Tag Archives: Dendrocopos medius

On confrontation: the Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla)

The leaves in the riparian forest are still sparse. The warm spring sun shines beautifully down to the ground. Everything is full of life. Now it is important to find the perfect breeding site and the right territory – and above all to keep it. A Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla) enters the territory of a conspecific. The high ” si si si see see see seeeh seeeh “, basically always on the same pitch, is the hallmark of the Firecrest and betrays the intruder early. The owner of the territory immediately flies to the intruder to a neighboring branch. The distance is only a few centimeters. In contrast to the Eurasian Nuthatch (European) (Sitta europaea), however, which I saw the day before, the birds do not collide directly with one another or even wedge each other into the ground.

They seem a bit more civilized. But the two Firecrests are also busy with an impressive display, in which they sing repeatedly, then raise the golden cap and, above all, flap their wings wildly. They continue to sing what the beak has to offer. As far as the beak is torn open, the little bird – for its standards – must produce a hell of a noise.

Both birds are so busy with each other that I can approach within 3 meters and take pictures of the Firecrest on branches and even on the litter of last year’s leaves.

An impressive „discussion“ that can be captured in a great series of pictures of the quarreling Firecrests that can be admired in the gallery!

The scene of the dispute is located in the southern part of Continue reading On confrontation: the Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla)

Kleiber, verbissen im Kampf

Ein Frühlingstag in einem Auenwald in meiner Heimatstadt. Noch ist der Laubaustrieb gering. Wunderschön scheint die warme Frühlingssonne bis auf den Boden. Alles ist voller Leben. Überall ruft und singt es. Immer wieder ist Bewegung auf Zweigen und Ästen und an den Baumstämmen zu beobachten. Die Vögel bereiten sich auf die Brutsaison vor. Die Temperaturen lassen das Temperament der Vögel ebenfalls steigen. Eine bemerkenswerte Aggressivität ist in der Luft.

Viele Kernbeißer (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) – ein Trupp mit mindestens 6 Exemplaren – wechselt immer wieder vom sonnendurchfluteten Boden zu den lichten Wipfeln. Im wunderbarem Sonnenschein fliegt mit typischem Ruf ein Buntspecht (Dendrocopos major) ein. Ein Kleiber (europ.) (Sitta europaea) erdreistet sich in das Revier eines Artgenossen einzudringen. Der Revierinhaber – bzw. derjenige, der sich dafür hält – fliegt den Eindringling sofort unvermittelt an. Beide Vögel prallen gegen die Rinde einer dicken Eiche. Sie stürzen beide zu Boden. Dort „verbeißen“ sie sich ineiander, hauen mit ihren spitzen Schnäbeln aufeinander, die Flügel flatternd. Dann wieder bleiben beide – wie ermattet – im trockenen Laub liegen. Sie sind so Continue reading Kleiber, verbissen im Kampf

Woodpeckers as indicators of natural forest ecosystems

WeißrückenspechtCentral Europe is an old cultural landscape in which practically no area has been able to preserve its natural state. The far-reaching anthropogenic changes also affect the remaining type of forest strongly, that it is not known exactly what they look like under natural conditions. Largely unchanged forests can only be found on small remaining areas in some higher mountains and in the far east of Central Europe. Naturally, around 95% of Germany’s area would be covered with forest. The European beech or Common Beech (Fagus sylvatica) would probably occupy around 70% of the country’s area as the predominant tree species in western Germany. Due to their specific diet and the associated high degree of specialization, woodpeckers are particularly suitable as indicators for near-natural forest ecosystems. From this, the anthropogenic changes in the forests can be derived. The wealth of woodpecker species in Europe reflects quite well the strength of human influence on the originally forested landscapes. In almost all European countries, the clade of woodpeckers would probably be represented with 7 to 8 species if there would be still larger natural forest areas. The sensitivity of the woodpecker to habitat changes and thus its suitability as an ecological indicator increases with the degree of specialization and ranges from the “habitat generalist” Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) to the highly endangered White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) and Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus).

