Tag Archives: Lanius collurio

Neuntöter und aufgespiesste Beute in Brandenburg

NeuntöterBei einer kleinen Wanderung um den Riebener See konnte eine aufgespießte Feldgrille entdeckt werden. Sie war offensichtlich gerade erst auf das lose Ende eines Wildschutzgitters um einen Apfelbaum aufgespießt worden. Der ggf. „Zuständige“ und Verantwortliche konnte wenig später gerade 100m weiter ebenfalls auf einem Haltpfosten für einen Kirschbaum beobachtet werden. Es handelte sich um einen männlichen Neuntöter (Lanius collurio), der stoisch auf dem Pfosten sitzen blieb. Die geduldige Näherung war sehr gut möglich. Auf kurze Distanz konnten Fotos geschossen werden bevor er aufflog. Er flog in Richtung seiner Beute, dreht leicht auf einen abgestorbenen Holunderstrauch; verschwand dann aber. Er kam leider nicht zurück, so daß wir den Ausgang der Geschichte der Phantasie überlassen müssen.

Bei der aufgespießten Beute handelt es sich wohl um die Feldgrille (Gryllus campestris). Dieses Insekt ist zwar als lautstarke Wiesenbewohnerin bekannt. Ihr unermüdliches Zirpen dominiert von den ersten warmen Frühlingstagen bis in den August hinein die sandige Brandenburger Landschaft. FeldgrilleDie Feldgrille zu sehen, ist aber viel schwieriger. So bleibt der „Zirper“ selbst dem Publikum meist verborgen. Die Continue reading Neuntöter und aufgespiesste Beute in Brandenburg

Fotografie auf den Neuntöter

NeuntöterMitte  Mai ist am Grenzgebüsch zwischen zwei Wiesenflächen im Seeluch der hoch aus der Hecke ragende Holunderzweig (Sambucus nigra) wieder besetzt. Seit Jahren findet sich in dieser Hecke inmitten einer Feuchtwiesenlandschaft der Neuntöter (Lanius collurio) zur Brutsaison ein. In der Norddeutschen Tiefebene ist der Neuntöter noch verbreitet, jedoch ist die Bestandsdichte nirgends sehr hoch, so daß er in Deutschland als stark bedrohte Art gilt.

Heckenlandschaften mit Holunder, Weißdorn, Schlehe und Brombeere, sind der bevorzugte Lebensraum des Neuntöters. Der kleine Beutegreifer zeigt in seinem Verhaltensspektrum erstaunliche Anpassungen an die ökologische Nische „Hecke”. So wird auch das napfförmige Nest im Schutze eines Dornenbusches gut verborgen in ein bis drei Meter Höhe Continue reading Fotografie auf den Neuntöter

Young Whinchat on summer morning

BraunkehlchenA fresh morning. Thick layers of fog are lying over the wetlands of the Nuthe floodplain south of Berlin. 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 meadows along the river offer a diverse habitat structure. One family of Whinchats (Saxicola rubetra) with at least 2 juveniles were seen in uncut grassland. I placed the car not far from a pole inside the meadow, hoping a young Whinchat, I had seen before, to return. After a while the recently fledged Whinchat really returned to the pole. In the first morning light, it started to preen and stretch the wings. Obviously it wanted to get rid of their youngster’s feather dress. Successful, as it seems. With a surprised look, the young Whinchat looked after the flying plume.

The area south of Berlin has a lot to offer in terms of nature. In addition to the natural richness this is a legacy of the division of Germany, which has prevented the city´s spread after the end of the 2nd World War like in no other city. This means, that even today you often have to pass the city limits only in order to stand in the middle of nature. One of these areas is the Continue reading Young Whinchat on summer morning

Der Neuntöter: ein Jäger mit Vorratshaltung

NeuntöterWenn der Morgen graut, kommt Bewegung in die Hecke. Mit den ersten Sonnenstrahlen steht dann das Männchen des Neuntöters (Lanius collurio) auf einem trockenen Ast eines Holunders (Sambucus nigra). Die schwarze Maske im grauen Oberkopf und der rotbraune Rücken sind dann schön zu sehen. Wenig später kommt auch das Weibchen aus dem Dickicht.

