Tag Archives: Melanitta fusca

Altmühlsee: neue Vogelheimat im Fränkischen

BeutelmeiseFeine Rufe tönen aus dem Schilf. An Rohrkolben findet die Beutelmeise (Remiz pendulinus) das Material für ihr kunstvolles Nest. Mit dem Altmühlsee südöstlich von Nürnberg wurde ein künstliches Biotop geschaffen, das vor allem für zahlreiche Vogelarten mittlerweile zum unverzichtbaren Lebensraum wurde. Beutelmeisen, Feldschwirl (Locustella naevia), Schilfrohrsänger (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) und Blaukehlchen (Luscinia svecica) brüten hier, während zu den Zugzeiten auch immer wieder Irrgäste zu beobachten sind.

Der seit 1985 geflutete, etwa 450 Hektar große Altmühlsee ist Teil eines Großprojektes des Freistaates Bayern zur Überleitung von Wasser von der Donau in den Main. Er liegt gut 20 km südöstlich von Ansbach zwischen den Orten Gunzenhausen und Muhr am See. Das Gebiet zwischen Weidenbach und Gunzenhausen war vor dem Bau der Stauseen von zahlreichen Armen der Altmühl durchflossen und aufgrund der alljährlichen Überschwemmungen eine der größten zusammenhängenden Feuchtwiesenflächen Süddeutschlands, die ursprünglich weit über 1.000 Hektar umfasste. Viele Wiesenbrüter fanden dort ihre Reviere.

Mit dem Baubeginn des Ausgleichsbeckens 1978 veränderte sich das Gebiet nachhaltig: Ein großer Teil der Feuchtwiesen wurde Continue reading Altmühlsee: neue Vogelheimat im Fränkischen

Vagrant Mongolian Plover: seawatching surprise on St. Lawrence Island

MongolenregenpfeiferSeawatching along the arctic coasts of north-west Alaska – with Siberia on the horizon – was the thrill at the end of May till the first days of June 2016. Along the edges pf St. Lawrence Island seabirds are living and migrating not only in the Nearctic region but also to the Palearctic.

Migration was on its peak when we arrived with a tour of the operator High Lonesome – a group for mainly US-birders. Migration kept going for the whole time (during a 6-day trip) with some changes in mixture of species.

Whereas Eiders as Common Eider (Somateria mollissima), King Eider (Somateria spectabilis) and Steller’s Eider (Polysticta stelleri) and Long-tailed Ducks (Clangula hyemalis) were abundant mainly in the first days, other seaducks like White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi) of both subspecies – Stejneger´s Scoter (Melanitta deglandi stejnegeri) and White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi deglandi) or divers like Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata), Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica) and Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii) showed up later. Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) could be seen daily. Unfortunately only Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri) we missed – probably these birds, which migrate normally quite early, had Continue reading Vagrant Mongolian Plover: seawatching surprise on St. Lawrence Island

Stejneger’s Scoter at Alicante, Valencia

Höckerschnabelente ssp. An adult male Stejneger’s Scoter (Melanitta deglandi stejnegeri) could be photographed at Pinet beach, La Marina Coast, Alicante.  This Asian White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi stejnegeri) is the second record for Spain and is a real MEGA .

The bird was seen at least from the 6th of December at La Marina together with Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra), Yelkouan Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan), Northern Gannets (Sula bassana), Shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and Razorbills (Alca torda).

The last Stejneger´s Scoter in Europe I heard from, was detected in Norway in Fauske, Nordland, where an adult drake was observerd at Røvika in July 2016 and a individual (maybe the same?) in June near Berlevåg, Finnmark.

