of a Common Whitethroat and a Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos).
A sunny morning with clear sky after several rainy days was a good reason to make the trip to that abandoned gravel pit which is now a nature reserve and try to photograph some special birds.
This early morning on a sunny day (but quite cold in the first hours) was a real pleasure – even from the point of ornithology. In addition to the shots of the Warblers, it was possible to see and photograph birds like European Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia turtur), Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), Eurasian Golden-Oriole (Oriolus oriolus), Sand Martin (Riparia riparia) and Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes). Good contributions to the bird-lens portfolio and possible to see here in the Continue reading All 4 Sylvia – Warblers in Weilbacher Kiesgrube near Frankfurt
There are not too many foreign birdwatchers coming to the middle of Germany for just birding. But Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is the gateway to continental Europe. Many airlines use the Airport as a hub for connecting flights all over the world. If you have spare time between two flight and you are a birdwatcher, you might be interested to know, where you can find good places to stretch your legs, enjoy fresh air and enjoy birding for typical european birds. One of these places is only 15 minutes away from the Frankfurt Airport. This is the Schwanheimer Duene (Dunes of Schwanheim) located in a southern outskirt of Frankfurt. In so far, the area is more or less the same distance than the Langener Waldseen. But whereas these lakes, situated just 2 km east of the runway of Frankfurt AP, are a highly frequented recreation area in summertime, the Schwanheimer Duene is especially good in spring and summer. Thus an excellent alternative to the Langener Waldseen which are very productive in wintertime.
The Schwanheimer Duene is one of the few inland dunes in Europe. It was established after the last ice age of sands that have been blown out of the riverbed of the River Main. Then, a forest grew on it. In the last century farmers cleared the forest and put on cherry meadows. Several dry periods ended these attempts in the second half of the 19th Century. The dune devasted and started to wander. Between 1882 and 1890 the dune moved aground to its present location.
Following the desolation a typical plant community of inland dune developed, which can be encountered up to nowadays. This plant community is called Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport – Schwanheimer Duene
Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is the gateway to continental Europe. Many airlines use the Airport as a hub for connecting flights all over the world. If you have spare time between two flight and you are a birdwatcher, you might be interested to know, where you can find good places to stretch your legs, enjoy fresh air and enjoy birding for typical european birds.
One of these sites is the hilly countryside around Bad Soden. The state (Bundesland) of Hessen still supports a comparatively large number of mixed orchard meadows where the Little Owl (Athene noctua) is a relatively common bird. After North-Rhine Westphalia, Hessen has the largest Little Owl population in Germany.
Bad Soden is located on the southern slope of the Taunus mountains, 15 km north-west of Frankfurt and 20 kilometers northeast of Wiesbaden and 10km south of the highest summit of the Taunus, the Grosser Feldberg. Although a wealthy suburb of the city of Frankfurt a high percentage of the area (15%) is forested. The altitude ranges between 130 m above sea level (asl) and 385 m asl.
The landscape of the so-called Vordertaunus is very scenic and host some excellent birds, which are quite hard to see in other more northern parts of Germany as e.g. European Honey-buzzard(Pernis apivorus), Red Kite (Milvus milvus), Stock Pigeon (Columba oenas), Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo), Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor ), Middle Spotted Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport: Bad Soden
Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is the gateway to continental Europe. Many airlines use the airport as a hub for connecting flights all over the world. If you have spare time between two flight and you are a birdwatcher, you might be interested to know, where you can find good sites to stretch your legs, enjoy fresh air and enjoy birding for typical european birds. One of these places – only 10 minutes away from the Frankfurt Airport – are the Langener Waldseen. These artificial lakes are situated just 2 km east of the runway and are a highly frequented recreation area with an oper-air swimming area. But wintertime is quiet and goods birds – including some vagrants – can be seen on the most western lake. This lake is still an active gravel spit, thus access especially for the best site is more or less tolerated and cannot be guaranteed.
