Tag Archives: Common Kingfisher

Wasseramseln: eine fotografische Herausforderung

Über schnellfließenden, klaren, sauberen Flüssen und BächenWasseramsel ist mitunter der Flug eine dunklen Vogels zu erkennen. Im Tiefflug schießt er über das Wasser, umgeht dabei meisterhaft evtl. aus dem Wasser ragende Felsen und umgestürzte Bäume und ist auch schon um die nächste Biegung des Baches verschwunden. Für eine an Gefiederdetails orientierte genaue Artbestimmung dauert der Vorfall viel zu kurz. Zum Glück ist die Auswahl gering. Das Artenspektrum in dem Habitat ist überschau. Viel mehr als den Eisvogel (Alcedo atthis), die Gebirgsstelze (Motacilla cinerea) und die Wasseramsel (Cinclus cinclus) gibt es dort nicht.

Manchmal findet man Wasseramseln an den schönsten naturnahen Bächen, manchmal aber auch mitten in deutschen Innenstädten oder auch an Ausflugslokalen – gerade wenn es sich – wie bei dem Bild des Blogs – um alte Mühlen oder Wanderwege wie z.B. im Neandertal handelt. An letzteren Stellen sind Wasseramseln an menschliche Anwesenheit und Annäherung gewöhnt und reagieren nicht so scheu.

Die Hauptnahrung der ganzjährig bei uns verweilenden Wasseramseln stellen Wasserinsekten und Würmer dar, welche die Wasseramseln am Grund eines flachen Flusses oder Baches suchen. Um an diese Nahrungsquelle heranzukommen, schwimmen bzw. tauchen Wasseramseln unter Wasser oder laufen auf dem Grund eines Gewässers entlang. Kiesreiche Flachwasserbereiche mit Continue reading Wasseramseln: eine fotografische Herausforderung

Wie und wo kann man Eisvögel fotografieren?

EisvogelEin Stecken im Wasser im schönsten Sonnenlicht und darauf ein Eisvogel (Alcedo atthis). Das ist ein Bild, das viele Naturfotografen schießen wollen. Da stellt sich natürlich die Frage, was die Vorlieben und Gewohnheiten des Eisvogels sind. Wenn man sich intensiver mit der Eisvogelfotografie auseinandersetzt, fragt man sich wie z.B. ein Lieblings-Ansitz aussehen muß, wie die durchschnittliche Höhe über dem Wasser sein sollte, wie das Ausmaß ihres Territoriums ist, welche Stellen – bzgl. Tiefe und Strömung – entlang eines Gewässers angeflogen werden.

In dem Blog über die Balzfütterung beim Eisvogel am sogenannten Hechtsee in der Feldberger Seenlandschaft konnte ja Ende April ein Paar Eisvögel sehr schön auf einem vorzüglich platzierten Stecken fotografiert werden. Hierzu muß man sagen, daß die Eisvögel, die an dem beschriebenen Ansitz zu sehen sind, auch in einer Röhre direkt im Fotoversteck brüten.

Wenn man ein solcherart hergerichtetes Versteck nutzen kann, kann man sich einfach in die Beobachtungshütte setzen, warten und genießen. Ansonsten stellt sich natürlich die Frage, auf Continue reading Wie und wo kann man Eisvögel fotografieren?

Common Kingfisher feeding female

Eisvogel

A Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) on its perch is the image! Many nature photographers are keen on getting on – or more – of this. Highlight is action, which could mean feeding or diving for food. Between February and March of Kingfisher starts dating. Before Kingfishers are ready to mate, the female have to be brought into the right mood. For this purpose, the male woos his selected counterpart and offer presents, in many cases small fishes. Obviously feeding the female is a very important contribution to the pair bond. Nice photo opportunities are possible from a photo hide in der Feldberger Seenlandschaft in the northern part of Brandenburg. A lake called Hechtsee is full of fishes. End of April a pair of kingfishers could be photographed. At dawn first mating could be observed and photographed and in the course of the morning, at least threetimes feeding action could be photographed. Luckily for photographers feeding the female is therefore not only limited to the time prior to mating.