The Stejneger´s Scoter is a relative to the White-winged Scoter of North America (Melanitta deglandi). This species is one of three species/subspecies of the Melanitta fusca – group. Theses Scoters are found throughout the Holarctic waters. The assemblage includes Melanitta deglandi stejnegeri of Eastern Asia, White-winged Scoter Continue reading Stejneger’s Scoter at Alicante, Valencia

Osterausflug auf die Greifswalder Oie

TrauerenteSeeenten wie Eisenten (Clangula hyemalis), Trauerenten (Melanitta nigra) oder Bergenten (Aythya marila) im Tiefflug über der Ostsee. Noch dazu im Prachtkleid. Dies alles ist auf einem Ausflug mit der MS „Seeadler“ der Apollo-Reederei auf die Greifswalder Oie – der nord-östlichen Insel Deutschlands – möglich. Die Insel liegt nördlich von Usedom im nördlichen Vorpommern mitten in der Ostsee.

Wie bereits in anderen Blog über das Zuggeschehen beschrieben, lohnt es sich im Frühjahr und Herbst die ziehenden Trupps nicht nur der Singvögel genauer abzusuchen. In gemischten Ententrupps können sich nämlich auch andere Vertreter der Melanitta -Seeenten aufhalten. Das sollte über Ostern mal von Peenemünde aus getestet werden. Bei herrlichstem Wetter ging es pünktlich um 9.45 Uhr mit der MS „Seeadler“ hinüber zur Greifswalder Oie. Als die MS „Seeadler“ den Peenestrom verlassen hatte und den Peenemünder Haken passiert sind in der Ferne schon ziehende Mittelsäger (Mergus serrator),  Kormorane (Phalacrocorax carbo), Pfeifenten (Anas penelope), Reiherenten (Aythya fuligula), Eisenten, Trauerenten und Lachmöwen (Chroicocephalus ridibundus bzw. Larus ridibundus) zu sehen.

Schnell passieren wir die Insel Runde und sehen in der Ferne schon die Oie. Da die See nicht zu rau ist, ist es möglich die Continue reading Osterausflug auf die Greifswalder Oie

Eiders in the Frozen

PrachteiderentePhotographing the most colorful ducks of the world in 10-minus-degree temperatures in February at the northern tip of Europe sounds crazy. Well, whether it is crazy or just stupid is a matter of your point-of-view. But all can agree, that it is real Arctic Adventure. The one or the other vagrant Eider might arrive in front of coast of The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Denmark. But this is a rare event. In contrast these birds are very common in the north of the Western Palearctic. On Varanger/ Norway www.bird-lens.com was able to shot nice pictures of King Eider (Somateria spectabilis), right from a floating hide in the middle of the harbor of Båtsfjord, Varanger. It was the 1st full-year in use and bird-lens.com was able to photograph not King Eiders alone, but also Steller’s Eider (Polysticta stelleri) and Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis) and gulls in 5 Continue reading Eiders in the Frozen

Ivory Gull in the port of Hanstholm, Denmark

Ivory GullThere is still a last year’s (since 1.1.2014 ) Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea) in the middle of this Danish fishing port. The gulls sits often on the kai, which can be reached from the northern side street of Kai Lindberg Gade. Sometimes it sits on the 2.5 meter high perimeter wall on the northern edge – unfortunately positioned directly against the bright sky. But sometimes it also flies around in the habour.

After many Birder visit the site over the weekend between Christmas and New Year, I could now see the seagull very well on New Year’s Day 2014 and photograph it well. A Danish Birder fed them occasionally, with fish remains and this is perhaps why it is there quite steady .

Ivory Gull at least in the middle of Europe is anything but a familiar sight. And also if you look at the their breeding range e.g. Spitsbergen / Svalbard, it is still not easy to photograph a specimen close enough. The birds are  not extremely shy to humans, but they often stay in their breeding area on inaccessible areas.

Here in the fishing port the photographic conditions are Continue reading Ivory Gull in the port of Hanstholm, Denmark

Elfenbeinmöwe im Hafen von Hanstholm, Dänemark

Ivory GullImmer noch hielt sich am 2. Januar 2014 – wie im Blog beschrieben – eine vorjährige (seit 1.1.2014) Elfenbeinmöwe (Pagophila eburnea) in der Mitte dieses dänischen Fischerhafens auf. Sie sitzt dort häufig auf dem Außenkai, den man von der nördlichsten Seitenstraße der Kai Lindbergs Gade erreichen kann. Manchmal sitzt sie – leider direkt gegen den hellen Himmel positioniert – auf der ca. 2,5 Meter hohen Außenmauer am nördlichen Rand und läßt sich da lange fotografieren. Manchmal fliegt sie aber auch herum.

