Tag Archives: North Carolina

Red-necked Phalarope: Migration in the Western Palearctic

OdinshühnchenRed-necked Phalaropes (Phalaropus lobatus) are mainly known as colorful breeding birds of the Arctic tundra of Eurasia and North America. The more colorful females advertise with conspicuous courtship flights around the males, which later take care for the offspring. Following the breeding time, Red-necked Phalaropes are pronounced migratory birds. Now they change to their simple black and white non-breeding dress. In small numbers Red-necked Phalarope migrate over Germany annually. About the migration routes and the wintering areas of individual populations, however, relatively little is known. Already at the beginning of the 20th century, it was known that most of the European Red-necked Phalarope winter on the open sea. The wintering areas are dotted in the tropical seas. Well-known wintering areas are known off the west coast of South America, in the southwest Pacific and in the northwest of the Indian Ocean. A well-known area lies in the Arabian Sea. Very late, it was discovered that even on the Atlantic off the coast of West Africa Red-necked Phalarope spend the winter. It is not yet known exactly from where Red-necked Phalarope on migration over in Germany are coming and in which winter quarters they are traveling. If one previously followed the theory that there are Icelandic breeding birds on a southeastern route to Arabia, it seems today also imaginable that birds from Scandinavia rest in Germany, which winter off the West African coast.

The breeding season of the Red-necked Phalarope starts in late May. Although the birds are now in their breeding plumage, the spring passage in Germany from early May to early June is not very noticeable. Far more noticeable is the autumn migration, which extends over a longer period from mid-July to October. Females, males and juveniles obviously migrate at different times of the year. In the northern part of Germany, in Schleswig-Holstein, a more detailed analysis of the observations showed July 21 as a median of the passage of the females, which often leave the breeding grounds right after laying the eggs. Males follow 8 days later. For juvenile birds, the 27th of August was determined as a median. Young birds are much more common on the autumn migration than adults. Depending on the breeding success, however, the number varies greatly from year to year.

Inland Germany, the species occurs only sparsely, without showing a focus on certain areas. Red-necked Phalarope usually move alone or in small groups. Groups of more than five individuals are already to be regarded as major exceptions. The fact that Red-necked Continue reading Red-necked Phalarope: Migration in the Western Palearctic

White-rumped Sandpiper in Brandenburg at Gülper lake

WeißbürzelstrandläuferThe White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis) – initially recorded as Baird’s Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii) – from Lake Gülper was intended to be observed on Saturday, July 22nd. Already at 7:00 am I arrived after 2 hours’ drive at the southeast corner of the small village Prietzen at the south end of Lake Gülper. Some birders had already placed their cars along the road. But on Saturday morning nobody had seen the bird in the Havelaue already.

Since Wednesday, July 19, the White-rumped Sandpiper had been seen loosely associated with river Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius), Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) and a Little Stint (Calidris minuta) on the sands on the banks of the southern shore. The White-rumped Sandpiper was busily searching for food with little resting phases. The bird was steadily to be seen until evening.

The southern shore of Lake Gülper is, however, crowded in summer by thousands of resting geese, predominantly Greylag Goose (Anser anser). For longer periods of time, White-rumped Sandpiper could not be found between the Greylag Geese. Thus, e.g. on Friday, July 21, 2017 between 7:45 and 8:00 pm, the bird could only be discovered after a White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) had flushed all the Greylag Geese. Before that, he had not been seen Continue reading White-rumped Sandpiper in Brandenburg at Gülper lake

Weissbürzel-Strandläufer am Gülper See

WeißbürzelstrandläuferDer anfangs als Bairdstrandläufer (Calidris bairdii)  bestimmte Weißbürzelstrandläufer (Calidris fuscicollis) vom Gülper See sollte am Samstag, den 22. Juli beobachtet werden. Schon um 7:00 war ich die 2 Stunden angereist und stellte den Wagen am Südostausgang des kleinen Dörfchens Prietzen am Südende des Gülper Sees ab. Einige Birder waren schon unterwegs. Am Samstagmorgen  hatte aber noch niemand den Vogel in der Havelaue gesehen.

