Tag Archives: Eurasian Sparrowhawk

Where and how to photograph Hawfinches

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

Where to photograph seabirds in flight in the UK

EissturmvogelIn the age of digital full-frame cameras with a very fast autofocus, flight-shot photography is possible that used to be (almost) unthinkable only some years ago. Ducks starting trembling over the water were (and are) still quite easy. But who managed to photograph a flying Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)? Other land birds were usually only photographed at take-off. Seabirds, on the other hand, provide the best conditions to make shoot excellent aerial images quite easy. These birds are numerous, they are tall and therefore do not move too fast. At hatching, they appear on land – albeit often on fairly inaccessible shores. Besides, they are not shy at all in flight and approach sometimes on short distances.

These are a lot of reasons why seabirds are still favored by bird photographers today. They are the Continue reading Where to photograph seabirds in flight in the UK

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

Wie findet man Kleinspechte

KleinspechtDer Kleinspecht darf eigentlich in keiner fotografischen Sammlung westpaläarktischer Vögel fehlen. Leider treibt er häufig in den Baumwipfeln herum und ist auch deutlich weniger gesprächig = lautstark als sein größerer Gattungsgenosse, der Buntspecht (Dendrocopos major). Als der kleinste Specht – nicht größer als ein Singvogel – ist er auch vielfältigen Bedrohungen und Verfolgungen ausgesetzt; nicht zuletzt von anderen Spechtarten.

Trotzdem gibt es einige Taktiken, die der versierte Naturliebhaber verfolgen kann, um zu schönen Beobachtungen dieses schwarz-weißen Spechts mit der beim Männchen roten Kappe zu gelangen. Eine der besten Zeiten – so habe ich zumindest nach Auswertung meines Kleinspechts-Fotoarchivs herausgefunden – gelangen mir im Winter wenn der Kleinspecht bei der Nahrungsaufnahme zu beobachten ist.

Das leise Klopfen bei der Nahrungssuche ist sicher eine Hilfe. Nur muß man dazu schon recht nah dran sein. So lautstark wie die beiden anderen schwarz-weißen Spechte, vor allem der Continue reading Wie findet man Kleinspechte

Nahrungsspektrum des Raubwürgers im Winter

RaubwürgerVor allem zur Brutzeit spießt ein Raubwürger (Lanius excubitor) seine Beute auf Dornen und Stacheldraht auf, um sie entweder besser als Futter bearbeiten zu können oder um die Beute für Notzeiten aufzubewahren. Im Winter scheinen die Nahrungsstrategien anders geartet zu sein. Die norddeutsch-polnische Tiefebene ist ein beliebter Winterrastplatz des Raubwürgers, da zu der Zeit auch Wintergäste aus nördlicheren und östlicheren Gebieten Europas einwandern und ausharren. Aber wie können die Würger im Winter zu überleben?

Horst Mester in seinem Artikel “Feeding habits of the Great Grey Shrike in winter” zu deutsch”Fressgewohnheiten der Raubwürger im Winter” beschreibt einige Strategien. Es gibt Autoren, die betonen die Vogeljagd dieses größen Würger der Westpaläarktis. Schon aus dem Jahr 1961 beschreibt u.a. Harrison wie Lanius excubitor nachhaltig Kleinvögel Continue reading Nahrungsspektrum des Raubwürgers im Winter

