Tag Archives: Great Spotted Woodpecker

Buntspecht plündert Waldameisen-Nest

Ein Morgen im Mai. Es nieselt und die Temperaturen bewegen sich so um die 8°C. Ein Männchen des Buntspechts (Dendrocopos major) steht zusammen mit einem Weibchen an einem umgestürzten, morschen Birkenstamm. Vom Fotografen lassen sich die beiden Spechte verscheuchen. Dann aber kommt das Männchen in halbstündigen Abständen an das Waldameisennest und sichert die Lage.

Buntspecht

Es plündert anschließend ausgiebig die schon morschen Stammbestandteile. Es läßt sich Zeit, wenn es auch teils hastig hüpfend den Standort wechselt. Der Buntspecht scheint auf die ausschwärmenden Tiere (wohl meist Männchen) spezialisiert. Wahrscheinlich handelt es sich um geflügelte Männchen der Roten Waldameise (Formica rufa) wobei auch eine Artbestimmung als Kahlrückige Waldameise ( Formica polyctena) nicht auszuschließen ist.

BuntspechtDie Arbeiterinnen der Roten Waldameise scheinen nicht begeistert von der mit massiven Schnabelhieben begleiteten Plünderung. 3 Arbeiterinnen drohen dem viel größeren Eindringling

BuntspechtErfolgreich hat der Buntspecht bei den Roten Waldameisen geplündert. Die Beute ist im Zehnerpack quer im Schnabel verpreßt.

Leider mußte die Beobachtung gegen Mittag abgebrochen werden. In einem Zeitraum von 8:00 bis 11:00 kommt das Männchen in halbstündigen Abständen an das Waldameisennest und plündert es ausgiebig. Meist wird der Anflug vom arttypischen „Kixen“ angekündigt. Die Näherung ist nur selten mitzubeoachten. Manchmal sitzt der Buntsprecht aber auch plötlich auf dem querliegenden Holzstamm. Dann muß der Fokus sitzen.

Buntspecht

Bei der Wiederkehr am Abend hat der Buntspecht offensichtlich kein Interesse mehr. Über einen Zeitraum von 1 Stunde wird nur kurz ein vorbeifliegender Specht gesehen; die schwärmenden Ameisen scheinen aber auch weg zu sein. Das Wetter ist aber auch deutlich besser – d.h. wärmer und trockener – geworden.

Um die wachsende Nachfrage nach Top- Aufnahmen der selteneren Arten der Paläarktis zu bewältigen ist Bird-lens.com bestrebt, das Spektrum der Bilder von Vögeln der Westpaläarktis weiter auszubauen. Trips zu abgelegenen Orten, um Bilder von seltenen Vögeln der Westpaläarktis zu machen, waren sehr erfolgreich. Dieses nette Belebbild eines Gleitaars ist nur ein erster Eindruck, was Sie in der Galerie in der “Picture Shop” sehr bald finden können. Hinterlassen Sie bird-lens.com einfach eine Nachricht, wenn wir mit einem Bild dienen können.

White-backed Woodpeckers in Strandzha Nature Park/ Bulgaria

WeißrückenspechtWhite-backed Woodpeckers (Dendrocopus leucotos) are always high on WP-birdwatcher´s lists. But the subspecies lilfordi is even a better mega bird. After having seen birds of the lowlands, I wanted to make the next day the big day for woodpeckers. Starting off very early, we noticed that the weather was however very misty with some little showers in the lowlands. When we ascend to the oak mountains we fear to be right in the middle of the clouds but encountered quite nice, dry but overcast weather for woodland birding. We drove all the way up inside Strandzha Nature Park, to the Silkosia Nature Reserve. This is a reserve up in the hills, just 15 km as the crow flies to the Turkish border. Silkosia is situated 2 kilometers north of Kosti village and 1 kilometer east of Bulgari village. Around 260 species of land plants have been found in the reserve. It conserves the most typical and relict Oriental beech (Fagus orientalis), which is a deciduous tree highly preferred by our main target species, the White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopus leucotos lilfordi). Other tree species dominate Continue reading White-backed Woodpeckers in Strandzha Nature Park/ Bulgaria

Seltenheit: Blutspecht in Franken

BlutspechtBerichten in Ornitho.de vom 27. Januar 2016 zufolge gibt es eine gute Chance, dass Vogelbeobachter auch in diesem Winter mit einer Seltenheit Bekanntschaft machen können. So wurde im nord-östlichen Bayern ein Blutspecht (Dendrocopos syriacus) beobachtet. Der aktuelle Standort des Blutspecht ist in Kronach im Ortsteil Neuses. Hier treibt er sich vorwiegend in den Gärten herum. Der Specht sei recht mobil aber auch sehr ruffreudig. Am besten könnte man ihn anhand des Rufes finden.

