Tag Archives: European Roller

Balz der Trappen in La Serena/ Estremadura

GrosstrappeIm Osten der spanischen Provinz Badajoz findet man eine weite, trockene Landschaft, deren besonderer Reiz in dem Wechsel zwischen steppenartigen Gebieten und locker bewaldeten Flächen liegt. La Serena ist ein Steppengebiet, das für Naturfotografen ein sehr lohnendes Fotoziel mit exzellenten Aufnahmemöglichkeiten darstellt. Die überwiegend baumlose Gegend wirkt auf den ersten Blick eintönig und leer. Doch wer in der weiten Landschaft steht und ganz in Ruhe über die sehr sanft gewundenen, niedrigen Hügel in die Ferne blickt, überkommt ein Gefühl der Unbegrenztheit. Zusätzlich sind die Steppen von La Serena berühmt für ihre Steppenvogelwelt. Spiessflughuhn (Pterocles alchata), Sandflughuhn (Pterocles orientalis), Steinkauz (Athene noctua), Blauracke (Coracias garrulus), Kalanderlerche (Melanocorypha calandra) und dann vor allem die Trappen. Zwergtrappe (Tetrax tetrax) und Großtrappe (Otis tarda) sind in der Steppenlandschaft das Highlight.

Das für Vogelfotografen beeindruckendes Motiv ist zweifelsohne die Balz der Männchen der Zwergtrappen und der Großtrappen. Die Balzzeit der Großtrappen beginnt in den Steppen der Serena Continue reading Balz der Trappen in La Serena/ Estremadura

Vogelparadies im Krüger Nationalpark

SenegalliestVögel im Krüger Nationalpark zu fotografieren bedeutet Herausforderung und Belohnung zugleich. Eben noch hat man in komfortabler Zivilisation beim Frühstück von der Veranda einer Lodge aus zwei Fitisse (Phylloscopus trochilus) und einen Grauschnäpper (Muscicapa striata) bewundert. Ein Kaptäubchen (Oena capensis) kam mal angeflogen und trank aus einer Pfütze. Ein besonders schöner Liest, wie die Eisvogelverwandte genannt werden, ist der Senegalliest (Halcyon senegalensis), der eines Morgens mit ausgebreiteten Schwingen im Morgennebelsaß und sich trocknete. Das war direkt im Letaba Camp Dann ist eine Rundfahrt angesagt. Das Straßennetz im Krüger Nationalpark gehört wohl zu den besten aller Nationalparks weltweit. Die Straßen erleichtern es einem Fotografen ungemein, sein Ziel ohne große Probleme zu erreichen. Man kann bequem mit dem Wagen durch den gesamten Park reisen und hält trotzdem das Equipment jederzeit griffbereit. Es muss nichts verzurrt werden, um zu verhindern, dass beim nächsten Schlagloch alles im Wagen herumfliegt. Schon das erste Wasserloch zeigt einen alten Bekannten. Zwischen den Grasbüscheln am Ufer steht ein Flußuferläufer (Actitis hypoleucos).

Eine Fotoreise Krüger Nationalpark sollte trotz der guten Infrastruktur sorgfältig vorbereitet werden. So ist eine größtmögliche Ausbeute in diesem Paradies der Vogelfotografie zu erzielen. Wie in anderen Parks auch, beherbergt der Krüger Nationalpark im Sommer andere Vögel als im Winter. Ich persönlich ziehe die kühlere Zeit zwischen Mitte Mai und Anfang September vor, weil sie trocken ist und daher bessere Bedingungen vorherrschen. Außerdem hat man eine schöne Alternative Continue reading Vogelparadies im Krüger Nationalpark

Sooty falcons – killers on the islands of the Red Sea

SchieferfalkeA blast from the blue evening sky. Brown feathers in the air. The collision does take only a fracture of a second. Then the spectacle is already over and gone and a bird of prey with long, slender wings and a long tail has disappeard in the stands of low mangroves. Another migratory songbird has finished its life. A Sooty Falcon has made his job again not far from its breeding ground. These falcons start breeding in fall between August and November to make use of the bird migration in fall along the red sea coast.

