Tag Archives: Great Bittern

Waders at Lake Neusiedl

SäbelschnäblerMost people thinking about Austria have immediately snow, mountains and hiking in mind. A very different, but extremely interesting picture, is offered for the birder in Burgenland, in the area around the lake Neusiedl. The question is, however, is a bird paradise at the same time also a photographer´s paradise? The landscape in the easternmost tip of Austria is a typical Puszta landscape with numerous, small, flat salt lakes, the so-called “Lacken”, and a big water body but only one meter deep the Lake Neusiedl (German: Neusiedler See) or Fertő. With an area of ​​about 320 km², which is almost half covered with high reeds, it is considered to be the largest steppe lake in Europe and has a decisive influence on the climate in this area. This is very mild in this region. Temperatures in excess of 30 ° C may already prevail in May. Fortunately there is almost always a gentle breeze. Otherwise when the breeze fails, the heat becomes unbearable.

Almost all year round is tourist season. We visited Lake Neusiedler in spring and summer, as well as in autumn, and found that the months April to mid July were the most interesting for animal photography. In early summer, the meadows around Neusiedler See are transformed into a colorful flower carpet. The autumn Continue reading Waders at Lake Neusiedl

Great Bittern at Colfiorito in Umbria

RohrdommelIn early January, the weather forecast announced a Siberian high above the Mediterranean and the Italian west coast. After a few mild winters, the upcoming cold now seemed to reverse the trend of recent years. In fact, temperatures dropped on the Italian peninsula, especially in northern Italy and in the center of the southern Apennines  lower than in the last 10 years.

The wetland Colfiorito in Umbria is located at about 800 meters altitude on a karst plateau in the central Apennines. Due to the altitude, snow and cold temperatures are not uncommon, but this year it was extreme. The temperatures were between -5 ° C and -12 ° C every day in the early morning and often remained below 0 ° C during the day.

The marshland was quickly frozen, and after a few days the ice was Continue reading Great Bittern at Colfiorito in Umbria

Vogelfotografie in Eis und Schnee

RaubwürgerAuf dem niederen Fläming überwintert seit Jahren der Raubwürger (Lanius excubitor). Mein Ziel war es, diesen scheuen Vogel vor die Linse zu bekommen. Ab Anfang Oktober suchte er wieder sein Winterquartier auf. Es war nicht schwer, seine Lieblingswarte, einen Heckenrosenbusch, auszumachen. In etwa 10 Meter Entfernung stand ein Anhänger mit einer Jagdhütte darauf. Dieser sollte – nach Rücksprache mit dem Jagdpächter – mein Fotoansitz sein. Die Hütte war aus Holz gezimmert und geräumig genug. Damit mußte sich glücklicherweise der Raubwürger nicht an ein Versteck gewöhnen, denn die Hütte stand schon ein Weile. Fotografiert habe ich ihn allerdings erst im Dezember, als er mit der Mäusejagd begann. Besonders fasziniert mich, wenn der Winter plötzlich hereinbricht, die Landschaft über Nacht mit Schnee und Raureif überzieht, wenn die Luft klar und eisig ist. Solche Tage muss man nutzen, denn in unseren Breiten sind sie nicht sehr häufig. Meistens bin ich dann bereits vor Sonnenaufgang unterwegs.

Der Fläming weist schon kontinentales Klima auf. Im Winter kann es Temperaturen bis zu minus 20°C und über mehrere Wochen hohen Schnee geben. Da heißt es dann, sich warm anzuziehen. Um kalte Continue reading Vogelfotografie in Eis und Schnee

Die Zwergdommel: Jäger im verborgenen Schilf

ZwergdommelDie Zwergdommel (Ixobrychus minutus) zählt in Deutschland zu den seltensten Brutvögeln. Der Blankensee in der Nähe von Trebbin ca. 40 km südlich von Berlin ist eine der wenigen Gegenden Brandenburgs Brutbestände – wenn auch nicht jedes Jahr – vermutet werden. Zwergdommeln waren in den Jahren 2014 und 2015 von Mai bis Anfang September zu hören. So konnte vor allem im Juli 2014 in den frühen Morgenstunden immer wieder ein Männchen ausdauernd rufend festgestellt werden. Ab ca. 6:30 blieb es aber stumm.