Bei der Bewertung der Fotos gab es einige Irritationen, da ein Merkmal aus Bestimmungsbüchern wie dem Kosmos Vogelführer nicht erkennbar war. Auf der Zeichnung ist eine kleine schwarze „Brücke“ nahe Schulter zu erkennen. Diese fehlt im Foto des Spechtes. Das ist wohl inzwischen geklärt. In dem Zusammenhang wurde darauf hingewiesen, daß sonst noch die Schwanzzeichnung wichtig ist, da Hybriden mit Buntspechten (Dendrocopos major) vorkommen. Der Blutspecht wurde in der Nähe von Kronach, einer Kreisstadt in Oberfranken gesichtet. Die Stadt liegt am Fuße Continue reading Seltenheit: Blutspecht in Franken

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

Irish Bird Trip to the Frankfurt area in Germany; 16thMay-19th May 2014

Black KiteWe flew in from Kerry airport Ireland and landed at Hahn to met by Johannes Ferdinand from Bird-Lens our bird guide.  During our stay we had no rain, some cloud in the mornings and plenty of sunshine all day. We saw a total of 113 birds including lifers Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris), Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix), Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius), Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo), and adult Black-necked or Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis), European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) and Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica). Johannes had organised our trip to Continue reading Irish Bird Trip to the Frankfurt area in Germany; 16thMay-19th May 2014

Woodpeckers at the winter feeder

Great Spotted Woodpecker

A few years ago, I was a guest at a commercial winter feeding site for raptors. Great shooting conditions, beautiful scenery, great birds. Unfortunatelly not quite around the corner of my home located in the Eifel. ” …this I can do that, too” ,I thought. But then it turned out to be not so easy. Since there had been problems with the farmer who owned the land, then the tenant hunter. But finally I succeeded. A great advantage of my hide, built from wood and carpet remnants is that although it is right along the edge of a forest, it is only about 200 meters from my house. Of course you are thinking about the expected guests already when you plan the construction of the hide and the feeding site in front of it. Besides chickadees, finches and blackbirds, the Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) was “booked” in my plans. This is the most common woodpecker species in our landscape, not only in forests of all types, but also in urban parks and bigger gardens. And the plans turned right. After a short time this woodpecker counted to the regular guests in front of the winter hide, from which I made my shots in all distances, sometimes only 3.5 to 7 meters away. Most times he announced himself with a loud ” KiKiKiK ” before he came rushing in his undulating flight. The favorite food of the woodpeckers observed and photographed in recent winters is a product made from beef tallow and fat oatmeal mixture that is commonly known as bird seed. Hazelnuts cause very little attention, walnuts are beloved and Continue reading Woodpeckers at the winter feeder

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

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

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

Birding in & around Frankfurt: The Palmengarten

Frankfurt is the financial capital of Germany. It is well known although the city limits inhabit only roughly 600,000 people. But the greater Frankfurt area of course is much more populated. If you are on business in Frankfurt and have some spare time between two meetings and you are a birdwatcher, you might be interested to know, where you can find good places to walk a bit and enjoy birding for typical european birds.

One of these sites is the Palmengarten. On an area of approx. 22 hectares near the old american embassy and just north-west of the towers of the banks, the Palmengarten botanical gardens display a range of interesting and beautiful plants. Almost every kind of exotic flora growing around the world can be found here, right in the middle of Frankfurt. The Tropicarium, an ensemble Continue reading Birding in & around Frankfurt: The Palmengarten

New Bird Images in Picture Shop

Bird Lens is proud to show some excellent images of the birds shot from a hide in Hungary in December in the gallery of the pictures shop. The hide is located in the eastern part of Hungary in a superb old oak forest. The hide has a drinking pool in front of the window of the hide and a feeder attracted woodpeckers and some passerine birds, mainly tits. That year, it was a winter poor in snow. The temperatures and the colors of the fallen leaves created a feeling of fall or even late indian summer. Excellent conditions to photograph on 2 days from inside the hide. Besides the birds who showed up were Continue reading New Bird Images in Picture Shop