The Sooty Falcon (Falco concolor) is the killer of passerine birds on the islands along the red sea coast of Egypt. When the Sooty Falcon recognizes a bird flying overhead, the Sooty falcon rapidly takes to the air, accelerating above its prey before making a low dive and seizing it in its talons. The adult birds with its mainly uniform Continue reading Sooty falcons – killers on the islands of the Red Sea

Steppengebiet La Serena/ Spanien

ZwergtrappeWeite, trockene Landschaft so weit das Auge reicht. Wer weite Steppenlandschaften liebt und das im Blog über die Steppen um Belchite beschriebene Gebiet nicht besuchen kann oder auf dem Weg nach Portugal, einen fotografischen Zwischenstopp in der Estremadura einlegen will, dem bietet sich ein kürzerer oder längerer Aufenthalt in einem der größten Steppengebiete Spaniens mit einer erstaunlichen Artenvielfalt an. Dieses Gebiet heißt La Serena. In der Nähe der Stadt Merida kann man in Dörfern mit dem Name Castuera, Cabeza del Buey oder Puebla de Alcocer schön übernachten und von da aus die Vögel und die Landschaft erkunden. Nicht immer steht der Name Estremadura für grüne Steineichenwälder bis zum Horizont. Im Osten der spanischen Provinz Badajoz findet man eine kontrastreiche Landschaft, deren besonderer Reiz in dem Wechsel zwischen steppenartigen Gebieten und locker bewaldeten Flächen liegt. La Serena ist ein Steppengebiet, das für Naturfotografen ein sehr lohnendes Fotoziel mit exzellenten Aufnahmemöglichkeiten darstellt.

Die Steppen von La Serena sind berühmt für ihre Steppenvogelwelt. Spiessflughuhn (Pterocles alchata), Sandflughuhn (Pterocles orientalis), Kalanderlerche (Melanocorypha calandra) und dann erst Continue reading Steppengebiet La Serena/ Spanien

Eurasian Wryneck and other birds in Bulgaria

Eurasian WryneckI am now back from a trip to Bulgaria for quite a while. As I wrote already in the Bee-eater-Blog, the main purpose was to photograph European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster). But as I mentioned in the recent blog, Bulgaria is full of wildlife which could be found relatively easy. As most of the mornings were spent with Bee-eaters or in a hide for Eurasian Golden Orioles (Oriolus oriolus), evening photo sessions quite often were spent roaming along country roads in the car and photographing any birds I encountered. I came up with pretty good results. There were many passerine birds present. I came across with Crested Lark (Galerida cristata), Eurasian Linnet (Carduelis cannabina), Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala), Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca), Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor), Continue reading Eurasian Wryneck and other birds in Bulgaria

Caspian Seashore & Volga delta in May

Squacco HeronBird richness on the northern shore of the Caspian Sea is amazing. Caspian Sea is counted the largest inland body of water in the world. More than 100 rivers provide inflow to the Caspian, with the Volga River being the largest. Pristine floodplain forests, flooded grasslands to the horizon, eagles on almost every tree. A trip to the lowlands south of Astrakhan in southern Russia is not easy due to the distances and border formalities. But the only alternative is a trip to the Danube delta. To ease preparation, it was decided to participate in a guided trip in the first half of May 1998 to Volga delta. After that, the trip continued to the hill – lakes region and the feather grass steppe and the semi-desert north-west of Astrakhan.