Der Weißbürzelstrandläufer war seit Mittwoch, 19. Juli, locker mit Flußregenpfeifern (Charadrius dubius), Flußuferläufern (Actitis hypoleucos)  und einem Zwergstrandläufer (Calidris minuta) vergesellschaftet auf den Sandflächen am Uferrand des dicht mit Mauserfedern bedeckten Südufers gesichtet worden. Der Weißbürzelstrandläufer war  hauptsächlich auf Nahrungssuche mit wenig Ruhephasen zu sehen und anfangs stetig bis abends anwesend.

Das Südufer des Gülper Sees wird allerdings im Sommer von Tausenden rastenden Gänsen, ganz überwiegend Graugänsen (Anser anser), bevölkert. Über längere Zeiträume konnte der Weißbürzelstrandläufer zwischen den Graugänsen nicht Continue reading Weissbürzel-Strandläufer am Gülper See

Prärieläufer (Bartramia longicauda) an der Ostküste der USA

PrärieläuferDer Prärieläufer (Bartramia longicauda) wird ja nur gelegentlich in der Westpläarktis beobachtet worden. Wenn es richtig recherchiert ist, strandet diese Limikole am ehesten auf Inseln im Atlantik, wie auf St. Mary’s auf den Scilly-Inseln oder zuletzt Mitte September 2013 auf Fair Isle, was zu den Shetland-Inseln gehört. Es gibt auch eine Meldung von der baskischen Küste von der Estaca de Bares, in Galizien. Vielleicht kommt er auch mal nach Deutschland. So ganz auszuschließen ist das nicht und er ist einfach ein super Vogel. Der Vogelbeobachter, der den Prärieläufer aber mal ohne langes Warten auf diesen Alert sehen möchte, sei ein Trip nach North Carolina empfohlen. Und zwar im Spätsommer/ Herbst. Jedes Jahr machen sich nämlich im Spätsommer Millionen von Vögel auf um entlang alter Routen von der Arktik, der Prärie oder den nördlichen Küsten nach Süden zu gelangen. Die Überwinterungsorte können vom Süden der Vereinigten Staaten, über Mittelamerika, bis zu den südlichen Ausläufern Südamerikas reichen. Einer der wandernden Limikolen ist der Prärieläufer (Bartramia longicauda) im englischen Upland Sandpiper genannt. Aber auch der bekannte Continue reading Prärieläufer (Bartramia longicauda) an der Ostküste der USA

Forster’s Tern, Sterna forsteri, as a vagrant for the Western Palearctic

SumpfseeschwalbeTerns in general are excellent fliers, which may, from time to time, appear as vagrants outside of their home range. Forster’s Tern, Sterna forsteri, are no exception in that. Only some days ago, a Forster’s Tern was found on the coast of Ireland. An adult winter Forster’s Tern could be observed at Corronroo along with Common Loon (Gavia immer), 3 Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Long-tailed Ducks (Clangula hyemalis), some Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator), Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), 2 Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus), 3 adults and 1 first-winter Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) or (Larus melanocephalus) and 1 second-winter Little Gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus). This would have been an excellent selection of birds for a continental birding day in the middle of wintertime. Other Forster’s Terns could be found in Galway on Mutton Island, at Nimmo’s Pier, at Doorus and off Newtownlynch Pier. All observations were made between mid December 2014 and beginning of January 2015.

In the Western Palaearctic the first Forster’s Tern, probably an adult specimen, was taken Continue reading Forster’s Tern, Sterna forsteri, as a vagrant for the Western Palearctic

Least Tern for the Western Palearctic

Amerikanische ZwergseeschwalbeClosely related bird species occurring in different continents are always a special challenge for keen birders. It is not too long ago, that ornithologists found out, that a Least Tern (Sterna antillarum) was found in East Sussex. This was new to Britain and the Western Palearctic. Also on other sites along the western coast of Europe and Great Britain, you might have chances to see (and compare) 2 small terns of the genus Sternula. Sternula is a genus of small white terns, which is often subsumed into the larger genus Sterna. Least Tern was formerly considered to be subspecies of Little Tern but is now regarded a valid species besides the Little Tern, Sternula or Sterna albifrons.

In the case of a small Tern in East Sussex, a Little Tern, Sternula albifrons, with a distinctive Continue reading Least Tern for the Western Palearctic