Tag Archives: Miliaria calandra

Photo Project: Dancing Great Bustard in Germany

Grosstrappe, männlichDancing Great Bustard (Otis tarda) at dawn. That must be a great photo project. The courtship is an incredible spectacle. The male Great Bustard transforms himself into a large, white ball of feathers. To do so, he turns the brown, patterned flight feathers out so that the white underside and the white feathers of the elbow face upwards. Than the tail flips up to the back and shows only the white down feathers. On a morning in mid March everything seems perfect. After a period of bad weather, it had cleared the day before and the weather forecast had announced freezing temperatures. When I left early in the morning, the sky was filled with stars. Not a cloud covered the sky and of the temperatures were in the minus degrees – as promised. One of the areas for the Great Bustard is a good half hour away from the my home town. The morning sun had cast a strip on the eastern horizon Continue reading Photo Project: Dancing Great Bustard in Germany

Grosstrappen bei der Balz im Morgengrauen

GrosstrappeTanzende Großtrappen (Otis tarda) im Morgengrauen. Das muß doch ein tolles Fotoprojekt sein. An einem Märzmorgen scheint alles perfekt. Nach einer Schlechtwetterperiode, hatte es am Vorabend aufgeklart und die Wettervorhersage hatte Temperaturen um den Gefrierpunkt angekündigt.

Beim Aufbruch am frühen Morgen, standen tatsächlich die Sterne am Himmel. Keine Wolke bedeckte den Himmel und auch von dem Temperaturen her war es wie versprochen. Eines der Gebiete für Großtrappen liegt eine gute halbe Stunde vom Wohnort entfernt und wegen der schmalen Landstraßen muß man doch etwas aufpassen. Die Morgensonne warf schon einen Streifen über den östlichen Horizont, als ich  mich dem Versteck näherte. Breite Entwässerungsgräben ziehen sich am Rand des ausgedehnten Wiesengebiets entlang. Das sorgt für recht hohe Luftfeuchtigkeit. In Kombination mit den tiefen Temperaturen Continue reading Grosstrappen bei der Balz im Morgengrauen

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

The Dupont‘s Lark at Las Almoladeras in Spain

Dupont's Lark on a stoneAlthough recent research and an action plan by SEO regards the Dupont‘s Lark (Chersophilus duponti) as highly on risk in Almeria, this area is still worth a try.  This Lark is probably one of the highly thought-after bird species if travelling to and birdwatching in southern Spain. I photographed it in mid May 2002. First choice for this lark in southern Spain probably is Cabo de Gata. This is a Parque Natural with almost 50,000 ha (exactly 49,696 ha). Cabo de Gata comprises a Biosphere Reserve of the UNESCO. In general this large area extends from the western side of Cabo de Gata around to the eastern coast as far north as Carboneras. For birdwatchers the best sites are the sierra of Cabo de Gata, the salinas of Cabo de Gata, and a series of steppe areas, of which I tried Las Amoladeras which is Continue reading The Dupont‘s Lark at Las Almoladeras in Spain

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

Die Dupontlerche in Las Almoladeras in Spanien

Dupont's Lark on a stoneDie Dupontlerche (Chersophilus duponti) ist wahrscheinlich eine der am intensivsten gesuchten Vogelarten der Westpaläarktis. Zumindest dann, wenn man zur Vogelbeobachtung in Südspanien unterwegs ist. Ich fotografierte sie Mitte Mai 2002. Die erste Wahl für die Beobachtung dieser Lerche ist wahrscheinlich Cabo de Gata. Dies ist ein Naturpark mit annähernd 50.000 ha (genau 49.696 ha). Cabo de Gata ist Bestandteil eines Biosphärenreservats der UNESCO. Das Gebiet erstreckt sich von der Westseite des Cabo de Gata bis zur Ostküste bei Carboneras. Für Vogelbeobachter die besten Standorte sind die Sierra Cabo de Gata, die Salinen von Cabo de Gata, und eine Reihe von Steppengebiete , von denen ich Las Amoladeras besuchte, das allgemein als aus ornithologischer Sicht produktivste Stelle gilt. Ein zusätzlicher Vorteil ist, dass dieser Bereich relativ leicht zugänglich ist. Für einen ersten Besucher ist es am besten das Besucherzentrum ” Las Amoladeras ” zu besuchen. In der Ausstellung des Besucherzentrums werden archäologische Funde im Naturpark Cabo de Gata ist sowie Aspekte der Natur gezeigt. Besucher können ein Mosaik von Ökosystemen kennenlernen.

Das Besucherzentrum Las Almoladeras liegt nur 20 km süd- östlich von Almería. Um dorthin zu gelangen, fahren Sie am besten Continue reading Die Dupontlerche in Las Almoladeras in Spanien

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

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