Tag Archives: Ficedula parva

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

Heidevogelarten in Brandenburg

Eurasian HoopoeBrandenburg, eines der neuen Bundesländer, ist viel stärker von kontinentalen Klima geprägt als die westlichen Landesteile, wo ich wohne.  Außerdem ist dieses Bundesland an der polnischen Grenze weniger dicht besiedelt. Ein guter Grund einige Landesteile Vogelparadiese zu nennen.  Brutpaare der selten gewordenen Raubwürger (Lanius excubitor) leben hier im Osten in guter Zahl. Die Raubwürger waren der Hauptgrund eine Reise Continue reading Heidevogelarten in Brandenburg

Keoladeo-Nationalpark, ein Paradies auch für westpaläarktische Vögel

Black Redstart maleKann man auch in Indien eine Geschäftsreise und Vogelbeobachtung verbinden? Das Land ist groß, die Entfernungen ebenfalls und das meiste an Business spielt sich in einem Ballungsraum – Neu Delhi – ab. Obwohl nach der indischen Volkszählung von 2011 angeblich in dem Gebiet Neu-Delhis nur knapp 250. 000 Menschen leben, sind es doch zumindest im Großraum Delhi mehrere Millionen. Natur muß da zurückstehen. In der Nähe befindet sich allerdings Keoladeo. Der ist laut wikipedia ein Nationalpark im indischen Bundesstaat Rajasthan. Er wird auch Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary oder Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary genannt. Der Nationalpark liegt etwa 50 km westlich von Agra bei der Stadt Bharatpur und kilometermäßig nicht allzu weit südlich der Stadt Neu Delhi, der Hauptstadt Indiens. Ein Geschäftstrip nach Neu Delhi gestattete noch ein paar Tage in einem Schutzgebiet. Ich entschied mich für das Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary.

Von Deutschland führte die Reise zuerst nach Neu Delhi. Ich übernachtete in der Stadt, hatte 4 anstrengende Tage in Geschäftsmeetings bei konstant laufender Klimaanlage in abgedunkelten Räumen und machte mich dann am Wochenende auf zu meinem wohlverdienten Relax-Ziel, dem Keoladeo-Nationalpark bei Bharatpur.

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Doch vor dem Vogelgenuß wird es erst noch mal anstrengend. Es sind zwar nur gut 200 km bis zum Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary. Aber die haben es in sich. Mindestens 3 Stunden – eher 4 Stunden – ist man auf staubigen, vollgestopften Landstraßen unterwegs. Dann ist man aber auch in Keoladeo, Indiens Paradies für Wasservögel. Er ist für Indien, was der Okawango für Botswana und die Everglades für Amerika bedeuten. Die örtliche Bevölkerung kennt Keoladeo als “Ghana”. In ihrer Sprache bedeutet dieses Wort “Wald” oder “Dickicht”. Keoladeo war ursprünglich das private Entenjagdrevier des Maharajas von Bharatpur. In der Sumpflandschaft überwintern viele Wasservögel aus Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China und Sibirien. Angeblich über 364 Vogelarten. Die Stadt Bharatpur wurde früher regelmäßig während der Monsunzeit überschwemmt. Bei Deichbauarbeiten am sogenannten Ajan-Damm entstand dann durch das Abtragen des für den Dammbau verwendeten Erdreichs eine Mulde, die sich mit Wasser füllte und zum Keoladeo-See wurde. Um 1900 wurde der Keoladeo-See als Jagdrevier hergerichtet. Der flache See wurde mit Dämmen unterteilt. Mittels Schleusen ließ sich der Wasserstand auf dem gewünschten Niveau einstellen. Schießplätze, Verstecke und Wege wurden geschaffen. Keoladeo wurde zu einem der besten Entenjagdgebiete der Welt. Mit einer geänderten Einstellung zu Tieren und Jagd wurde aus dem Revier für die Entenjagd ein Schutzgebiet, das auch 1956 als solches eingerichtet wurde. Zum Nationalpark wurde der Park 1982 per Gesetz erklärt.