Good birds to be seen on the lake in wintertime here on a regular basis are Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus), Gadwall(Anas strepera), Common Pochard (Aythya ferina), Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) and Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula). At the beginning of December 2012 there was an influx of cold temperatures in Germany. Shortly after a Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellate), Smew (Mergellus albellus) , Common Merganser (Mergus merganser ) and a male Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) as well as up to 10 Velvet Scoter (Melanitta fusca) showed up. The woods hold all 6 species of continental woodpeckers (incl. Black, Middle-spotted and Grey-faced Woodpecker) and vast numbers of Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes ) and Bramblings (Fringilla montifringilla) in the winter. Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus) are often heard and sometimes seen in the canopy of the many pine trees. For the last winters 1 Great Grey (Northern) Shrike (Lanius excubitor) used the area as a wintering ground. I have seen large flocks of Common Crane moving overhead in late October from this site.
For direction it is recommended to take a taxi Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport: Langener Waldseen
An excellent choice. Arriving only at around 11:00h the activity of the “normal” birds were low. But the highlight, we were looking for, was the migration of flying raptors anyway. This time of the day was just right – as you can see in the gallery. We did manage to observe two adult, White-tailed Eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla in a heavy fight with a pair of Common Raven, and a juvenile individual just flying slowly overhead. Short after a Long-legged Buzzard, Buteo rufinus, hovered over our observation point in search of prey.
Long-legged Buzzard, Buteo rufinus, is one of the largest buzzards of Europe and is the most common bird of prey in the Macin Mountains National Park. He usually builds his nest on cliffs. Other breeding raptors of that area include Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Levant Sparrowhawk and Saker Falcon. But of the rarer breeding raptors we did not see one, but one (or more) migrating Pallid Harrier, Circus macrourus , were seen hovering on the cliff along. We were surprised to see so often (or so many) Pallid Harriers here in Macin again – as we were happy to see the migration of Pallid Harrier along the Black Sea coast north of Constanta. An Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus, could be observed in a furious air combat with a Eurasian Hobby, Falco subbuteo.
Common Buzzard, Buteo buteo, and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Aquila pomarina, were seen just migrating against the steel-blue sky in the wonderful mountainous scenery. It was a brilliant afternoon with not to many images today and large crops to some of them. But the birds which were photographed were top quality.
Of course we did not find any of the breeding songbirds we found in May. As you can read in a blog or see in the gallery at that time we had two species of Continue reading Migration of raptors over the Macin Mountains National Park
Just south-west of the Danube Delta only 1 hour drive from Tulcea is the location of the Macin Mountains with its granite hills. With an altitude of max. 450 m asl Macin Mountains are showing nevertheless an impressive outline. Macin Mountains belong to the oldest mountains of Europe. The Macin Mountains feature some significant steppe vegetation (in mixture with Balkanic and Submediterranean forests) and are a great place to see birds. Whereas Macin Mountains is famous as an important migration hotspot for raptors in autumn, we decided to visit this site in May.
We found two species of Wheatears (Common and Isabelline), several species of Larks, European Turtle-dove, Red-rumped Swallow, Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush, Shrikes, Corn and Ortolan Bunting and some other species, you will find in the photo gallery for the Macin Moutains.
Long-legged Buzzard, Buteo rufinus, is one of the largest buzzards Continue reading Birds in Macin Mountains National Park/ Romania
Bird Lens is proud to show some excellent images of the birds shot from a hide in Hungary in December in the gallery of the pictures shop. The hide is located in the eastern part of Hungary in a superb old oak forest. The hide has a drinking pool in front of the window of the hide and a feeder attracted woodpeckers and some passerine birds, mainly tits. That year, it was a winter poor in snow. The temperatures and the colors of the fallen leaves created a feeling of fall or even late indian summer. Excellent conditions to photograph on 2 days from inside the hide. Besides the birds who showed up were Continue reading New Bird Images in Picture Shop