Tag Archives: Eurasian Blackbird

Ausflug nach Corvo/ Azoren

SanderlingUm 9:00 sind wir auf dem Parkplatz oberhalb des Walfang-Museums in Santa Cruz, der alten Fabrica da Baleia do Boqueirao. Die Fahrt startet am Porto do Boqueirao. Unten wartet schon Carlos auf uns, der – trotz Nebensaison – sogar das ganze Boot für diesen Trip voll bekommt. Ok, ein Samstag bei schönem Wetter. Bei nicht zu rauer See geht es rüber gen Corvo. Es wird der direkte Weg genommen. Der Trip dauert doch eine gute Stunde, was für Menschen mit Seekrankheit ein echter Alptraum sein kann.

Ich halte Ausschau nach pelagischen Vögeln. Aber den Dunklen Sturmtaucher (Puffinus griseus), oder einen Wellenläufer (Oceanodroma leucorhoa), die jemand Mitte Oktober mal zwischen Corvo und Flores gesichtet habe, sehe ich nicht. Nur Gelbschnabel-Sturmtaucher (Calonectris borealis). Endlich kommen wir am Hafen von Corvo an. Es ist leicht bewölkt und angenehm mild. Am Hafen warten schon Vans, die jetzt die Insassen der Boote hochfahren.

Es stellt sich heraus, daß die meisten Touristen sich hochfahren lassen und dann gleich wieder für den gleichen Preis (5,- €/ Person) wieder herunter bringen lassen. Wir aber wollen die schöne Caldeira über der dicke Nebelwolken sehen, richtig genießen und Continue reading Ausflug nach Corvo/ Azoren

Graveyard Blackbirds in the snow

Amsel, MännchenIt is cold in Germany. There had been snow the last few nights before. But now it thaws again. The air is cold and clear. The main part in a vast park cemetery is still as packed with a 5 cm thick layer of snow. Only the paths are cleared temporarily by a snow plow. Ok, this is already not a real winter, but there is snow and in between comes out even the sun. Ideal conditions for a walk in the park of the cemetery. On careful examination, there are encountered many blackbirds constantly in the cemetery over the winter. The population of the Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) seem to have increased again now with snow. Everywhere you see a dark bird flit from a side of the road to the other. Under each second (coniferous) trees the ground is intensively scratched. A regularity is not really visible. However, there seems to be a preference for conifers, under which twigs are intensively inverted. A short picking in the substrate and again…..

A park cemetery, which is not too neat is ideal. Winter food for Blackbirds but also Common Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs) – besides what lies under leaves and scatter – is offered e.g. by the Barberry. The Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) is a nearly 3 meters tall, Continue reading Graveyard Blackbirds in the snow

Haubenlerchen im Schnee im Fläming

HaubenlercheNach einer Woche Minustemperaturen und anschließendem Tauwetter gibt es wieder einen Wintereinbruch mit Schnee in Deutschland. In der letzten Nacht hat es geschneit. Die Temperaturen liegen um den Gefrierpunkt. An den Straßenrändern taut es aber schon wieder. Die Luft ist kalt und feucht. Die meisten Flächen auf einem ausgedehnten ehemaligen LPG-Gelände liegen an diesem Sonntag still. Die meisten Betonplatten liegen unter einer nur 1 cm dicken Schneedecke. Nur die Wege werden von einem Schneepflug provisorisch geräumt. Das ist zwar noch kein richtiger Winter, aber es liegt Schnee und zwischendurch scheint sogar die Sonne heraus zu kommen. Ideale Bedingungen für eine Erkundungsfahrt in den Niederen Fläming.

An den Toren eines Landwirtschaftsbetriebs, der Nuthequelle Landwirtschaftliche Betriebsgesellschaft mbH, sehe ich dann einen großen Trupp (mind. 40 Ex.) Goldammern (Emberiza citrinella). Dazwischen sind auch 2 Grauammern (Emberiza calandra). Auch Grünfinken (Chloris chloris) sind zu sehen. Die Ammern picken Continue reading Haubenlerchen im Schnee im Fläming