Es ist daher eine außergewöhnliches Erfahrung, eine Zwergdommel mehrere Wochen lang fotografieren zu können. Dazu muß man allerdings in etwas abgelegenere Gebiete fahren. Auf einer meiner regelmäßigen Wanderungen in einem ausgedehnten Niederungsgebiet an der Havel entdeckte ich im zeitigen Juni in rund 20 Meter Entfernung eine Zwergdommel Akrobatisch hing der Vogel trotz seiner großen Füße im Schilf und schoß mit seinem langen, dolchartigen Schnabel immer wieder blitzartig in das Wasser. So verschlang die Zwergdommel einen Fisch nach dem anderen. Glücklicherweise konnte mich der Vogel nicht Continue reading Die Zwergdommel: Jäger im verborgenen Schilf

Stockente als erfolgreicher Fischjäger

StockenteDer morgendliche Ausflug zum Blankensee verschaffte dem Frühaufsteher nicht nur eine wunderschöne Wasserlandschaft an einem eindrucksvollen Wintermorgen mit Minustemperaturen und Nebel sondern auch wieder bemerkenswerte Vogelbeobachtungen. Neben den allgegenwärtigen Graureihern (Ardea cinerea) und Silberreihern (Ardea alba) waren auch mindestens 3 Rohrdommel (Botaurus stellaris) im ersten Dämmerungslicht zu sehen. Die Entenvögel waren mit Stockente (Anas platyrhynchos), Bergente (Aythya marila), Zwergsäger (Mergellus albellus) und Gänsesäger (Mergus merganser) gut vertreten.  Insgesamt konnte an dem frühen Morgen 31 Arten gesichtet werden.

Vom Verhalten sehr bemerkenswert war die Jagd der Stockenten. Ein Bohlensteg mitten durch das Schilf bietet auf der Ostseite des Blankensees dem Beobachter vor allem morgens sehr gute Möglichkeiten, die Vogelwelt des Schilfs zu sehen und zu fotografieren. Der Steg führt mitten durch einen Teil der sehr gut entwickelten Schilfflächen des Sees. Hier raschelte es immer wieder vernehmlich vom Aneinanderreiben der hohen Schilfhalme, ja manchmal hatte man den Eindruck, daß sich eine ganze Gruppe von anfangs Continue reading Stockente als erfolgreicher Fischjäger

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

Great Bittern in Schiersteiner water works near Wiesbaden

Great Bittern3 individuals of the Great Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) – which are named Eurasian Bittern, too – can be seen now already for several days. The Bitterns obviously winter on the waterworks in the Schiersteiner pond area near Wiesbaden. At least three specimens could be seen on a beautiful, mild winterday on the January 17, 2014 between 10:00 to 12:30.

Already at the last weekend some birders were on the site. But the sunshine on the January 17 seduced the Bitterns to leave their dense habitat in the middle of the reed and to show very exposed on the fringes to the waterline. Good time to photograph very well. Patience of course is still needed. Some individuals are stationary at this site since at least the 31 December 2013. On the first observation day 1 Bittern could be seen on the pond system III (the easternmost). Afterwards it was seen landing on a gravel island, on the so-called “Lagoon”. Also on the January 17, a Great Bittern flew from the pond system III to the gravel island in the “lagoon”, checked the situation from as short as  15 meters behind the fence and disappeared in the reeds afterwards.

When I arrived at around 10:00, a thick downpour had just cleared and the sun broke through the clouds. 2 Bitterns could be seen freely on the northernmost of the pond basin system III at the reed edge. They were sunbathing. But the distance was unfortunately still far. A little later another Bittern appeared on the southern pond of the basin system III at the reed edge. This Bittern also started sunbathing. Then suddenly, Continue reading Great Bittern in Schiersteiner water works near Wiesbaden

More Bird Images in Picture Shop

Having checked the output of trips to the Emirates, Oman, Romania & Poland, Bird Lens is proud to show more excellent images of birds shot in these countries at excellent destinations in the gallery of the pictures shop. There were some excellent opportunities to photograph on several occasions in the desert, in the mountains and on the water. Besides the birds added are Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus), Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus), Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus), Ferruginous Pochard (Aythya nyroca), Great Bittern (Botaurus stellaris), Little Crake (Porzana parva), Grey Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus), Grey-faced Woodpecker (Picus canus), Palestine Sunbird (Cinnyris oseus), Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka) and many more.

If you are interested in a particular species, please use the list of the western palearctic or use the “Search”-Function in the left column in the “Pictures Shop” or search by  the taxonomic systems in the “Pictures Shop”, too. To cope with the growing demand for top shots of Palearctic birds from customers all over the world Bird-Lens is proud to present a wide range of pictures now in the gallery. Are you interested? In the gallery you will find now 2.282 pictures of in total 668 species often in different plumages or as male/ female. Further updates of the image stock in the “Pictures Shop” is coming soon. Just give Bird-Lens Continue reading More Bird Images in Picture Shop

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