Nachdem an dem Wochenende zwischen Weihnachten und Neujahr sehr viele Birder vor Ort waren, konnte ich die Möwe nun am Neujahrstag 2014 sehr gut sichten und gut fotografieren. Ein dänischer Birder fütterte sie zeitweise mit Fischresten und ist vielleicht deshalb dort sehr stationär.

Elfenbeinmöwen sind ja zumindest in Deutschland alles andere als eine vertraute Erscheinung. Und auch wenn man sich auf den weiten z.B. nach Spitzbergen/ Svalbard macht, ist es trotzdem nicht leicht, ein Exemplar aus nächster Nähe zu fotografieren. Die Tiere sind gegenüber Menschen zwar nicht extrem scheu, sie halten sich aber häufig in ihrem Brutgebiet auf unzugänglichen Flächen auf.

Hier in dem Fischereihafen konnten nun aussergewöhnlich gute, sehr nahe Aufnahmen von einer jungen Elfenbeinmöwe geschossen werden. Außerdem waren in der Zeit mindestens 2 Zwergmöwen (Hydrocoloeus minutus), eine Polarmöwe (Larus glaucoides), einige Tage vorher auch noch 2 Eismöwen (Larus hyperboreus) in Hanstholm Havn zu bewundern. In der näheren Umgebung waren außerdem Continue reading Elfenbeinmöwe im Hafen von Hanstholm, Dänemark

Steller’s Eider female on Baltic Sea of Germany

Steller's Eider in snowstormToday a female Steller’s Eider, Polysticta stelleri, has been recorded north of the Holnisspitze, which is a peninsula north-east of a town in Schleswig-Holstein named Gluecksburg. After a run in the last days to the one individual of a male King Eider, Somateria spectabilis, at Kalkhorst at the shores of the Baltic Sea, this is the second mega duck in a short time, which can be seen at the shores of the Baltic Sea in Germany. The female Steller’s Eider was observed the first time by Katrin Habenicht and photographed with some nice shots (including a nice starting/ flying shot). The Eider can be seen in the northern extension of the Holnisser ferry road (Faehrstraße). The duck swims between other ducks (Eurasian Wigeon and Common Eider) present in the same area.

The Holnis peninsula, which is a nature reserve is approx. 15km distance east of Flensburg, which is connected to the rest of the world via Highway (Autobahn) 7. Holnis peninsula marks the northernmost point of the German mainland. The area extends for a distance of 6 km into a fjord – the so-called Flensburger Foerde – and is a reknown pastime area of Gluecksburg. On the peninsula there is a cliff and a salt marsh with a major nesting colony of seabirds.

This female Steller’s Eider is obviously only Continue reading Steller’s Eider female on Baltic Sea of Germany

Male King Eider on Baltic Sea of Germany

King Eider - maleDuring the last days one male King Eider, Somateria spectabilis, continues to stay at Kalkhorst at the shores of the Baltic Sea. The german sea resort is approx. 15km distance east of Travemünde, Lübeck. This male King Eider in beautiful breeding plumage is obviously only one of the few records for 2013 so far south for the Western Palearctic and has been observed from the beach of Kalkhorst.

In contrast these birds are very common in the north of the Western Palearctic. On Varanger/ Norway bird-lens.com was able to shot this nice pictures right from a floating hide in the middle of the harbor. Not King Eiders alone, but also Steller’s Eider (Polysticta stelleri) and Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis) and many gulls in 5 different species. A selection of the best shots you can find here in the gallery!

The Bird on the Baltic Sea could be seen yesterday from Continue reading Male King Eider on Baltic Sea of Germany

Snowy surprise for Cranes & Geese in nature reserve Kuehkopf-Knoblochsaue in Germany

Tundra Bean Goose

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

Birding around Frankfurt Airport: Langener Waldseen

Gavia stellata

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.

For direction it is recommended to take a taxi Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport: Langener Waldseen