In der Zeit des Monsuns von Juli bis September ist überall Brutzeit in diesem ausgedehnten Sumpfgebiet. Bald gibt es allerorten die verschiedensten Jungvögel von Ibis und Storch, Reiher, Kormoran und Purpurhuhn zu sehen. Aber der berühmteste und sehnlichst erwartete Besucher des Keoladeo kommt erst, wenn der Winter ihn aus den nördlichen Regionen in südlichere Gefilde zwingt. Es handelt sich um den seltenen Nonnenkranich (Grus leucogeranus), auch Schneekranich genannt. Dessen Vorkommen bis auf wenige EinzeIexemplare zusammengeschrumpft. Ich habe ihn leider nicht mehr zu Gesicht bekommen, denn nur wenige Tage vor Continue reading Keoladeo-Nationalpark, ein Paradies auch für westpaläarktische Vögel

Keoladeo National Park, a paradise also for Western Palearctic birds

White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)Is it possible to combine business and birding in India? The country is large, the distance too and most business is performed in a metropolitan area – New Delhi. Although supposedly in the area of New Delhi only 250,000 people live after the Indian census of 2011, but there are at least several million in the greater Delhi area . Nature must stand back there. Nearby , however, is Keoladeo . According to wikipedia is a national park in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Keoladeo is also known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary or Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary. The National Park is located about 50 km west of Agra near the town of Bharatpur and not too far south of the city of New Delhi, the capital of India. As a business trip to New Delhi allowed for a few days off for birding, I opted for the Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary.

From Germany first the trip went to New Delhi. I stayed in the city, had four grueling days in business meetings with constantly running air conditioning in darkened rooms and then went on a weekend to my well-deserved relaxation destination, the Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur. But before the bird’s enjoyment there are more exhausting times to cope with. Although there are only about 200 km to the Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary. But they are strenuous. At least 3 hours – rather 4 hours – you are traveling on dusty, crowded highways in almost constant traffic jam. But then you’re on your final destination: in Keoladeo, India´s paradise for water birds. It is for India which for Botswana is the Okavango and the Everglades mean for America. The local population knows Keoladeo as “Ghana” . In their language the word means “forest” or “jungle”. Keoladeo was originally the private duck hunting ground of the Maharajas of Bharatpur. In the swamps many water birds from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China and Siberia are wintering. Supposedly over Continue reading Keoladeo National Park, a paradise also for Western Palearctic birds

Birds of heath in Brandenburg

Northern ShrikeBrandenburg, one of the new federal states is much more influenced by continental climate than the western parts of the country like e.g. Frankfurt am Main. Moreover, this state is not very densely populated at the Polish border. A good reason to call some parts of the country a birds and birders paradise. Breeding pairs of the rare Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor) live here in the East in a good number The Shrike – also called the Northern Shrike – was the main reason for a trip to the east at the end of June. Now the Great Grey Shrikes have largely reared their brood and now take care of the (almost) fledglings. A disturbance of breeding is thus excluded. The feeding phase for the young should therefore be photographed.

Especially in summer I often used go and photograph to the military training areas near Cologne, in particular at the Wahner Heide. The military training areas Reicherskreuzer Heide (Heath) and Lieberose Heide were unknown to me until then and should now be visited intensively for the first time. Actually what I was looking for were the Great Grey Shrikes and the Eurasian Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus). Besides the birds which could be seen in roughly one week,  it was delighting to see the multitude of butterflies. In addition to large quantities of moths and butterflies like the Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) were tons of Calliptamus italic, a species of short-horned grasshoppers and Small Gold Grasshoppers (Euthystira brachyptera) that you can rarely see anywhere else like this.

The weather forecast was perfect and everywhere there were numerous motives. So I took advantage of every free minute in the morning to be outside. The Lieberoser Heath showed up Continue reading Birds of heath in Brandenburg

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