A high rhythmic whine can be heard as soon as I enter the reservoir. But nothing can be seen. Then a ripple of the water surface in front of the reed belt can be seen. The duckweed rises and falls noticeably. Then a small, dark-black bird appears. It has a maroon neck and a bright yellow spot on the base of the beak. Only when looking through the binoculars does the species become apparent. It is a Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), who uses this retention basin to breed its offspring. The 2 tiny nestlings on one of their first excursions can be quickly overlooked and are only easily recognized when the adult bird feeds the offspring with caught insect larvae. Then the cubs swim amazingly briskly and feverishly towards the adult bird. Now the bright ring of the eye and the yellowish beak of the young birds are noticeable. The nestlings are colored blackish-dark brown and have white lines in the plumage and on the forehead.
I have time and can lie down on a jetty and watch and photograph the Little Grebes while they are busy searching for food. Both boys were quite different in age and development. One was almost twice the size of the other nestling. The adult bird – probably the mother – dives again and again in an obviously quite productive area, often Continue reading Little Grebe: offspring in Brandenburg→
Je härter der Winter, desto schwieriger ist die Futtersuche. An der Ostseeküste gilt das für die Vogelwelt besonders dann, wenn auf dem Blankensee, an den Havelseen oder gar der Ostsee das Wasser zufriert und offene Stellen selten werden. Dann überwinden die Vögel ihre natürliche Scheu und versuchen, in den Häfen auf Beutefang zu gehen. Für Fotografen ist das eine gute Gelegenheit, zu reizvollen Motiven zu kommen.
Vor einigen Jahren hatte der lang anhaltende Frost die Ostsee in eine arktische Winterlandschaft verwandelt. Viele seltene und dem Menschen gegenüber eher scheue Vogelarten hatten ihre Zurückhaltung aufgegeben und waren in den windgeschützten Häfen aufgetaucht. Dort gab es noch einige wenige eisfreie Wasserflächen, an denen die Vögel an Nahrung gelangen konnten.
Nach angenehmen Temperaturen um Weihnachten sorgten ab Sylvester Temperaturen von bis zu – 20 ° Grad Celsius für eine kältestarre Eiswüste. Zwangsweise fand sich eine vielfältige Vogelwelt in den Häfen ein. Pfeifenten (Anas penelope) und Stockenten Continue reading Harter Winter – gute Vogelaufnahmen→
Wer 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 Erde auf dem Weg dampft noch von den sintflutartigen Regenfällen der vorangegangenen Tage. Heute soll es aber mal wieder sonnigeres Spätsommerwetter geben. Nun sind immerhin ein paar Sterne am Himmel zu sehen. Ein paar Wolkenlücken sind zu sehen. Es könnte doch noch ein schöner Morgen werden. Vor 6:00 mache ich mich vom Parkplatz in Erfelden Continue reading Purpurreiher am Schlappeswörth→
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) are common birds in Germany. Its population is therefore largely constant. Following severe persecution in the 19th century a significant recovery was observed since the mid-20th century. The grebes benefited mainly from the increase in the food supply of small fish in nutrient-rich waters. However, their habitat by water sports activities as well as fertilizers and pesticides from agriculture is also threatened from time to time. Not to be underestimated is the illegal persecution by fishermen.
It was a big surprise when people told me that in the immediate vicinity of my home a couple of grebes should breed. The area was well known as a recreational area – a lake with pedal boats, swimming & bathing areas, round trips, anglers and dog meeting points. I did not remember to have identified any riparian vegetation zone with reeds or rushes. Only mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) had their paradise on earth there, because they were fed by careless walkers regularly with tons of bread. At such a lake could never grebes breed, so I thought! So I let the matter rest.
There 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.
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 sites to stretch your legs, enjoy fresh air and enjoy birding for typical european birds. One of these places – only 10 minutes away from the Frankfurt Airport – are the Langener Waldseen. These artificial lakes are situated just 2 km east of the runway and are a highly frequented recreation area with an oper-air swimming area. But wintertime is quiet and goods birds – including some vagrants – can be seen on the most western lake. This lake is still an active gravel spit, thus access especially for the best site is more or less tolerated and cannot be guaranteed.
Good birds to be seen on the lake in wintertime here on a regular basis are Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus), Gadwall(Anas strepera), Common Pochard (Aythya ferina), Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) and Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula). At the beginning of December 2012 there was an influx of cold temperatures in Germany. Shortly after a Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellate), Smew (Mergellus albellus) , Common Merganser (Mergus merganser ) and a male Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) as well as up to 10 Velvet Scoter (Melanitta fusca) showed up. The woods hold all 6 species of continental woodpeckers (incl. Black, Middle-spotted and Grey-faced Woodpecker) and vast numbers of Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes ) and Bramblings (Fringilla montifringilla) in the winter. Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus) are often heard and sometimes seen in the canopy of the many pine trees. For the last winters 1 Great Grey (Northern) Shrike (Lanius excubitor) used the area as a wintering ground. I have seen large flocks of Common Crane moving overhead in late October from this site.