Neuntöter halten sich bekanntlich in Hecken und Gebüschen der offenen Kulturlandschaft auf, wie sie noch in vielen Teilen Deutschlands vorkommen. Vor allem das Männchen sitzt dann gut sichtbar auf seiner Holunderwarte in der Feuchtwiesenlandschaft. Von hier konnte das Revier gut überblickt werden. Das Weibchen hat seinen Ansitz etwas tiefer und sitzt eher etwas verdeckt durch Blätter.

Neuntöter bevorzugen die Ansitzjagd. Als typischer Ansitzjäger Continue reading Der Neuntöter: ein Jäger mit Vorratshaltung

Neuntöter: im Sturzflug ins Nest

NeuntöterZuerst gab es nur den heiseren Ruf “dschääh” oder “teck”. Dann stand das Männchen des Neuntöters (Lanius collurio) auch schon im dämmrigen Morgenlicht auf einem trockenen Ast eines Holunders (Sambucus nigra). Die schwarze Maske im grauen Oberkopf und der rotbraune Rücken waren schön zu sehen. Wenig später kam auch das Weibchen aus dem Dickicht. Das Weibchen zeigte sich mit seiner einfarbig rötlich braunen Oberseite und der rahmfarbenen mit einer kräftigen Schuppung versehenen Unterseite.

Neuntöter brüten bekanntlich in Hecken und Gebüschen der offenen Kulturlandschaft wie sie noch in vielen Teilen Deutschlands vorkommen. So auch am Oberrhein bei Dossenheim-Schriesheim. Vor allem das Männchen saß dann gut sichtbar auf seiner Holunderwarte. Von hier konnte das Revier gut überblickt werden. Das Weibchen schien immer etwas tiefer und auch immer etwas verdeckt durch Blätter zu sitzen. Der trockene Holunderast erschien ihm wohl zu exponiert zu sein. Nun, am frühen Morgen, wurde ohne Ortswechsel recht lange auf der gleichen Warte verharrt, unterbrochen mal von einer Putzeinlage. Nach einiger Zeit wurden immer wieder Jagdflüge unternommen. Die ansonsten als Nahrung so wichtigen Großinsekten waren am frühen Morgen wohl noch nicht aktiv. Jedenfalls schien die Beute Continue reading Neuntöter: im Sturzflug ins Nest

New Natura 2000 bird sanctuary: Bergstrasse Dossenheim – Schriesheim

WendehalsOn 11 December 2014, the first information boards for the Natura 2000 bird sanctuary “Bergstrasse Dossenheim – Schriesheim“were presented to public by the Chairman of the BUND Dossenheim, Dermot O’Connor. The press is coming soon. When designing the images for the info panel – inter alia the Wryneck (Jynx torquilla), Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius), Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), Grey-faced (or Grey-headed) Woodpecker (Picus canus) and Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia). BUND Dossenheim chosed images from www.bird-lens.com. Bird-lens.com is proud to present these photos as part of its efforts to strengthen the importance of nature conservation in the region.

Dossenheim is a municipality in the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis in the north-western part of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Dossenheim is located just 80km south of Frankfurt/ Main main station and thus reached by car in less than an hour’s drive.

The so-called Natura 2000 Vogelschutzgebiet is a Special Protection Areaa according to the EU-Birds Directive. The reserve has a size of 916,13 Acres. The Bergstrasse Continue reading New Natura 2000 bird sanctuary: Bergstrasse Dossenheim – Schriesheim

BUND – Projekt: Bergstrasse Dossenheim – Schriesheim

MittelspechtDer Vorsitzender des BUND Dossenheim, Dermot O’Connor, hat am 11. Dezember 2014 die ersten Informationstafeln zum Natura­ 2000 Vogelschutzgebiet „Bergstraße Dossenheim – Schriesheim“ aufgestellt. Anfang Januar wird in der Presse darüber berichtet. Bei der Ausgestaltung der Bilder für die Info-Tafel – u.a. beim Wendehals (Jynx torquilla), Mittelspecht (Dendrocopos medius), Schwarzspecht (Dryocopus martius), Grauspecht (Picus canus) und Zippammer (Emberiza cia)), – hat sich der BUND Dossenheim für Fotos von www.bird-lens.com entschieden. Bird-lens.com ist stolz im Rahmen der Bemühungen, den Stellenwert des Naturschutzes in Region zu erhöhen, diese Fotos als Spenden zur Verfügung zu stellen.