Several studies, among others in the Bialowieza forest show that the White-backed Woodpecker is the most sensitive species of woodpeckers. It can only find optimal conditions in strictly Continue reading Woodpeckers as indicators of natural forest ecosystems

Birding Berlin: Ducks in winter in Charlottenburg Palace

A splash drops of water, a wild tumult. Just a moment ago the two male Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) had been standing side by side on the ice-plate. Now they quarrel like crazy. Diving, swimming, fluttering and finally escaping, they obviously let their aggression run wild. Most of the short but intense fights end with the fact that one of the males gets through and drives his rival away with a bite in the tail. The defeated duck flies a short distance; and after a few minutes they are together again on the ice – as if nothing had happened. Since the winter temperatures are now also noticeable in the middle of Berlin, large areas of the large ornamental pond – the Karpfenteich (i.e. carp pond) – are covered in ice in the western part of the park in Charlottenburg Palace Park. Only a small part, located in close proximity to the tributary to the river Spree, has remained an open water surface, which is the center of attraction for many waterfowl such as Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) and Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula). Goosanders (Mergus merganser) are also well represented. Even a male Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) appeared, but it looked quite pale, suggesting an escaped ornamental bird or a hybrid. Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) is standing on the shore quite close to the trails in the park. The ornamental park in the middle of the city of Berlin is a very special bird paradise. Partly natural water surfaces form a beautiful combination with the more than 100 years old thick Beeches and Oaks. For managed parks, the park has an amazing amount of old wood.

Birding parks in big cities are often surprisingly good. Berlin is a great place to combine a city trip with a birding excursion. A U-bahn ticket for the trip to Sophie-Charlotte Platz is cheap. From here it is only a short walk along Schlossstrasse to the Charlottenburg Palace. The extensive gardens here are home for many bird species, Continue reading Birding Berlin: Ducks in winter in Charlottenburg Palace

Gebirgsstelzen im Warnowtal/ MV

GebirgsstelzeIm herbstlichen Flußtal fliegt im wippenden Flug ein gelb-schwarzer Vogel über das Wasser. Es ist eine Gebirgsstelze (Motacilla cinerea). Der Bach hat sich seinem Durchbruchstal in der Nähe von Groß Görnow nördlich von Sternberg (knapp 30 km Luftlinie östlich des Schweriner Sees) eine abwechslungsreiche Strecke mit Stromschnellen, Stein- und Baumhindernissen und zahlreichen Windungen ausgesucht. Ich bin unterwegs im Naturpark Sternberger Seenland. Hier hat sich die Warnow vor Millionen Jahren 40 m tief ins Erdreich gegraben und ein beeindruckendes Durchbruchstal hinterlassen. Eine Kanufahrt vom Sternberger See aus führt durch wildromantische Natur auf schlängelnden Flussläufen des eiszeitlich geprägten Warnowtals.

Bei den meisten der Bachläufe im nördlichen Mecklenburg, so auch der Warnow, handelt es sich um Kerbtalbäche, die in Folge von Erosionswirkung ein Sohlenkerbtal gebildet haben. Einige weitere Bäche weisen eine für Mecklenburg-Vorpommern relativ hohe Fließgeschwindigkeit auf. Die Durchbruchstäler nehmen bei den Kerbtalbächen eine Sonderstellung ein. Hier erfolgte der Durchtritt der Bäche durch Eisrandlagen. Das Durchbruchstal der Warnow Continue reading Gebirgsstelzen im Warnowtal/ MV

Middle Spotted Woodpecker at Hainich National Park, Thuringia

MittelspechtA high-pitched call in early spring is heard from afar. An obtrusive väh-wäh-wäh – combination of calls can be heard after. A beautiful old mixed beech forest with several layers and plenty of dead wood is home of the Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius).  A small hiking trail passes the ground at Langes Tal in the Western Hainich park area. The Middle Spotted Woodpecker is easily been seen in 5 meters height when it is calling. The Middle Spotted Woodpecker uses oak-dominated forest stands in the National Park. Beech dominated forest areas are only used when the beech trees are well over 140 years old or a high proportion of mixed tree species is available.

