Eine Meldung in www.waarneming.nl verhieß eine schöne Abwechslung in dem auch ansonsten nicht gerade (vogel-)artenarmen nordholländischen Küstenstreifen. Ein Kuhreiher (Bubulcus ibis) war in einem ausgedehnten Wiesenvogelreservat gesichtet worden. Kleine Sträßchen durchziehen die Gegend nördlich der stark von Touristen frequentierten Gemeinde Camperduin bei Bergen. Der erste Anlauf war insofern erfolgreich, daß ein weißes Etwas auf einer Wiese gesichtet wurde. Und das auch noch von einem Nicht-Birder. Gleich ein Volltreffer! Wobei man sagen muß, daß es ansonsten auch keinen Mangel an weißen Vögel gibt, denn die Möwen sind ausgesprochen kopfstark vor allem mit Sturmmöwen (Larus canus) und Silbermöwen (Larus argentatus) vertreten. Aber das war eindeutig der Kuhreiher. Der gelbe Schnabel, das helle Auge und die geduckte Haltung unterstrich seinen grimmigen Gesichtsausdruck. Für ein Foto war der Reiher aber doch zu weit entfernt. Auf dem Rückweg war der Reiher dann auch verschwunden und ich vermutete, daß man es wohl bei einer Beobachtung belassen müßte. Am nächsten Tag führte uns der Ausflug in die überschwemmten Wiesen von Petten and Hardingerpolder. An fast der gleichen Stelle stand diesmal der Kuhreiher keine 20 Meter von der Straße entfernt auf einer Wiese. Diesmal mußte ich dann doch ein Foto schießen. Eine solche Gelegenheit darf man sich nicht entgehen lassen. Die Straße ist allerdings sehr eng und rechts und links droht sofort der Absturz in einen Entwässerungskanal. Zum Glück war der Verkehr sehr schwach, sodaß die Fotos zu keinem Verkehrsstau führten. Am Continue reading Ein Kuhreiher in Noord-Holland
Die Havelaue westlich von Hohennauen – nördlich von Rathenow – ist eine weite Ebene des norddeutschen Tieflandes. Bei Temperaturen um 0° liegt die Landschaft unter einer dicken Hochnebeldecke. Die Luft ist feucht-kalt und das Land liegt still. Die ergiebigen Regenfälle der vergangenen Tage haben die Wiesen überschwemmt. Teils liegen Wiesen und Weiden unter einer brüchigen Eisdecke. Träge fließt die Havel im Hintergrund. Ende Januar konnten direkt von der Straße nach Parey gut 50 Saatgänse (Anser fabalis) gesehen werden. Offensichtlich kamen sie zur Nahrungssuche auf die Felder und Wiesen. Die bevorzugten Übernachtungsplätze müssen wohl die Polder beim Grützer Bogen und Continue reading Waldsaatgänse im Havelland
Bean Geese on their wintering grounds near Berlin. The Havelaue west of Hohennauen – north of Rathenow – is a vast plain of the North German lowlands. In January, the landscape was – at temperatures around 0 ° Celsius – under a thick blanket of foggy clouds. The air was humid and cold, and the country is very quiet. Abundant rains in recent days have flooded the meadows. Some parts of the meadows and pastures are under a thin layer of crumbling ice. The river Havel flows in the background.
End of January some 100 Geese, mainly Bean Geese (Anser fabalis) could be seen not far from the road from Hohennauen to Parey. Obviously, the geese came in search of food to the fields and meadows. The preferred resting grounds must surely be in the polder Continue reading Taiga Bean Goose in Havelland near Berlin
Berlin might not sound like a birdwatcher’s paradise but the capital of Germany offers surprisingly good birding. Berlin is already a top tourist destination. But it is a great place to combine a city trip with a birding excursion, too. Many airlines use the Airport of Berlin, but it is possible to take a flight to Frankfurt/ Main as well and drive with a rented car in roughly half a day.
If you have spare time between two tourist attractions and are a birdwatcher, you might be interested to know, where you can find good places to bird for typical European birds. One of these sites to mention is the lake of Guelper See in the west of the State of Brandenburg. The small village of Guelpe, south of the Continue reading Birding around Berlin: The Guelper See
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 countryside around the area south of the town “Hungen” less than 30km south-east of Giessen. The nature reserve is located in the Medium Horloffaue. The next villages are Trais- Horloff and Utphe.
