Tag Archives: Northern Pintail

Waterfowl Spring migration on the flooded meadows of the river Oder/ Germany

SchnatterenteAlready several sites for nature protection with excellent birding ops in Brandenburg has been presented. One of these sites is a protected nature area in the Havellaendisches Luch or the Guelper See. If you have spare time between two tourist attractions in Germany´s sprawling capital Berlin you might be interested as a birdwatcher to know, where you can find good places to enjoy fresh air and relax with birding for typical European birds. Berlin, the capital of Germany is a top tourist destination and easy to reach by air or car. So the city is a great place to combine a city trip with a birding excursion.

One of these sites is a National Park in Oder valley (Polish: Odra). The Oder is a river in Central Europe which rises in the Czech Republic and ultimately flows into the Szczecin Lagoon of the Baltic Sea. The National Park Lower Oder protects a flood plain, the last still intact in large parts of the estuary of Central Europe with its adjacent slopes, mixed deciduous forests and dry grasslands.

April demonstrated spring time with pleasant temperatures, a pleasant southern wind and usually sunshine. The first weekend provided a significant boost in migratory birds. Especially thrushes – including the first Ring Ouzels (Turdus torquatus) were Continue reading Waterfowl Spring migration on the flooded meadows of the river Oder/ Germany

Die winterliche Niederung der Unteren Havel

SingschwanNebel steigt aus den Flußauen, die Stille wird durchbrochen nur hier und da von den cru-cru-Rufen der Kraniche. Singschwäne (Cygnus cygnus) grasen die überschwemmten Wiesen ab, schütteln sich im Gegenlicht die Wassertropfen vom Schnabel. Wenig später dann die typischen leicht qäkenden Flugrufe von Gänsen. Wenn im Spätwinter und Vorfrühling die Sonne im Morgengrauen die Feuchtigkeit aus den Wiesen und Bruchwäldern treibt, kann man in den nebligen Havelauen oft ein prachtvolles Lichtspiel erleben. Dichte Nebelschwaden steigen aus den Langgraswiesen auf, und das Morgenlicht taucht die Natur in immer neue Farben. Auenwälder, offene Wasserflächen und ausgedehnte Feuchtwiesen prägen die Niederung der Unteren Havel. Ein Lebensraum, der in den frühen Morgenstunden am stimmungsvollsten ist.

Die Niederung der Unteren Havel ist eine der letzten naturnahen Flußauen in Deutschland. Zwischen dem brandenburgischen Rathenow und Havelberg in Sachsen-Anhalt mäandriert die langsam fließende Havel durch eine ausgedehnte Wiesenlandschaft des Naturparks Westhavelland, der über 700 vom Aussterben bedrohten Tier- und Pflanzenarten einen Lebensraum Continue reading Die winterliche Niederung der Unteren Havel

Beste Beobachtungsgebiete im Winter auf Texel

StockenteTagelang hatte es geregnet. Der Ausflug über Sylvester auf die südlichste der westfriesischen Inseln schien sich als Reinfall zu entpuppen. Dann nach 3 Tagen klarte es gegen Abend auf. Ein phantastisches Abendrot kündigte eine sternenklare Nacht an. In dieser Nacht ohne schützende Wolkendecke fielen die Temperaturen auf deutlich unter Null. Die Feuchtigkeit an Gräsern und Zweigen gefror. Der nächste frühe Morgen mit seinem Eiskristallen, Reif und Eisflächen verzauberte den Besucher dieser Insel und entschädigte ihn für die voran gegangenen Tage, die doch mehr oder weniger in der warmen Stube verbracht wurden. Stacheldrahtzäune waren eisbedeckt und glitzerten in den verschiedensten Farben in der prallen Morgensonne. Bald würde das Schauspiel mit der wärmenden Sonne vorbei sein. Jetzt mußten die richtigen Motive schleunigst gefunden werden.

Eigentlich war ich über Sylvester nach Texel gefahren, um die Wintergäste beobachten und fotografieren. Als Übernachtungsort auf der Insel wählte ich Oost, da sich die meisten Vögel im Nordosten der Insel aufhalten. Hier gibt es auch einige Seen und Gräben, an denen sich die Vögel vom Auto gut beobachten lassen. Direkt in der Nähe von Oost in Richtung Continue reading Beste Beobachtungsgebiete im Winter auf Texel

Birding around Berlin: The Guelper See

SaatgansBerlin might not sound like a birdwatcher’s paradise but the capital of Germany offers surprisingly good birding. Berlin is already a top tourist destination. But it is a great place to combine a city trip with a birding excursion, too. Many airlines use the Airport of Berlin, but it is possible to take a flight to Frankfurt/ Main as well and drive with a rented car in roughly half a day.

If you have spare time between two tourist attractions and are a birdwatcher, you might be interested to know, where you can find good places to bird for typical European birds. One of these sites to mention is the lake of Guelper See in the west of the State of Brandenburg. The small village of Guelpe, south of the Continue reading Birding around Berlin: The Guelper See

Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) near Muenster/ North Rhine-Westphalia

Carolinakrickente, Amerik. Krickente, After a message on Ornitho.de I decided to visit the sewage farms in the north of Muenster. A Green-winged Teal, a close relative of our European Teal (Anas carolinensis) was said to stay for a few days already in Muenster. The duck was in the area of an old abandoned sewage farm. The species has been seen since at least the 16th of March on the pond named E1. From the Rhine -Ruhr region, the sewage farm is  easy to reach and the sewage ponds – the Rieselfelder Muenster – are famous to reveal rarities especially in the spring season. The area is a real birding hotspot. First, there was nothing to see but the sheer numbers of ducks. Gadwalls (Anas strepera), Continue reading Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) near Muenster/ North Rhine-Westphalia

Keoladeo National Park, a paradise also for Western Palearctic birds

White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)Is it possible to combine business and birding in India? The country is large, the distance too and most business is performed in a metropolitan area – New Delhi. Although supposedly in the area of New Delhi only 250,000 people live after the Indian census of 2011, but there are at least several million in the greater Delhi area . Nature must stand back there. Nearby , however, is Keoladeo . According to wikipedia is a national park in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Keoladeo is also known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary or Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary. The National Park is located about 50 km west of Agra near the town of Bharatpur and not too far south of the city of New Delhi, the capital of India. As a business trip to New Delhi allowed for a few days off for birding, I opted for the Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary.

From Germany first the trip went to New Delhi. I stayed in the city, had four grueling days in business meetings with constantly running air conditioning in darkened rooms and then went on a weekend to my well-deserved relaxation destination, the Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur. But before the bird’s enjoyment there are more exhausting times to cope with. Although there are only about 200 km to the Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary. But they are strenuous. At least 3 hours – rather 4 hours – you are traveling on dusty, crowded highways in almost constant traffic jam. But then you’re on your final destination: in Keoladeo, India´s paradise for water birds. It is for India which for Botswana is the Okavango and the Everglades mean for America. The local population knows Keoladeo as “Ghana” . In their language the word means “forest” or “jungle”. Keoladeo was originally the private duck hunting ground of the Maharajas of Bharatpur. In the swamps many water birds from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China and Siberia are wintering. Supposedly over Continue reading Keoladeo National Park, a paradise also for Western Palearctic birds

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