Signs of woodpecker’s nesting holes can be seen afterwards. The area of the Hainich National Park in general is important for many other species of Picids, including Grey-headed (Picus canus), Lesser Spotted (Dendrocopos minor)  and Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) which are all quite common.

Using the playback method, along transects, an annual scientific study counted Woodpeckers distribution and abundance. In the context of the point stop count all woodpecker species occurring in the national park were proven. The results show that, as expected, the most common species were Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) (41 % on average per year), Grey-headed Woodpecker (20 %) and Middle Spotted Woodpecker (21%). These species were detected in each study year. Continue reading Middle Spotted Woodpecker at Hainich National Park, Thuringia

Weißrückenspecht in Park in Estland

WeissrückenspechtNach einem erfolgreichen Foto-Shooting der Doppelschnepfe (Gallinago media) will ich mich zum Abschluß dem Gutspark des Haeska Manor House widmen. Der zur Pension umgebauten Gutshof weist einen weitläufigen Park mit vielen alten Bäumen auf. Neben einen paar schönen alten Eichen gibt es auch alte Linden. In alten Parkanlagen soll – wie mir einheimische Naturschützer sagten – der Weißrückenspecht (Dendrocopos leucotos) recht häufig sein. Sie meinten sogar, daß in den alten Parks der Gegend der Weißrückenspecht sogar der häufigste Specht sei. Was für eine Verkehrung der Verhältnisse zu Deutschland! Ich kann dann im weiteren Verlauf sowohl Grauschnäpper (Muscicapa striata) als auch Trauerschnäpper (Ficedula hypoleuca) sehen und schön fotografieren. Amseln (Turdus merula) flitzen die ganze Zeit zwischen Rasen und Unterholz. Der Hit sind aber die vielen brütenden Wacholderdrosseln (Turdus pilaris), die intensiv warnen, wenn sich jemand ungebührlich einem Nest mitten auf einer Asthöhle nähert. So kann ich endlich auch mal ein paar schöne Aufnahmen von der Wacholderdrossel machen. Von einem Weißrückenspecht – oder überhaupt von Spechten – ist aber weit und breit nichts zu sehen. Es ist auch nicht die richtige Jahreszeit. Die beste Zeit ist der April. Dann trommeln sie intensiv und markieren ihr Revier.

Plötzlich höre ich ein länger anhaltendes Trommeln. Eindeutig ein Specht. Und wohl zu lang, um zu einem Buntspecht (Dendrocopos major) zu gehören. Es könnte natürlich noch ein trommelnder Continue reading Weißrückenspecht in Park in Estland

Heidemoore in der Wahner Heide

Schwarzkehlchen (europ.)Die leuchtend weißen, weithin sichtbaren Blüten des Wollgrases wiegen sich sanft im Wind. Sie bieten einen herrlichen, unschuldigen Anblick. An manchen Standorten bildet diese Pflanze wogende Teppiche, über denen verschiedene Libellenarten nach Beute jagen. Ein männliches Schwarzkehlchen (Saxicola rubicola) wippt auf einem vorjährigen Staudenstengel und überwacht sein Revier am Rand der Wasserfläche. Die Heide-Moor-Landschaft ist zu allen Jahreszeiten wahrhaftig fotografisch besonders lohnenswert.

Mein bevorzugtes Fotorevier waren lange die Heidemoore in der Wahner Heide im Südosten Kölns. Bis vor einigen Jahren wurde die Wahner Heide als militärisches Übungsgebiet genutzt. Der sandige Untergrund kam bei dem Übungsbetrieb zu Tage. Die Heide-Moor-Landschaft besteht überwiegend aus Sandheiden, die trockenere Bereiche einnehmen, während sich in Dünentälern Feuchtheiden und Heidemoore mit nährstoffarmen Stillgewässern gebildet haben.