Singvögel am Habicht-Luderplatz

EichelhäherWintereinbruch in Deutschland. Aber für die Habichtfotografie muß man doch nach Norwegen fahren. Früh geht es los. Der Luderplatz liegt mitten in einem schönen, urtümlichen Kiefernwäldchen. Jetzt – so gegen um 6:45 – ist es in dem recht geschlossenen Kiefernwald natürlich noch sehr dunkel. So gegen 08:00 Uhr scheinen sich die Lichtverhältnisse zu verbessern. Nun beim ersten Licht sind auch die ersten Eichhörnchen zu sehen. Immer wieder wippen sie aufgeregt mit dem Schwanz. Später sind auch mal die ersten Vögel zu hören. Ich tippe mal auf Häher im Hintergrund, aber es sind auch Meisen dabei. Und dann tatsächlich: Die Kohlmeisen (Parus major) und schließlich auch einige, wenige Blaumeisen (Cyanistes caeruleus) sind die ersten. Noch im ersten Büchsenlicht sind sie zu sehen. Dann sind wenig später aber auch andere Meisenarten zu sehen. Zuerst Weidenmeise (Poecile montanus), Tannenmeise (Periparus ater) und Haubenmeise (Lophophanes cristatus). Wenig später dann auch der erste Eichelhäher (Garrulus glandarius). Insgesamt 3 Exemplare zähle ich. Die Meisen und dann auch die Eichhörnchen liefern sich mit den Eichelhähern ein Wettrennen und die Körner und das Fett. Sie scheinen recht hungrig. So richtig klar ist mir die doch sehr aufwändige Fütterung der Singvögel direkt am Habicht-Luderplatz nicht. Da der Habicht (Accipiter gentilis) sehr vorsichtig Continue reading Singvögel am Habicht-Luderplatz

A sacrifice for a Goshawk – winter photography in Norway

HabichtIn the depths of Norwegians winter forest I stroll in the pitch darkness over a small path. It is just 6:00 am. I woke up early to visit a Goshawk photography hide with Ole Martin Dahle. During a very successful Eagle photography session in November 2013 I made my first attempts to shot the Goshawk with my Canons. But in vain. This time is late winter and I am about 90 minutes earlier on the way to be in the hide prior to activity time of the Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis). The night before it has snowed. Now the air is cold and the land lies under a thin, icy snow. Ideal conditions for the Goshawk Photography. We travel a narrow road out of the village and a short time later Ole place the car at the edge of a pine forest. Now it is time for the walk through the pine forest. The path is just poorly lit only with a meager torch light. Soon we are in the spacious, well-isolated cabin. Good thing, that I brought enough tripod heads. These are each fastened with a large wing nut under the window. The “loopholes” of hide are now equipped with the lenses, cameras are mounted and secured: Ready! Meanwhile Ole prepares the table with a Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus)-bait. The bait is draped on the table, that it looks as if it is laying on the forest floor.

Now everything is ready for hard-core photography. It is now 5:45 am and it is completely dark in the closed pine forest. In the dark I hear the first bird: a Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula). At about 07:00 am the forest looks something brighter now. But no birds and no squirrels far and wide to hear. It begins to snow. Luckily no rain. The table is beautifully covered with snow. This gives great pictures from the Goshawk – if he is coming. Well, at first light Continue reading A sacrifice for a Goshawk – winter photography in Norway

Habicht am winterlichen Luderplatz

HabichtIn den Tiefen des norwegischen winterlichen Küstenwaldes bin ich schon vor 6:00 morgens unterwegs. Es ist stockdunkel. Früh war ich mit Ole Martin Dahle aufgebrochen, um noch im Dunkeln in einem Hide zur Habichtfotografie zu sein. Bei einer sehr erfolgreichen Adlerfotografie in Nord-Trondelag hatte es nur erfolglose Versuche mit dem Habichtansitz im Jahr 2013 gegeben. Diesmal war ich etwa 90 Minuten früher auf dem Weg, um möglichst weit vor der Aktivitätszeit des Habichts in meinem Versteck zu sein. In der Nacht zuvor hat es geschneit. Nun ist die Luft kalt und das Land liegt still unter einer dünnen, vereisten Schneedecke. Fast ein richtiger Winter, dazu Schnee. Ideale Bedingungen für die Habichtfotografie. Wir fahren eine schmale Straße aus dem Ort heraus und schon wenig später stellt Ole den Wagen Continue reading Habicht am winterlichen Luderplatz

Friedhofs-Amseln im Schnee

AmselWintereinbruch in Deutschland. In den letzten Nächten hatte es geschneit. Nun taut es aber schon wieder. Die Luft ist kalt und klar. Die meisten Flächen auf einem ausgedehnten Parkfriedhof liegen noch still wie in Watte gepackt unter einer 5 cm dicken Schneedecke. Nur die Wege werden von einem Schneepflug provisorisch geräumt. Das ist zwar noch kein richtiger Winter, aber es liegt Schnee und zwischendurch kommt sogar die Sonne heraus. Ideale Bedingungen für einen Spaziergang auf einem Parkfriedhof. Von den Singvögeln hört man nur vereinzelt ein verhaltenes Zwitschern. Bei aufmerksamer Betrachtung sind auf dem Friedhof über den Winter ständig viele Amseln anzutreffen. Nun bei Schnee scheinen sich die Bestände der Amsel (Turdus merula) noch mal vermehrt zu haben. Überall sieht man sie von einer Wegseite zur nächsten huschen. Unter jedem zweiten (Nadel-)Baum ist der Boden intensiv aufgekratzt. Eine Regelmäßigkeit ist nicht wirklich zu erkennen. Jedoch scheint es eine Präferenz für Koniferen Continue reading Friedhofs-Amseln im Schnee