Up to 8 eggs are hatched alternately by the Kingfisher pair in a period of just three weeks. Until they get their full plumage, it takes Continue reading Common Kingfisher feeding female

Balzfütterung beim Eisvogel

Eisvogel

Ein Eisvogel (Alcedo atthis) auf seinem Ansitz ist schon ein Bild, das viele Naturfotografen sehnsüchtig erwarten. Wenn dann auch noch eine Fütterungsaufnahme gelingt, ist das Glück perfekt. Zwischen Februar und März beginnt der Eisvogel mit der Partnersuche. Bevor es zur Paarung kommt kann, muß das Weibchen aber erst einmal in Stimmung gebracht werden. Dazu umwirbt das Männchen sein ausgewähltes Weibchen und überbringt ihr dabei kleine Fische. Offensichtlich ist die Balzfütterung ein ganz wichtiger Beitrag zur Paarbindung. Aus einem Fotoversteck am sogenannten Hechtsee in der Feldberger Seenlandschaft konnte Ende April ein Paar Eisvögel fotografiert werden. Dabei konnte in der Morgendämmerung zuerst eine Paarung und im Verlauf des Vormittags mindestens 3 Balzfütterungen beobachtet und fotografiert werden. Zum Glück für die Fotografen ist die Balzfütterung also nicht nur auf die Zeit vor der Paarung beschränkt.

Bis zu 8 Eier werden vom Eisvogelpaar in einer Zeit von knapp drei Wochen abwechselnd ausgebrütet. Bis sie ihr vollständiges Gefieder erhalten, dauert es Continue reading Balzfütterung beim Eisvogel

Birding around Frankfurt Airport – NSG Lampertheimer Altrhein

Schwarzer MilanFrankfurt 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 some more spare time but only 2 hours between two flights, 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 best riparian forest 60 km south of Frankfurt, called Kuhkopf or in German Kuehkopf. The nature reserve (in German: Naturschutzgebiet or NSG Kuehkopf-Knoblochsaue) is the largest in Hesse, with Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport – NSG Lampertheimer Altrhein

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

Common Buzzard at the bait in wintertime

Common BuzzardTo observe and photograph Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) at the bait in wintertime in good numbers  – sometimes 8 individuals on one occasion. Is this possilbe right in the center of a heavy industrialized country like Germany? Yes, it is!

The valley of the river „Leine“ and the surrounding hills called “Leinebergland” is not famous of being one of Germany´s birding hot spots. But in wintertime the charming countryside between the cities of Hildesheim to the east and Hameln to the west is invaded by keen birdwatchers and bird photographers to shoot images of Common Buzzards and other excellent birds on a winter feeding site.

Having been spend one day on invitation of Wolf-Dieter Peest has been very productive – as you can see in the gallery. Wolf-Dieter offers Wildlife Workshops but also the chance to sit in one (or more) of his hides located on ponds, small streams or at the border of agricultural fields. The Leinebergland 30 km south of the city of Hannover, with its many gravel pits, is a paradise for nature photographers. In the early 70s many gravel mining pits were built along the line between Hanover and Göttingen. Having exploited these areas, the remaining ponds and lakes are now on the way back to nature again and offer a new habitat to a huge number of animal and plant species. Many of these ponds are real paradises for nature lovers and the nature- of course. A description of the locations written in german, you will find here!
Wolf-Dieter managed to lease a good number of attractive properties over the last 15 years. There are ideal conditions for a photographic passion Continue reading Common Buzzard at the bait in wintertime

Early fall images from the Leinetal/ Hannover

The valley of the river „Leine“ and the surrounding hills called “Leinebergland” is not famous of being one of Germany´s birding hot spots. But a excursion to that charming countryside between the cities of Hildesheim to the east and Hameln to the west has to offer surprisingly good locations to shoot images of excellent birds.
Having been spend one day on invitation of Wolf-Dieter Peest has been very productive – as you can see in the gallery. Wolf-Dieter offers Wildlife Workshops but also the chance to sit in one (or more) of his hides located on ponds, small streams or at the border of agricultural fields. The Leinebergland 30 km south of the city of Hannover, with its many gravel pits, is a paradise for nature photographers. In the early 70s many gravel mining pits were built along the line between Hanover and Göttingen. Having exploited these areas, the remaining ponds and lakes are now on the way back to nature again and offer a new habitat to a huge number of animal and plant species. Many of these ponds are real paradises for nature lovers and the nature- of course. A description of the locations written in german, you will find here!
Wolf-Dieter managed to lease a good number of attractive properties over the last 15 years. There are ideal conditions for a photographic passion to shoot images of wild birds on close distance.
Wolf-Dieter´s favorite bird is the Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis). Here in that countryside the kingfisher finds the habitat they need. Steep walls of mud or broken steep edges on disused gravel pits. It is said, that nowhere in Germany you will find a better location Continue reading Early fall images from the Leinetal/ Hannover