Bartmeisen: Fotografie im Winter am See

BartmeiseBartmeisen (Panurus biarmicus) sind sehr geschickte Kletterer. Ein vielleicht nicht erwartete gute Foto-Möglichkeit besteht im Winter. Dann wenn eine Einfall sibirischer Kälte einen richtigen Winter mit vereisten Seeflächen zaubert. Es ist ein hinreißendes Schauspiel, die zierlichen Bartmeisen, in der großen Kälte zu kleinen Federbällchen aufgeplustert, auf dem glatten Eisparkett umherlaufen und manchmal ausrutschen zu sehen. Bisweilen verweilten sie und saugen dann die Sonnenwärme in sich auf. Sonnenbaden ist auch zu anderen Jahreszeiten sehr beliebt. Ein sehr schönes Fotomotiv. Für den Fotografen bedeutete das die Horizontale auf dem Eis zu suchen, um eine interessante Perspektive zu gewinnen. Allein dazu muß es einige Tage vorher stark gefroren haben, da man mit seinem Gewicht sonst einbricht. Ein Tarnzelt braucht man nicht. Eine gute Fotografierposition reicht vollkommen aus. Dabei ist auf die richtige Höhe zu den Schilfstengeln und ausreichend Manövrierraum zu achten, um auch mal kurzfristig auf Standortverlagerungen der Bartmeisen reagieren zu können. Ansonsten verhalten sich die Vögel kooperativ. Sie sind mehr mit der Nahrungsaufnahme beschäftigt. Den Menschen scheinen sie nicht in ihrem Feindbild zu führen, während das plötzliche Auftauchen eines Greifvogels wie eines Sperbers (Accipiter nisus) oder eines Continue reading Bartmeisen: Fotografie im Winter am See

Amseln im Schnee

AmselIn der Nacht hat es geschneit. Nun ist die Luft kalt und das Land liegt still wie in Watte gepackt unter einer 10 cm dicken Schneedecke. Richtiger Winter, dazu Schnee und auch noch Sonnenschein. Ideale Bedingungen für einen Spaziergang auf einem Parkfriedhof. Von den Singvögeln hört man nur vereinzelt ein verhaltenes Zwitschern. Bei aufmerksamer Betrachtung offenbart ein solcher Schneespaziergang Erstaunliches. Eine mit frischem Schnee überzogene Landschaft hat immer etwas Unberührtes. Die Wege sind nicht zu erkennen. Ich laufe auf purem Weiß. Dies in der Überzeugung, heute morgen der Erste zu sein, der hier seine Fußspuren hinterlässt – doch weit gefehlt! Vor mir waren schon andere unterwegs: Feldhasen hoppelten querfeldein von den Wiesen herüber und ein Fuchs (Vulpes vulpes) schnürte über die ausladende Allee des Hauptweges.

Auf dem Friedhof sind über den Winter ständig mehrere Amseln anzutreffen. Die Amsel (Turdus merula) gehört zu über das Jahr zu den Frühaufstehern und abends ist sie einer der letzten. Aber jetzt sind die Tage kurz Continue reading Amseln im Schnee

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

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

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

Joined hunting with Hen Harrier

KornweiheThe lowlands of the Havellaendische Luch at Buckow – 50 km west of Berlin – as an unique area of meadows and fields. Actually known as the top territory in Germany to observe Great Bustards (Otis tarda), it is a perfect winter habitats, especially for wintering raptors as well. Different species of flying predators such as Red Kite (Milvus milvus), Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus), Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo), Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus), Merlin (Falco columbarius) and sometimes a Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) use the high diversity of the meadows , pastures and fields around to pick up their food. The White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) is a feeding guest, too. Unlike the species mentioned above, he does not keep up with mice but tries to chase the many Geese grazing in the area. Unfortunately, he also attacks some of the precious Great Bustards (Otis tarda).

While visiting the Havelländische lynx very interesting observations of hunting Northern Harriers chasing songbirds Continue reading Joined hunting with Hen Harrier

Tripreport Carpathians of Slovakia, June 2014

Steinadler - JungesAfter having visited the Carpathians of Slovakia in April mainly for Hazel grouse photography, I wanted to observe different birds in the same area. In preparation I ordered a birdlist of the species from a local guide which birds might be possible and got the Continue reading Tripreport Carpathians of Slovakia, June 2014

Lesser Yellowlegs near Callantsoog/ Noord Holland – NL

Kleiner GelbschenkelRight now, it is possible to see a rare Tringa-wader in a Nature reserve at the coast of Noord Holland between Den Helder and Callantsoog. An adult Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) can be observed north of Callantsoog in the newly established nature reserve “The Nollen van Abbestede”. After a report two days ago it could be observed this afternoon by parking the car along a dirt track on a in nature reserve near the sandy coast and dunes only 200m away from the first observation.