Heiden sowie Heidemoore zählen zu den besonders bedrohten Continue reading Heidemoore in der Wahner Heide

Schwarzspecht in Schlafbaum

SchwarzspechtDie Nuthe-Nieplitz-Niederung ist in den trockenen Bereichen von Kiefernwäldern, manchmal richtigen Kiefernplantagen, geprägt. Ein Buchenstamm-Spezialist wie der Schwarzspecht (Dryocopus martius) dürfte es also in diesem Naturgebiet südlich von Berlin schwer haben. Trotzdem ergab eine Kartierung in den Jahren 2007 und 2008 erstaunliche Erkenntnisse. So wurden im SPA der Nuthe-Nieplitz-Niederung auf ca. 5500 ha 22 Schwarzspechte kartiert.

Da der Schwarzspecht in Sachen Höhlenbäume recht wählerisch ist, eine bemerkenswerte Zahl. Zur Anlage von Brut- und Schlafhöhlen bevorzugt der Schwarzspecht nämlich keine Nadelbäume, sondern alte Buchen. Diese Vorliebe macht den Schwarzspecht normalerweise zu einem typischen Bewohner von Mischwäldern des Mittellandes. Die wenigen Buchen in der Nuthe-Nieplitz-Niederung, die dick genug sind, sind daher heißbegehrt.

“Kliööh“ klingt es durch den winterlichen Wald. 5 dicke Buchen Continue reading Schwarzspecht in Schlafbaum

Lake Tegel as a winter birding destination in Berlin

OhrentaucherDuring migration and in winter waterfowl rest in good numbers on the Tegeler See (a lake just north of Tegel airport). A visit in late January performed with damp and cold conditions at temperatures around 0 degree Celsius. The shore is lined of a crumbling ice. No welcoming weather. No snow nor sunshine will improve the images. But very quickly, this does not matter. A wintering Slavonian Grebe (Podiceps auritus) in the middle of Berlin had been observed due to a message on the local birding website Ornitho.de. This is an opportunity a nature photographer does not want to miss. The Great Malchsee is Continue reading Lake Tegel as a winter birding destination in Berlin

Birding Berlin: Charlottenburg Palace

BuntspechtBirding 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

New Natura 2000 bird sanctuary: Bergstrasse Dossenheim – Schriesheim

WendehalsOn 11 December 2014, the first information boards for the Natura 2000 bird sanctuary “Bergstrasse Dossenheim – Schriesheim“were presented to public by the Chairman of the BUND Dossenheim, Dermot O’Connor. The press is coming soon. When designing the images for the info panel – inter alia the Wryneck (Jynx torquilla), Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius), Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), Grey-faced (or Grey-headed) Woodpecker (Picus canus) and Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia). BUND Dossenheim chosed images from www.bird-lens.com. Bird-lens.com is proud to present these photos as part of its efforts to strengthen the importance of nature conservation in the region.

Dossenheim is a municipality in the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis in the north-western part of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Dossenheim is located just 80km south of Frankfurt/ Main main station and thus reached by car in less than an hour’s drive.

The so-called Natura 2000 Vogelschutzgebiet is a Special Protection Areaa according to the EU-Birds Directive. The reserve has a size of 916,13 Acres. The Bergstrasse Continue reading New Natura 2000 bird sanctuary: Bergstrasse Dossenheim – Schriesheim

BUND – Projekt: Bergstrasse Dossenheim – Schriesheim

MittelspechtDer Vorsitzender des BUND Dossenheim, Dermot O’Connor, hat am 11. Dezember 2014 die ersten Informationstafeln zum Natura­ 2000 Vogelschutzgebiet „Bergstraße Dossenheim – Schriesheim“ aufgestellt. Anfang Januar wird in der Presse darüber berichtet. Bei der Ausgestaltung der Bilder für die Info-Tafel – u.a. beim Wendehals (Jynx torquilla), Mittelspecht (Dendrocopos medius), Schwarzspecht (Dryocopus martius), Grauspecht (Picus canus) und Zippammer (Emberiza cia)), – hat sich der BUND Dossenheim für Fotos von www.bird-lens.com entschieden. Bird-lens.com ist stolz im Rahmen der Bemühungen, den Stellenwert des Naturschutzes in Region zu erhöhen, diese Fotos als Spenden zur Verfügung zu stellen.