The reserve includes open water mostly with shallow water levels, reeds, marshes and mud banks and residues of softwood floodplain forest. It has also created a lot of extensively used agricultural area with hedges and shrubs. The area is an important stopover for migratory birds, Common Crane (Grus grus), among others, and is also a breeding Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt – Mittlere Horloffaue/ Wetterau
In the Friedländer Große Wiese especially south of Mariawerth but also north of Heinrichswalde 3,000 Bean Goose (Anser fabalis) could be seen in only about 2 hours in the early morning good of an early Novermber day. Obviously they flew up from the nature reserve “Galenbecker lake” which is right to the south. The preferred nighttime roost have probably been one of the polder at Heinrichswalde and the large flooded polder south- east of Fleethof. Fleethof itself is about 10km west of Heinrichswalde. Anyway, flocks of geese calling loud flew at 7:30 across the polder dikes to the north. Later I went to the so-called Friedlaender Große Wiese – a large meadow area. The Friedlaender Große Wiese is very accessible by paved and partly concreted driveway lanes without access restrictions. As I passed some harvested corn fields especially south of Mariawerth , I was lucky enough to see Bean Goose together with Common Cranes (Grus grus) in these fields. Since this flat area – a former alkaline fen- is far away from densely populated areas, there is less interference by joggers or dogwalkers than in the south-western part of Germany. Insofar the geese can enjoy normally quite a calm day to feed. So the situation is quite different from that which was described in the blog “Cranes & Geese in winter.” The good numbers of geese on the harvested corn fields not so far away from the road were amazing. I went pretty much all the roads and paths along the vast meadows. I kept seeing large groups of geese, which were very inconspicuous on the seemingly empty, harvested maize fields. They can camouflage very well. Sometimes only when geese fly in, you will pay attention to the flocks of geese.
Among the observed geese were also Continue reading Taiga Bean Goose in Vorpommern (Pomerania)
On the weekend of 5/6 October 2013 BirdLife International and its national partner institutions organized the pan-european Euro BirdWatch. Migratory birds on their way south were observed in 33 European and some countries in central Asia.
In total 2,509 visitors were inspired by the natural phenomenon of bird migration in spite of bad weather. In Switzerland, a total of 49’304 birds were counted on euro Birdwatch weekend. The biggest numbers naturally show migrants like the Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs (22,722 watching birds) or the Common Wood-Pigeon, Columba palumbus, (4,018) and the Common Coot, Fulica atra (2,431). However, rare species such as the Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus, and Greater White-fronted Goose, Anser albifrons, could be observed, too. All Swiss results can be viewed on the established by the Swiss Protection of Birds SVS / BirdLife Switzerland Homepage
The International Zugvogeltag is the biggest event of this BirdLife partner in Europe. Since 1993 bird watching people and conservationists from all over Europe join in autumn for a weekend to observe and count the passing birds. This year the events was attended by 20,000 people at the Euro Birdwatch. The observers counted in total some 2 million migratory birds on their way to their winter areas.
The Swiss Protection of Birds SVS / BirdLife Switzerland and its local sections , in cantonal and national associations are involved since the beginning.
Detailed results for different Locations can be seen online via Resultate 2013.
Although the winter’s chill hold finally broke last week the wintertime is not over, already. The mild conditions and temperatures of up to around 8 degrees did not last for a long time. By 19th a Scandinavian high pressure was fully in charge and a strengthening easterly flow and increasing cloud cover ensured that temperatures were soon heading all the way back down again.
Not only the common songbirds responded well to the rapidly lengthening days and the suddenly mild conditions but also the first returning cranes. But these are early days indeed for spring migrants.
So it was quite a surprise to find at least 7 Common Crane (Grus grus) on an open field in the mist of the snow in the northern part of the nice Nature Reserve One called Knoblochaue. Together with its sister reserve Kuehkopf this reserve is famous for being the best riparian forest location not too far south of Frankfurt. The nature reserve (in german: Naturschutzgebiet or NSG) is a European Reserve und an excellent birding spot year-round.
As nice images of the Bean Goose of the (Sub-)species Tundra Bean Goose (Anser (fabalis) serrirostris), were still missing on bird-lens.com, I decided to visit the meadows on the northern side of the reserve called Continue reading Snowy surprise for Cranes & Geese in nature reserve Kuehkopf-Knoblochsaue in Germany