The older report came from the wetland right on the N 502, the Duinweg. The first efforts to twitch the bird the next morning were Continue reading Lesser Yellowlegs near Callantsoog/ Noord Holland – NL

Wallcreeper in the Sierra de Guara in Northern Spain

MauerläuferMy first attempts were not successful. The very reliable Wallcreeper wall in the town of Alquezar in Aragon revealed a Sparrowhawk instead. In search of this elusive high mountain dweller I payed attention to an article by Dave Gosney from 19th of find March 2008  on ” Birding abroad“. The article is titled: “Finding Wallcreepers in the Sierra de Guara“. The Sierra de Guara is a mountain range south of the famous Ordesa National Park in northern Spain. The peaks Continue reading Wallcreeper in the Sierra de Guara in Northern Spain

Sparrowhawk at Wallcreeper cliff in Alquezar in Northern Spain

Sperber-MännchenFor long I have been looking for Wallcreepers (Tichodroma muraria). Observations – or even photos – from the Wallcreeper are my dream. I’ve been days hiking in the Alps in the Karwendel mountains, in the Tien Shan in Kyrgyzstan, in the Carpathian Mountains. I was hiking at high altitudes and took a lot of efforts, but up to now I missed these high mountain dwellers. Since I am not alone. The Wallcreeper is actually one of the most sought-after birds in Europe. The Internet although is a help. One problem is that there are many places where Wallcreeper supposedly live. The catch is to find a reliable site. The trip and the spending should be worth it. This is true not only for breeding areas but particularly for wintering grounds. So I was glad to find an article by Dave Gosney from 19th of find March 2008  on “Birding abroad”. The article Continue reading Sparrowhawk at Wallcreeper cliff in Alquezar in Northern Spain

Bird migration at the Stockert in the Eifel hills

Crested Tit, resting in sloe

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A beautiful autumn day. Indian Summer, as written in the books. This time it is to go to the Eifel to hill Stockert south of Euskirchen where bird migration at day can be observed. It was still dark when I arrived. The first bird whispers were heard already . It was mainly chickadees whose calls were audible. Then it went very quick. Within minutes, the bushes were full. Of course, especially Great Tit (Parus major) and Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus ) were seen in the sloe (or Blackthorn), Prunus spinosa, and rosehip, Rosa canina, bushes. A wonderful contrast to the blue and red fruits that hung plentiful on the branches everywhere. Migration unrest obviously hit two species of tits too that are usually not associated with the open countryside but with conifers in the forests. There were some Coal Tits (Periparus ater) and Crested Tit (Lophophanes cristatus), which rested for a while on the branches of a sloe . Only short – about 2 minutes – then they were gone again.

When photographing it was obvious to see that migration is in full swing. Singing and other territorial habits were rare and restricted to the earliest morning. This early morning on a sunny day (but quite cold in the first hours) was a real pleasure – also from the point of ornithology. In addition Continue reading Bird migration at the Stockert in the Eifel hills

The Northern Goshawk – aerial shots and more

Northern GoshawkWhen scanning images of the portfolio of bird-lens.com it was noticed that the Northern Goshawk is still significantly under-represented . Therefore locations were actively scanned which are known to be frequented regularly by Goshawks. For this purpose sites near wetlands were visited especially in late summer or fall, where many (larger) birds rest and / or moult and are therefore available as prey for inexperienced, young Goshawks. Here, I could see and even photograph a young female Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) approaching me within a few dozen meters. As a result you can see some pictures of this wonderful Northern Goshawk in flight. So strong and breast -heavy like the bird on the pictures in the gallery, the female Goshawk can be differentiated easily from the Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) by size alone.