Dossenheim ist eine Continue reading BUND – Projekt: Bergstrasse Dossenheim – Schriesheim

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

Irish Bird Trip to the Frankfurt area in Germany; 16thMay-19th May 2014

Black KiteWe flew in from Kerry airport Ireland and landed at Hahn to met by Johannes Ferdinand from Bird-Lens our bird guide.  During our stay we had no rain, some cloud in the mornings and plenty of sunshine all day. We saw a total of 113 birds including lifers Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris), Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix), Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius), Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo), and adult Black-necked or Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis), European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) and Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica). Johannes had organised our trip to Continue reading Irish Bird Trip to the Frankfurt area in Germany; 16thMay-19th May 2014

Mäusebussarde im Schnee am Köder

Common Buzzard in FlightIst es möglich Mäusebussarde (Buteo buteo) im Winter, am besten noch im Schnee, in guter Anzahl zu beobachten und zu fotografieren. Ist das möglich mitten im bevölkerungsreichen, Deutschland? Ja, das ist es!

Das Tal des Flusses “Leine” und die umliegenden waldbedeckten Höhen namens “Leinebergland” sind nicht direkt bekannt als die Hot Spots der Vogelbeobachtung in Deutschland. Aber im Winter wird die reizvolle Landschaft zwischen den Städten Hildesheim im Osten und Hameln im Westen von Vogelbeobachter und Vogelfotografen aufgesucht, um Bilder von Mäusebussarden und anderen Vögel an Winterfutterstellen zu machen.

Nachdem ich schon die Jahre vorher im Winter in Salzhemmendorf war (s. Blog auf englisch) wollte ich diesmal auf Einladung von Wolf-Dieter Peest einen weiteren Tag bei Schnee in einem seiner neuen Ansitze verbringen. Das stellte sich als sehr produktiv heraus – wie man in der Galerie sehen kann. Wolf-Dieter Wildlife bietet Workshops für die digitale Fotografie und Continue reading Mäusebussarde im Schnee am Köder

Spechte an der Winterfütterung

Great Spotted WoodpeckerVor ein paar Jahren schon war ich Gast bei einem professionellen Betreiber einer Winterfütterung für Greife. Tolle Aufnahmebedingungen, schöne Landschaft, super Vögel. Nur leider eine ganz Ecke von meinem Zuhause in der Eifel entfernt. „Das kann ich auch“, dachte ich. Es stellte sich dann doch als nicht so einfach heraus. Da gab es dann Probleme mit dem Landwirt, dem das Grundstück gehörte, dann mit dem Jagdpächter. Aber schließlich war es so weit. Ein großer Vorteil meines aus Holz und Teppichresten gezimmerten Ansitzes besteht darin, daß er sich zwar unmittelbar am Waldrand, andererseits aber nur etwa 200 m von meiner Wohnung entfernt befindet. Natürlich macht man sich beim Bau des Ansitzes und der Anlage des Futterplatzes so seine Gedanken über die zu erwartenden Gäste. Neben Meisen, verschiedenen Finken und Amseln war auch der Buntspecht (Picoides major) fest eingeplant. Diese bei uns häufigste Spechtart lebt ja nicht nur in Wäldern aller Art, sondern auch in städtischen Parkanlagen und in größeren Gärten. Schon nach kurzer Zeit zählte der Buntspecht zu den regelmäßigen Gästen vor der Winterhütte, aus der heraus ich in einem Abstand von 3,5 bis 7 m meine Aufnahmen machte. Meist kündigte er sich mit einem lauten „Kikk“ an, bevor er dann im wellenförmigen Flug angesaust kam. Das Lieblingsfutter meiner in den letzten Wintern beobachteten und fotografierten Buntspechte ist ein aus Rindertalg und Haferflocken hergestelltes Fettgemisch, das landläufig als Meisenknödel bekannt ist. Haselnüsse werden recht wenig beachtet, Walnüsse geliebt und Continue reading Spechte an der Winterfütterung