In the Volga delta we stayed in Damtschik Continue reading Caspian Seashore & Volga delta in May

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

European Roller Image of Tuebingen 2013 in “Der Falke 7/2013”

Eurasian RollerAn image of a blog published in May 17, 2013 on www.bird-lens.com had an excellent response. The famous birder journal Der Falke 7/2013. showed interest in the image of the European (Eurasian) Roller, Coracias garrulous, which could be seen south of Wurmlingen a suburb of Rottenburg am Neckar southwest of Tuebingen on May, 13th 2013. The Journal published the image even on the front page. The bird stayed for almost one week in a flat area of meadows and agricultural fields with the name Suelcher Field (Sülcher Feld). The bird was quite mobile but usually stayed in several dedicated locations in the Suelcher field. Often it was observed sitting on the power lines and also in a special bush where this images could be shot on May, 13th 2013.  The last observations could be made on May, 15th.  Some observers saw the bird hunting insects both from the ground and in the air and then consuming it on one of its preferred perches.

Christopher König, Stefan Stübing and Johannes Wahl show in an article „Vögel in Deutschland aktuell: Frühjahr 2013” how birds coped with the spring of 2013 which came up with a few surprises.  First the spring started very late with long winter conditions up to March. Then temperatures rose in April, within days sometimes on summer temperatures ​​before they dropped again to low temperatures. May showed a lot of rain in the second half of the month. This “roller coaster Spring” also affected the migratory birds from far distances.

Bird-lens is proud to support images for Continue reading European Roller Image of Tuebingen 2013 in “Der Falke 7/2013”

Vagrant European Roller near Tuebingen in Germany

Eurasian RollerDuring the last week a European (Eurasian) Roller, Coracias garrulous, could be seen south of Wurmlingen a suburb of Rottenburg am Neckar southwest of Tuebingen. The bird stayed for almost one week in a flat area of meadows and agricultural fields with the name Suelcher Field (Sülcher Feld). The roller was observed the first time on Friday, May, 10th of 2013 by Stefan Hecht. The bird was quite mobile but usually stayed in several dedicated locations in the Suelcher field. Often it was observed sitting on the power lines and also in a special bush where this images could be shot on May, 13th 2013.  The last observations could be made on May, 15th.  Some observers saw the bird hunting insects both from the ground and in the air and then consuming it on one of its preferred perches.

In his „Handbuch der Vögel Mitteleuropas“, Band 9 „Columbiformes – Piciformes“ Urs N. Glutz von Blotzheim mentioned that until the 1980s, this colorful birds still bred in some parts of Brandenburg, especially in the Lausitz and in the Letzlinger Heide near Magedburg. The last breeding bird for the western part of the country was reported from 1965 when one of the adults was shot dead near Dettingen an der Teck (near Nuertingen) which is roughly 50 km as the bird flies from the location of the recent observation. The last observation of a vagrant bird twittered via the german Club-300 was from Continue reading Vagrant European Roller near Tuebingen in Germany

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

Spring migration and birds of prey in Extremadura – April 2013

In spring 2013, there will be an ornithological study tour to the region of Extremadura, southwesternSpain. It includes the provinces ofBadajozand Cáceres east of the border withPortugal, and is not only famous for the best-preserved medieval monuments inSpainbut among nature lovers for its unique combination of oak woodlands, grasslands, agricultural landscapes, lakes and rocky regions. Accordingly, the avifauna is highly diverse (about 340 spp.), with many species having their distribution centers for the Iberian Peninsula and southwestern Europe in that region. The spectrum ranges from common birds like the Lesser Kestrel, Azure-winged Magpie and Thekla Lark to outspoken rarities, such as White-headed Duck, Little and Great Bustard, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Black-shouldered (or Black-winged) Kite, (European) Roller and Great Spotted Cuckoo – species which are only distributed here and/or are already gone at most other places in Europe. The list of remarkable sightings is growing continuously; in spring of 2012, for the first time Lesser Crested Tern and Little Swift were recorded for the Extremadura.
A highlight of the tour will be a visit to the Monfragüe National Park north of Trujillo, which has been established

Continue reading Spring migration and birds of prey in Extremadura – April 2013