Other images were shot from an elevated vantage point in the forest. You need time and patience. But then you see pretty easy that Northern Goshawk breeding pairs are territorial. It was also shown that the nests are evenly distributed in the suitable breeding area. Breeding birds defend the environment of their nest within a certain radius, which should not exceed 1km.
Outside the breeding season, territorial behavior is observed, too. Other raptors as the Common Buzzards (Buteo buteo) shown on the images are vehemently attacked. Especially adult males show a year-round commitment to the nest area and defend their territory. On the other hand young female Goshawks, independently roaming in others territory as shown in the picture apparently penetrate easily into foreign territories.

The Northern Goshawk is about 45 to 67 cm in length and has a wingspan of about 130 cm. The female is larger than the male. The adult plumage is brownish gray on the back and consists of a white chest which is finely barred black. Young birds are brownish until the first moult on the upper side. The barring on the breast is replaced in young birds by a streaking or a line drawing. The stripes can be found Continue reading The Northern Goshawk – aerial shots and more

Occurrence and habitat of Eurasian Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium passerinum) in Brandenburg

Eurasian Pygmy-OwlThis small owl is the sole member in Europe of a worldwide spread genus Glaucidium. The owl inhabits mainly the coniferous forest zone, especially the upland and mountain areas up to the tree line in Central Europe. But in the 19th Century this owl was widespread distributed in all the mountain ranges of central Europe and their forelands and well represented in the North German / Polish lowlands at many locations.

In the german Red List of breeding birds the pygmy owl is classified as
regular breeding native bird species but regarded as “rare”. In the last decades the population trend is positive, this is ture for the long term and at many sites for the short term, too. Additionally there are more and more records from the lowlands in recent years. A nearly comprehensive investigation in Niedersachsen (Lower Saxonia) in (2001/2002) resulted in a population count of 170-230 pairs. Particularly important here is the well established lowland population in the Lüneburger Heide (Heath), where the first records date back as far as 1977. Now (2001/2002) 23 – 35 pairs defend their territories.

More than one reason to investigate the situation in Brandenburg a state with a landscape very comparable in many topographical aspects. A similar development trend is also emerging in Brandenburg, whose maximum height is about 200 meters n. NN is. Secured older records ‘before 1990 are not available for the state. Since the first reliable records of the Eurasian Pygmy-Owl in the 1990s some areas, particularly in the south of Brandenburg were studied in greater detail. These studies did show that Continue reading Occurrence and habitat of Eurasian Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium passerinum) in Brandenburg

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.

Fall migration at the Black Sea Coast/ Romania

Spectacular numbers of Pallid Harrier, Circus macrourus, and Red-footed Falcon, Falco vespertinus, were the highlight of the first day. Having spent 3 days in May north of Constanta at Romania´s Black Sea coast, it was decided to try our luck with birds again in the area around the village of Vadu. The target was, to increase the birdlist and to look what differences in the bird diversity we could experience. South of the Danube Delta is wide stretch of a sandy shoreline with shallow lagoons. This is part of Romania´s Black Sea coast. September– like May – is migration time. Whereas the association of the east Romanian countryside is normally with the core Danube Delta with its special birds like Pelicans, Black-necked and Red-necked Grebes, Glossy Ibises, Spoonbills, the stretch of coast just south of the Danube Delta up to the northern city limits of Constanta is an excellent birding spot not only for migrating birds, too. Two dedicated bird photographers went for the countryside area near of Vadu at the sandy coast in the 3rd week of September 2012. The area called Dobrudja with its steppe habitat more to the west was neglected this time. All breeding specialities should have gone already.

The trip date was perfect, allowing us to see good variety of species, many of them in considerable numbers, especially raptors. We also saw waders, gulls, herons, pelicans and passerines.