Dossenheim ist eine Continue reading BUND – Projekt: Bergstrasse Dossenheim – Schriesheim

Birding around Frankfurt Airport – NSG Lampertheimer Altrhein

Schwarzer MilanFrankfurt 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 some more spare time but only 2 hours between two flights, 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 sites is the best riparian forest 60 km south of Frankfurt, called Kuhkopf or in German Kuehkopf. The nature reserve (in German: Naturschutzgebiet or NSG Kuehkopf-Knoblochsaue) is the largest in Hesse, with Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport – NSG Lampertheimer Altrhein

Eurasian Wryneck and other birds in Bulgaria

Eurasian WryneckI am now back from a trip to Bulgaria for quite a while. As I wrote already in the Bee-eater-Blog, the main purpose was to photograph European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster). But as I mentioned in the recent blog, Bulgaria is full of wildlife which could be found relatively easy. As most of the mornings were spent with Bee-eaters or in a hide for Eurasian Golden Orioles (Oriolus oriolus), evening photo sessions quite often were spent roaming along country roads in the car and photographing any birds I encountered. I came up with pretty good results. There were many passerine birds present. I came across with Crested Lark (Galerida cristata), Eurasian Linnet (Carduelis cannabina), Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala), Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca), Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor), Continue reading Eurasian Wryneck and other birds in Bulgaria

Sperbergrasmücke mit Zecke am Fertő-tó (Neusiedler See) – Ungarn

SperbergrasmueckeDas Weibchen der Sperbergrasmücke (Sylvia nisoria) ist jetzt endlich aus dem dichten Holunderbusch hervor gekommen. Die ganze Zeit schon hatte ich auf der Suche nach der Sperbergrasmücke aufmerksam die Gegend abgehört. Es ist aber ziemlich heiß und allein der Warnruf der Mönchsgrasmücke (Sylvia atricapilla) ist zu hören. Dann ist auch mal ein Männchen vom Neuntöter (Lanius collurio) zu sehen. Das Revier verteidigt er von einer erhöhten Warte an einer Feldeinfahrt aus. Es ist schon 8:00 als ich dann doch eindeutig den Alarmruf Continue reading Sperbergrasmücke mit Zecke am Fertő-tó (Neusiedler See) – Ungarn

Rackenvögel in Bulgarien: ein Fototrip

BlaurackeNicht nur dem Bienenfresser (Merops apiaster) war ich bei einem Fototrip nach Bulgarien auf der Spur. Wie bereits beschrieben, war der Hauptzweck einer Reise nach Bulgarien, Bienenfresser in der Brutzeit aus sicherer Distanz aus einem Tarnzelt zu fotografieren.

Aber auch sonst hat sich der Trip gelohnt. Wie man in der Galerie sieht, ist Bulgarien Continue reading Rackenvögel in Bulgarien: ein Fototrip

Bulgarien ein erstklassiges Ziel für östliche Vogelarten

KappenammerWie bereits beschrieben, war der Zweck einer Reise nach Bulgarien Bienenfresser während der Fütterungsperiode der Jungen aus sicherer Distanz zu fotografieren. Insgesamt hatte ich sehr gute Fotomöglichkeiten dieser unglaublich entzückenden Vögel. Ich beschloss, mit diesen bunten Vögeln mindestens vier Tage fotografisch zu verbringen.

Da es während eines Sommertages sehr heiß in Bulgarien werden kann, habe ich meine Foto-Sessions normalerweise Continue reading Bulgarien ein erstklassiges Ziel für östliche Vogelarten

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

Das Macingebirge: Brutvögel im National Park

TurteltaubeEs ist schon 2 Jahre her, daß im Anschluß an einen Ausflug in das Donaudelta auch das Landesinnere von Rumänien besucht wurde. Etwas süd-westlich des Donaudeltas – nur 1 Stunde Fahrt von der lokalen Hauptstadt, Tulcea, entfernt –  liegen die Macinberge mit ihren Granithügeln. Mit einer Höhe von max. 450 m NN sind die Macinberge nicht übertrieben  hoch. Dennoch zeigen sie eine eindrucksvolle Topographie. Die Berge des Macin gehören Continue reading Das Macingebirge: Brutvögel im National Park

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

Birding around Frankfurt Airport – Kuehkopf-Knoblochsaue

Eurasian Golden-Oriole, maleFrankfurt 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 sites is the best riparian forest 60 km south of Frankfurt, called Kuhkopf or in Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport – Kuehkopf-Knoblochsaue

