Tag Archives: Fieldfare

Observation site for spring migration on the river Oder

SchwanzmeiseAfter having presented protected nature areas in the Havellaendisches Luch or the Guelper See, a recent blog was dealing with the Oder valley in general and The National Park Lower Oder especially. The National Park protects a flood plain, the last still intact in large parts of the estuary of Central Europe.

A rainy, cloudy Sunday led me to the river Oder. Having refueled with gasoline and a Breakfast from a gas station I decided going to Criewener polder south of Schwedt. Criewen is a small village only 3 km south of the industrial city of Schwedt and roughly 100km north-east of Berlin. The car I parked just in front the bridge on the western side channel of the Oder. I grabbed the tripod, spotting scope and the Canon 4.0 / 400 DO from the car. So I walked up to a bench not far from the crossing between the entry road from the village of Criewen and the dike. Here you really an impressive view over the whole polder with riparian woods and wide Continue reading Observation site for spring migration on the river Oder

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

Die Reuselse Moeren als Vogelbeobachtungsgebiet

BaumpieperWer die im Blog über die niederländischen Moorgebiete (Veen) beschriebenen Gebiete besuchen will oder auf dem Weg nach Texel, einen fotografischen Zwischenstopp einlegen will, dem bietet sich ein Abstecher zu dem Naturreservat Reuselse Moeren an. In der Nähe der Kleinstadt Bladel nicht weit von Eindhoven an der holländisch-belgischen Grenze – gut erreichbar über die A67 – liegt bei der Gemeinde Reusel das reizvolle Moor- und Heidegebiet, das für Naturfotografen ein lohnendes Fotoziel mit exzellenten Aufnahmemöglichkeiten darstellt.

Die Reuselse Moeren umfaßt eine Fläche von ungefähr 150 Hektar mit Hochmoorresten, kleinen, trockenen und feuchteren Heidegebieten, Weiden- gebüschen, Gagelsträuchern und einigen Magerwiesen.

Die Reuselse Moeren schützen eine typische niederländische Wald- und Moorlandschaft. Zwergtaucher (Tachybaptus ruficollis) und Schwarzhalstaucher (Podiceps nigricollis) Continue reading Die Reuselse Moeren als Vogelbeobachtungsgebiet

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

Bird migration at the Stockert in the Eifel hills

Crested Tit, resting in sloe

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

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

Robin attack on Cuckoo´s head

The European Common Cuckoo, Cuculus canorus, has always been a miraculous bird. His loud and simple song and his arrival as a migrant in Europe signaling spring time made him one of the best-known birds in Europe. Quite recently his migration made the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) track Cuckoos via attached satellite-tracking devices to find out more about their important stop-over sites and wintering destinations on the way to and from Africa. Very reknown – but not often seen – is the cuckoo´s notorious behavior to parasite other birds brood. Especially this attidude made him unique in the awareness also for people in Europe who are not claiming to be keen birdwatchers.
During a stay in the wild landscape of masuria in north-eastern Poland I witnessed the long-lasting fight between a female Common Cuckoo and a pair of Robins, Erithacus rubecula, over a nest inside Continue reading Robin attack on Cuckoo´s head