The Bird Diversity we enjoyed was high; exactly 90 species of birds we found in only 2,5 days. Highlights of the tour you will find in the gallery. Among others we made photos of Black-necked Grebe, Podiceps nigricollis, Dalmatian Pelican, Pelecanus crispus, Purple Heron, Ardea purpurea, Ruddy Shelduck, Tadorna ferruginea, Common Shelduck, Tadorna tadorna, Black Kite, Milvus migrans, Western Marsh-Harrier, Circus aeruginosus, Pallid Harrier, Circus macrourus, Montagu’s Harrier, Circus pygargus, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus, Red-footed Falcon, Falco vespertinus, Eurasian Hobby, Falco subbuteo, Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus, Common Quail, Coturnix coturnix, Syrian Woodpecker, Dendrocopos syriacus, Red-backed Shrike, Lanius collurio, Sedge Warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, many Willow Warblers, Phylloscopus trochilus, Common Chiffchaff, Phylloscopus collybita, lots of Blackcaps, Sylvia atricapilla, only a few Common Whitethroats, Sylvia communis, many Lesser Whitethroats, Sylvia curruca, many Spotted Flycatchers, Muscicapa striata and Red-breasted Flycatchers, Ficedula parva, good numbers of Common Redstarts, Phoenicurus phoenicurus, Whinchats, Saxicola rubetra, Northern Wheatears, Oenanthe oenanthe and a single Tawny Pipit, Anthus campestris.

This tour gave us the opportunity to witness the spectacular autumn migration Continue reading Fall migration at the Black Sea Coast/ Romania

Migration of raptors over the Macin Mountains National Park

Because Macin Mountains is famous as an important migration hotspot for raptors in autumn, we decided to visit this site after a visit in May again at the end of September.

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

Top Birds at Romania´s Black Sea Coast

South of the Danube Delta is a wide stretch of a sandy shoreline with shallow lagoons. This is part of Romania´s Black Sea coast. May is Migration and early breeding time. Whereas the association of the east Romanian countryside is normally with the core Danube Delta with its speciality birds like Pelicans, Black-necked and Red-necked Grebes, Glossy Ibises, Spoonbills, the stretch of coast just south of the Danube Delta up to the northern city limits of Constanta is an excellent birding spot, too. A small group of bird photographers went for that countryside, with the area called Dobrudja more to the west and the area of Vadu at the coast. The tour was organized by Sakertours. The Bird Diversity we enjoyed was high; over 90 species of birds we found in only 3 days, some had just arrived from their wintering grounds in Africa. Highlights of the tour you will find in the gallery. Among others we made photoshots of Great Bittern, Botaurus stellaris, European Honey-buzzard, Pernis apivorus, Montagu’s Harrier, Circus pygargus, Long-legged Buzzard, Buteo rufinus, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Aquila pomarina, Imperial Eagle, Aquila heliaca, 2 species of Sparrowhawks Continue reading Top Birds at Romania´s Black Sea Coast

An Eurasian Sparrowhawk with Long-legged Buzzard in Romania

May is migration time at Romania´s Black Sea coast. Thus it is prime birdwatching time. After having seen many of the speciality birds like Pelicans, Grebes, Glossy Ibises, Spoonbills in the Danube Delta, a small group of bird photographers went for steppe habitats further south. There were already lots of excellent sightings of raptors (e.g. White-tailed Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle and Imperial Eagle) but what we saw in the Dobrogea/ Dobrudja near Constanta was a surprise. A pair of Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus, was circling in the sky. Shortly afterwards joined by a circling Long-legged Buzzard. More photos you see here….

The Eurasian Sparrowhawk is widely distributed in Europe. In Romania it occurs as a breeding species, too. Its occurrence status is: Native due to birdlife, but in the east of Romania you can see the Levant Sparrowhawk, Accipiter brevipes, too.  If I am right, this observation was the only one of Eurasian Sparrowhawk during the whole 2 weeks we spent at Romania´s Black Sea coast. But of course it is not a strange thing to see one in Dobrogea. During the winter, Romania has a larger population of the Sparrowhawk because birds from the northern areas of Europe use  to move to the southern areas of the continent.

 The Sparrowhawks are partially Continue reading An Eurasian Sparrowhawk with Long-legged Buzzard in Romania