Woodpeckers at the winter feeder

Great Spotted Woodpecker

A few years ago, I was a guest at a commercial winter feeding site for raptors. Great shooting conditions, beautiful scenery, great birds. Unfortunatelly not quite around the corner of my home located in the Eifel. ” …this I can do that, too” ,I thought. But then it turned out to be not so easy. Since there had been problems with the farmer who owned the land, then the tenant hunter. But finally I succeeded. A great advantage of my hide, built from wood and carpet remnants is that although it is right along the edge of a forest, it is only about 200 meters from my house. Of course you are thinking about the expected guests already when you plan the construction of the hide and the feeding site in front of it. Besides chickadees, finches and blackbirds, the Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) was “booked” in my plans. This is the most common woodpecker species in our landscape, not only in forests of all types, but also in urban parks and bigger gardens. And the plans turned right. After a short time this woodpecker counted to the regular guests in front of the winter hide, from which I made my shots in all distances, sometimes only 3.5 to 7 meters away. Most times he announced himself with a loud ” KiKiKiK ” before he came rushing in his undulating flight. The favorite food of the woodpeckers observed and photographed in recent winters is a product made from beef tallow and fat oatmeal mixture that is commonly known as bird seed. Hazelnuts cause very little attention, walnuts are beloved and Continue reading Woodpeckers at the winter feeder

Hide Photography in Bulgaria in July; Images from the Dobruja

Eurasian Golden-Oriole, maleThe north-eastern countryside of Bulgaria called Dobruja or in Bulgarian Dobrudzha or in romanian Dobrogea was not famous of being one of Bulgaria´s birding hot spots for bird-lens before. But a trip to the Romanian Dobrogea in may 2012 was already very productive. Thus maybe an excursion to that thinly populated area south of the city of Silistra might be good as well.

No disappointment!

The area is a charming countryside which has to offer surprisingly good locations to shoot images of excellent birds.

Having been spent 4 days at the place aiming to photograph Golden Oriole, Ortolan Bunting, Bee-eaters, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Barred Warbler, Tawny Pipit, etc. on invitation of Iordan Hristov one of the two owners of Nature Travel has been very productive – as you can see in the gallery. The other owner, Sergey Panayotov, and his friend Iordan Hristov offer Wildlife Workshops, trips with bicycles and canoes but also the chance to sit in one (or more) of their hides located in the superb gently rolling countryside of that part of Bulgaria. The center of these activities is an ancient farmhouse with an orchard meadow behind. The area in General is dry and can be – at least in that aspect – best compared to the Macin Mountains in Romania.

One of the main targets was the Golden Oriole photography. For this the tower hide was used. This brand-new photohide is in the yard of a small farmland. The tower overlooks the branches of a walnut-tree where birds often perch. Several bird species have their territories around the yard and they often perch on the highest branches for their displays in spring. When bird-lens was shooting the images you see in the gallery the breeding season was almost over. I felt, that the birds use the exposed position of this tallest tree to orientate between a open field and a forest behind and the cherry trees in the orchards of that nice village. An excellent chance to photograph Continue reading Hide Photography in Bulgaria in July; Images from the Dobruja

Birding around Frankfurt Airport – Wagbachniederung:

Purple HeronFrankfurt 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 are coming from Frankfurt Airport and heading down to the south for e.g. Munich or Stuttgart or the Black Forest, you might consider to squeeze in a morning of birding you might have a look at the wagbachniederung. Here you can walk, enjoy some fresh air and enjoy birding for typical european birds.

One of these sites is the best riparin woods 110 km south of Frankfurt, called The “Wagbachniederung” . This location is situated on the right bank of the Rhine at Waghaeusel southeast of Speyer between Mannheim and Karlsruhe. The Wagbachniederung was formerly a loop of the Rhine, which was separated from the main Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport – Wagbachniederung:

Birding around Frankfurt Airport – Schwanheimer Duene

Eurasian Golden-OrioleThere 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

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 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