Great Eagle-Owl near Frankfurt/ Germany

Since several weeks notable guests can be seen in a small, tranquil town at the edge of the Taunus near Frankfurt. It´s a family of Eurasian Eagle-Owl

Uhu(Bubo bubo). Mid of April 2014 a representative of the NABU in Bad Soden, Mr. Guenter Sieper, was called that a young owl was staying on a terrace of the Hundertwasserhaus, a house built by the famous architect Hunderwasser. Die local conservancy initiative NABU drove immediately out to find the Continue reading Great Eagle-Owl near Frankfurt/ Germany

Alpine Accentor on migration on top of the Grosser Feldberg near Frankfurt / Main

AlpenbraunelleNo less than 3 Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris) could be observed on April 11th, 2014 at the Grosser Feldberg just 20 km from the city center of Frankfurt / Main. After Ingo Roessler had found the species in searching for Ring Ouzel, Turdus torquatus, around the little town of Schmitten, several ornithologists had already been on the top of the mountain (approx. 800m asl) , to observe the very rare species. First, there was talk of a bird , then they were supposedly away and then there were but a total of three individuals which were staying near the radio tower at the Great Feldberg. This of course was a big sensation for the birders of the Rhine -Main region. When we arrived around 4:30 pm, the Alpine Accentor could be seen feeding in the western courtyard by the large telecommunications tower. From time to time they flew to the gutters of the radio tower and returned to the yard. Until at least 5:20 pm, 3 individuals of the Alpine Accentor could be observed in the small courtyard Continue reading Alpine Accentor on migration on top of the Grosser Feldberg near Frankfurt / Main

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

Migratory birds herald spring

Common Cranes flying overLast weekend, you could observe heavy traffic in the skies over Frankfurt/ Germany. Although winter is not ready to lower its grip the first returning migrants already point to the imminent end of the cold season. In recent weeks, Eurasian Skylarks  (Alauda arvensis), and Northern Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus), were seen already on their return. Particularly striking are currently the Common Cranes  (Grus grus) flying in wedge-shaped formations over western Germany.  On the 9th of march you could see at least 30 individuals over the outskirts of Kelkheim/ Main-Taunus-Kreis. The southern slopes of the Taunus are one of the pathways of the western migration corridor of these tall, slender birds before they are heading further north of the Wetterau

For the Bay of Cologne, which is 200km further north located, the long-term statistical average is between 5th and 13th of March. What this mean in terms of quantity you can see by the fact that highest count in crane observation was made by the NABU Aachen (further to the west), who observed more than 8,000 cranes in the region between that time period (5th and 13th of March in 1991).

The birds spend the winter mainly in sunny Spain or France. Their main wintering area is located in the Extremadura in western Spain. There, the cranes in the clear Mediterranean oak forests searched for the fruits of holm and cork oaks. On the way back to their breeding grounds, the cranes Germany crossed on quite a narrow corridor toward the southern shores of the Baltic sea in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
But there are even more flocks of birds expected in the coming weeks: Blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla), Continue reading Migratory birds herald spring

Common Kestrel feeding on trapped bird

loud alarms calls of Blackbirds draw my attention to a place in neighbor´s garden. First I saw a moving wing – white with black pattern. Then the moustache. Hey, this is a female Common Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus, feeding on a Eurasian Blackbird. The dead Blackbird had been accidentally trapped by a fruit net, provided to protect garnet berry, Ribes rubrum, from marauding birds.
Just after I showed up, the kestrel flew away with a piece of his prey in her bill. But only after a while she came back and hung down at the wrapped bird. Unfortunately, I could not reach the neighbor’s yard. Ok, the bird was dead, but it could have been that even the Kestrel gets tangled in the net. Finally, the neighbor had seen the incident and also untied the dead blackbird off the net. A little later I could see the kestrels, as she was feeding with relish the blackbird-meal on a stone wall. Finally, she flew away, not without being aggressivly harassed by the excited fellows of the dead blackbird. Other shootings of that session you can see in the gallery under: www.bird-lens.com.
Common Kestrels eat almost exclusively mouse-sized mammals: typically voles, but also shrews and true Continue reading Common Kestrel feeding on trapped bird

New Bird Images in Picture Shop

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