Tag Archives: Norderney

Meeresbuchten im Wattenmeer

SäbelschnäblerDas Besondere des niedersächsischen Wattenmeeres sind vor allem die Ostfriesischen Inseln und die drei großen Meeresbuchten Dollart, Leybucht und Jadebusen. Jede Insel, jede Bucht und jeder Küstenabschnitt ist für sich eine Reise wert. Wer Naturfotografie im Wattenmeer betreiben will, hat also die Qual der Wahl.

Ein sehr interessantes Gebiet um Vögel zu sehen und zu fotografieren befindet sich in der Leybucht. Die Leybucht bei Greetsiel ist wohl sogar eines der interessantesten Gebiete Ostfrieslands. Sie zeigt auch, daß Watt nicht gleich Watt ist. Je nach Lage zum Meer kann man verschiedene Watttypen unterscheiden. Die sogenannten Buchtenwatten sind im Dollart, der Leybucht und im Jadebusen zu finden,

Eine Reihe von künstlichen Biotopen auf der Straße von Hauen zum berühmten Pilsumer Leuchtturm bietet die Möglichkeit, in den frühen Morgenstunden gute Vogelaufnahmen zu machen. Säbelschnäbler und Lachmöwen brüten dort. Mit etwas Glück sieht man auch Löffler auf der Nahrungssuche Zur Zugzeit sammeln sich Ringelgänse (Branta bernicla), Graugänse (Anser anser), Nonnengänse oder Weißwangengänse (Branta leucopsis) und Bläßgänse, auch Blessgans genannt, (Anser albifrons). Nordöstlich von Greetsiel liegen seewärts die Gebiete „Buscher Heller“ und „Mittelplate“. Dort brüten in den Salzwiesen insgesamt 1.000 Paare Säbelschnäbler (Recurvirostra avosetta). Das dürfte das größte Brutvorkommen Continue reading Meeresbuchten im Wattenmeer

Land im Takt der Gezeiten: das Wattenmeer

BrandgansIm Takt der Gezeiten offenbart sich dem Naturfotografen die Weite der Nordseelandschaft mit einem ständig wechselnden Gesicht. Dem ewigen Zusammenspiel der Kräfte von Sonne und Mond, Ebbe und Flut, Wind und Wellen verdankt das Wattenmeer seine Existenz. Zahllose Brut- und Zugvögel finden in der weiten Wattlandschaft einen geeigneten Lebensraum. Norderney, die am dichtesten besiedelte Insel im deutschen Wattenmeer, ist Heimat der letzten Kornweihen (Circus cyaneus) Deutschland und wird zu Recht als Vogelparadies bezeichnet. Seeschwalben, Säbelschnäbler (Recurvirostra avosetta), Rotschenkel (Tringa tetanus), Ringelgänse (Branta bernicla), Graugans (Anser anser) und viele andere Wasservögel sind dort zu finden, ebenso wie der seltene Eurasische Löffler (Platalea leucorodia) oder Raubvögel wie Turmfalken (Falco tinnunculus), Rohrweihen (Circus aeruginosus) und Bussarde. Die Vögel sind aus ihren Überwinterungsgebieten in Südeuropa und Afrika zurück und haben ihre Brutgebiete auf Norderney wieder sicher erreicht.

Auf den Wiesen brüten der Kiebitz (Vanellus vanellus) und der Austernfischer (Haematopus ostralegus). Die Rotschenkel (Tringa tetanus) rufen von ihrer Sitzwarte auf den Zaunpfosten entlang der Salzwiesen.

Die Ostfriesischen Inseln liegen zwischen dem Dollart und dem Continue reading Land im Takt der Gezeiten: das Wattenmeer

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

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) on Norderney

Northern HarrierNorderney, the most densely populated island in the german Wadden Sea is with good reason called a bird paradise. Terns, Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), Common Redshank (Tringa tetanus) , Brent Geese (Branta bernicla), Greylag Geese (Anser anser)and many other birds of water are to be found there, as well as the rare Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), or raptors as Kestrels, Marsh Harriers (Circus aeruginosus) and Buzzards. The birds are back from their wintering grounds in southern Europe and Africa and have reached their breeding grounds on Norderney safe.

On the meadows at the airport breed Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) defend clamoring their turf against intrusive neighbors in the Grohdeheller, Common Redshank (Tringa tetanus) flutes from their perch on the fence posts along the salt marshes in the Grohdepolder and the dunes to the east of the island host again a large breeding colony of gulls. Breeding pairs of the rare Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) live on the island, too. The Northern Harrier, Circus cyaneus, also called the Hen Harrier was the main reason to arrange a trip to Norderney in early May this year. Finally the Northern Harriers have returned from their wintering areas. On a trip to China – on Happy Island – Northern Harrier could be photographed very successfully on migration  -interesting enough only females. The courtship and breeding period should now be photographed.