Braunwürger noch im Gelderland/ Niederlande

Brown ShrikeEin Irrgast und doch ist der Braunwürger (Lanius cristatus) – eine Erstbeobachtung für die Niederlande – immer noch an der gleichen Stelle im Gelderland zu sehen. Wie Sie auf der Website der niederländischen Vogelbeobachter “waarneming.nl” sehen können zieht dieser Würger nahe der deutschen Grenze zwischen Doetinchem und Emmerich immer noch viel Twitcher und Ornithologen in seinen Bann. Fast vier Wochen ist er jetzt im Gelderland anzutreffen – nahe Netterden, in der Netterdensche Broek. Der Braunwürger war in der Nähe von Gendringen am 18. Januar 2014 gefunden worden. Das Gebiet liegt im äußersten Südosten der Provinz Gelderland, gerade mal 3 km von der deutschen Grenze entfernt. Bisher hat sich der Würger sehr kooperativ verhalten und konnte heute, 14. Februar 2014, wieder bei Continue reading Braunwürger noch im Gelderland/ Niederlande

Brown Shrike still in Gelderland/ NL

Brown ShrikeThe vagrant but long-staying Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) – a first for the Netherlands – can still be found on the same location. As you can see on the website of the birding community in the Netherlands “waarneming.nl” this 1st winter Shrike near the German border between Doetinchem and Emmerich still attracts twitchers and ornithologists. The bird has been present in Netterden – in the Netterdensche Broek – in Gelderland for almost four weeks now. The Brown Shrike had been found near Gendringen at the January, 18th 2014, in the utmost south-east of the province of Gelderland not far from the German border. So far, this individual has being quite cooperative and could be seen in beautiful sunshine yesterday February 12th 2014 sitting Continue reading Brown Shrike still in Gelderland/ NL

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 – Wagbachniederung:

Purple HeronFrankfurt 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 are coming from Frankfurt Airport and heading down to the south for e.g. Munich or Stuttgart or the Black Forest, you might consider to squeeze in a morning of birding you might have a look at the wagbachniederung. Here you can walk, enjoy some fresh air and enjoy birding for typical european birds.

One of these sites is the best riparin woods 110 km south of Frankfurt, called The “Wagbachniederung” . This location is situated on the right bank of the Rhine at Waghaeusel southeast of Speyer between Mannheim and Karlsruhe. The Wagbachniederung was formerly a loop of the Rhine, which was separated from the main Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport – Wagbachniederung:

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 around Frankfurt Airport: Bad Soden

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 sites is the hilly countryside around Bad Soden. The state (Bundesland) of Hessen still supports a comparatively large number of mixed orchard meadows where the Little Owl (Athene noctua) is a relatively common bird. After North-Rhine Westphalia, Hessen has the largest Little Owl population in Germany.

Bad Soden is located on the southern slope of the Taunus mountains, 15 km north-west of Frankfurt and 20 kilometers northeast of Wiesbaden and 10km south of the highest summit of the Taunus, the Grosser Feldberg. Although a wealthy suburb of the city of Frankfurt a high percentage of the area (15%) is forested. The altitude ranges between 130 m above sea level (asl) and 385 m asl.

The landscape of the so-called Vordertaunus is very scenic and host some excellent birds, which are quite hard to see in other more northern parts of Germany as e.g. European Honey-buzzard(Pernis apivorus), Red Kite (Milvus milvus), Stock Pigeon (Columba oenas), Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo), Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor ), Middle Spotted Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport: Bad Soden

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

Birds in Macin Mountains National Park/ Romania

Just south-west of the Danube Delta only 1 hour drive from Tulcea is the location of the Macin Mountains with its granite hills. With an altitude of max. 450 m asl Macin Mountains are showing nevertheless an impressive outline. Macin Mountains belong to the oldest mountains of Europe. The Macin Mountains feature some significant steppe vegetation (in mixture with Balkanic and Submediterranean forests) and are a great place to see birds. Whereas Macin Mountains is famous as an important migration hotspot for raptors in autumn, we decided to visit this site in May.

We found two species of Wheatears (Common and Isabelline), several species of Larks, European Turtle-dove, Red-rumped Swallow, Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush, Shrikes, Corn and Ortolan Bunting and some other species, you will find in the photo gallery for the Macin Moutains.

Long-legged Buzzard, Buteo rufinus, is one of the largest buzzards Continue reading Birds in Macin Mountains National Park/ Romania