Tag Archives: Lullula arborea

Heidemoore in der Wahner Heide

Schwarzkehlchen (europ.)Die leuchtend weißen, weithin sichtbaren Blüten des Wollgrases wiegen sich sanft im Wind. Sie bieten einen herrlichen, unschuldigen Anblick. An manchen Standorten bildet diese Pflanze wogende Teppiche, über denen verschiedene Libellenarten nach Beute jagen. Ein männliches Schwarzkehlchen (Saxicola rubicola) wippt auf einem vorjährigen Staudenstengel und überwacht sein Revier am Rand der Wasserfläche. Die Heide-Moor-Landschaft ist zu allen Jahreszeiten wahrhaftig fotografisch besonders lohnenswert.

Mein bevorzugtes Fotorevier waren lange die Heidemoore in der Wahner Heide im Südosten Kölns. Bis vor einigen Jahren wurde die Wahner Heide als militärisches Übungsgebiet genutzt. Der sandige Untergrund kam bei dem Übungsbetrieb zu Tage. Die Heide-Moor-Landschaft besteht überwiegend aus Sandheiden, die trockenere Bereiche einnehmen, während sich in Dünentälern Feuchtheiden und Heidemoore mit nährstoffarmen Stillgewässern gebildet haben.

Heiden sowie Heidemoore zählen zu den besonders bedrohten Continue reading Heidemoore in der Wahner Heide

Frühlingsankömmlinge: die ersten Lerchen

FeldlercheErst zaghaft, dann doch in den letzten Tagen immer stimmgewaltiger. Der Frühling hat Einzug gehalten. Die Luft ist erfüllt von einem melodischen Gesang. Die vielen Feldlerchen (Alauda arvensis) sind ein untrügliches Zeichen. Die ersten warmen Tage werden kommen und damit der Frühling die Regie übernehmen.

Fast jeder kennt wahrscheinlich das Trillern dieses unermüdlichen Meisters des Liedes am Himmel. Es ist ein solches willkommenes Zeichen für den Frühling, daß wir unwillkürlich nach dem Sänger hoch am Himmel schauen müssen. Das fällt gar nicht so einfach. Und wie vielen von uns ist es schon gelungen Lerchen (neben den häufigen Feldlerchen kommen ja auch Haubenlerchen (Galerida cristata) und vor allem Heidelerchen (Lullula arborea) in Deutschland vor) und ihr Tun aus der Nähe zu beobachten? Es lohnt sich trotzdem obwohl sich Lerchen eher durch ein bescheidenes Gefieder auszeichnen. Die grau-bräunliche Färbung erlaubt es dem Vogel sich vorwiegend auf dem Boden aufzuhalten und trotzdem fast unerkannt zu bleiben. Auf dem Boden verhält Continue reading Frühlingsankömmlinge: die ersten Lerchen

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

Vogelzug am Stockert in der Eifel

Haubenmeise in SchleheEin schöner Tag im Herbst. Indian Summer wie er im Buche steht. Diesmal soll es in die Eifel gehen, zu einem Berg, der Stockert genant wird und südlich von Euskirchen gelegen ist. Hier kann man den Vogelzug der am Tag ziehenden Vogelarten sehr gut beobachten. Es war noch dunkel, als ich ankam. Das erste Vogelgezwitscher konnte aber bereits gehört werden. Es waren vor allem Meisen, deren Rufe noch in den Bäumen zu hören waren. Dann ging es sehr schnell. Innerhalb weniger Minuten waren die Büsche voll. Natürlich waren vor allem Kohlmeisen (Parus major) und Blaumeisen (Cyanistes caeruleus) in den Schlehen und Hagebutten zu sehen. Ein wunderbarer Kontrast zu den blauen und roten Früchten, die übervoll an den Zweigen hingen. Die Zugunruhe hatte offensichtlich auch zwei Spezies von Meisen gepackt, die in der Regel nicht mit der offenen Landschaft, sondern eher mit Nadelbäumen in Wäldern in Verbindung gebracht werden. So waren gut 5 Tannenmeisen (Periparus ater) und auch mindestens 3 Haubenmeisen (Lophophanes cristatus) zu beobachten, die für eine Weile auf den Ästen einer Schlehe ausgeruhten. Nur kurz – ca. 2 Minuten – dann waren sie wieder weg.

Beim Beobachten und Fotografieren war klar zu erkennen, dass das Zuggeschehen in vollem Gange ist. Gesang und andere territoriale Verhaltensweisen waren selten zu sehen und beschränkten sich wenn auf den frühesten Morgen. Was für ein wunderschöner, früher Morgen an einem sonnigen Tag. Allerdings ziemlich kalt in den ersten Stunden. Dazu ein wahres Vergnügen – auch unter dem Gesichtspunkt der Ornithologie. Zusätzlich Continue reading Vogelzug am Stockert in der Eifel

Bird migration at the Stockert in the Eifel hills

Crested Tit, resting in sloe

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A beautiful autumn day. Indian Summer, as written in the books. This time it is to go to the Eifel to hill Stockert south of Euskirchen where bird migration at day can be observed. It was still dark when I arrived. The first bird whispers were heard already . It was mainly chickadees whose calls were audible. Then it went very quick. Within minutes, the bushes were full. Of course, especially Great Tit (Parus major) and Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus ) were seen in the sloe (or Blackthorn), Prunus spinosa, and rosehip, Rosa canina, bushes. A wonderful contrast to the blue and red fruits that hung plentiful on the branches everywhere. Migration unrest obviously hit two species of tits too that are usually not associated with the open countryside but with conifers in the forests. There were some Coal Tits (Periparus ater) and Crested Tit (Lophophanes cristatus), which rested for a while on the branches of a sloe . Only short – about 2 minutes – then they were gone again.

When photographing it was obvious to see that migration is in full swing. Singing and other territorial habits were rare and restricted to the earliest morning. This early morning on a sunny day (but quite cold in the first hours) was a real pleasure – also from the point of ornithology. In addition Continue reading Bird migration at the Stockert in the Eifel hills

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

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