For shots of the beginning of courtship, it was too late. Beginning and mid of April you can observe Continue reading Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) on Norderney

Cranes on China’s Helgoland, PART II

I was happy to experience a trip to Happy Island at the end of October. A 10-day trip in 2007. So far so good concerning the character of Happy Island in comparison to the vagrant hotspot Helgoland. What Helgoland does not have are resting cranes. But on Happy Island you could see a total of 4 types very well. These were, of course, above all, our “normal” Cranes, Grus grus, then White-naped Crane, Grus vipio, Red-crowned Crane, Grus japonensis, and eventually even a single Sandhill (Canada) Crane, Grus Canadensis. For the last one this was  only the third time ever that there has been an observation on Happy Island. Also Siberian Crane, Grus leucogeranus, Hooded Crane, Grus monacha and Demoiselle Crane, Anthropoides virgo have allegedly already been proven. Happy Island is considered to be (one of) the best location to watch the East Asian migration. Hope that this is true for the future, too. During my visit in 2007, extensive construction work was in progress to make the island more interesting for “normal” day trippers and to improve touristic infrastructure. Ditches and canals were dug to pedal with small boats. But, the ongoing construction work had some good advantages, too. The excavated material was used to provide quite a high hill of sand piling up in the middle of the island. This turned out to be an ideal vantage point to watch the migration of the mornings. Passing birds on eye-level (sometimes 10 meters) were a perfect experience. The derelict (but cheap) beach huts were demolished in the following year to my visit without temporary replacement. The future will show whether Happy Island can continue to be China´s Helgoland China – perhaps with better accommodation!

A nice selection of bird images of that trip can be seen in the gallery. In a different gallery you also find impression of the landscape of that nice Continue reading Cranes on China’s Helgoland, PART II

Cranes on Happy Island, Chinas´s Helgoland, Part I

China’s Helgoland? Is there such a thing? Well, it depends on what you consider to be the specific characteristic of the “Shijiu Tuo Island” or “Bodhi Island” (in English simply “Happy Island”) mentioned island.

Shijiu Tuo Island or simple Happy Island, about 3 hours drive from the seaside resort of Beidaihe located on the Yellow Sea to the east, is at first appearance rather like one of the Northern Sea islands as Texel, Norderney or even Wangerooge. This applies both to the topography as well as the distance from the mainland. Happy Island is not an off-shore island. Therefore it only takes a small boat to bring passengers to the island – in about the same time what it takes to ship from Harlinger Siel to Wangerooge.

Beidaihe is located east of Beijing – about 300 km from the international airport.

The resort has been in the international media at the beginning of August 2012, as this year the Chinese leadership resided in this seaside town to a multi-week retreat to prepare for the upcoming change in power. Previously, the communist party retreats were held regularly in the summer in the nice place. Large parts of the state bureaucracy were carted in the hot months to Beidaihe with its convenient seaside climate. Security is of course very strict at that time but in October / November – the best time for bird migration observation – the resort is very quiet and not crowded. Perfect conditions to go for the beach or in the park adjacent to the Lotus Hills – the Lian Feng Mountain Park – to look after local and migrating birds. So far so good. But now more to Happy Island.

Happy Island at the widest point is only 1.5 kilometers wide and 3.5 kilometers long. Albeit this island offers an impressive diversity of habitats – as does Helgoland. There are grasslands, sandy beaches, small ponds, dense coastal scrub, sand dunes, shrimp ponds and – in the middle a collection of trees that could be almost called a small wood. The wood is picturesquely located right around a Buddhist temple.

The surrounding sea impresses the observer with wide mud flats at low tide. This is an excellent food area for migratory and native birds – such as our North Sea islands. Here waders as Oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus), Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Mongolian Plover (Charadrius mongolus), Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii), Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata), Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus), Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis), Greenshank (Tringa nebularia), Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) and Dunlin (Calidris alpina) can be seen. Rarities are Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) and finally Far Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis). One of the highlights is Nordmann’s Greenshank (Tringa guttifer), who is the almost annually observed. Unfortunately I draw a blank on that bird as I missed the Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris), who is also a scarce passing migrant. A special feature is the observation opportunities for the otherwise very rare Saunders’s Gull (Larus saundersi) and Relict Gull (Larus relictus). Both could be photographed beautifully. So far, the impressive number of 408 species has been proven for the island, of which only 29 are valid as breeding species and 379 as migratory.

The Fall – from September to mid-November – is a very favorable season for bird watching Continue reading Cranes on Happy Island, Chinas´s Helgoland, Part I