Tag Archives: Reed Bunting

Finken gönnen sich Sonnenblumen

GrünfinkIm Herbst sieht man inzwischen auch in Brandenburg immer wieder Felder mit schon überreifen Sonnenblumen. Offensichtlich werden sie bewußt erst spät – oder gar nicht – abgeerntet. Wahrscheinlich handelt es sich um eine sogenannte “Blühstreifen”- Maßnahme, die finanziell gefördert wird. Es scheint, daß dies besonders auf Flächen passiert, die mindestens 3 Jahre als Acker genutzt wurden. Meist wird solch ein Feld in einer Breite von 6 bis max. 12 m neben Mais-Monokulturen angelegt. Es werden neben Sonnenblumen und Senf noch einige Blühpflanzen mehr ausgesät. Die Maßnahme ist jedenfalls für die Finken im Herbst eine willkommene Gelegenheit sich noch mal richtig voll  zu fressen bevor der Winter für karge Kost sorgt.

Es lohnt sich an solchen Feldern zu halten und auf die einfliegenden Vögel zu warten. Geduld wird belohnt. Nach einer Weile kommen nach und nach verschiedene Vögel angeflogen. U.a. sind dann schnell Grünfinken (Carduelis chloris)  – wie in dem Bild des Blogs -, Stieglitze (Carduelis carduelis) und Feldsperlinge (Passer montanus) zu sehen. Wenig auffällig, aber auch schnell mal mit dabei kommen Goldammern (Emberiza citrinella) angeflogen. Es lohnt sich einen genauen Blick – am besten mit einem Spektiv – auf die Trupps der Ammern zu werfen. Manchmal ist noch eine Rohrammer (Emberiza schoeniclus) auf dem Zug Continue reading Finken gönnen sich Sonnenblumen

Spring migration along the Baltic Sea coast

BuchfinkSunrise over the southern shore of the Baltic Sea. Grey dots swinging in the air reveal themselves as migrating songbirds. And there were masses of grey dots. One flock after another passed the steep cliff of the island of Usedom in the morning of eastern. A fresh wind blowing from the south obviously pushed the birds from their wintering grounds up to the north. At the southern coast of the Baltic Sea the birds realized the huge area of open water and preferred to stay on an eastern direction to reach their breeding territories.

Up to that the sunny, windy Sunday morning only the very first migrating songbirds as Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) and European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) could be found quite numerous in the bushes of the island of Usedom in north-eastern Germany. But following the wind from the south, masses of Common Wood-Pigeon (Columba palumbus) appeared over the canopy Continue reading Spring migration along the Baltic Sea coast

Brutgeschäft bei Graureihern in Stuttgart

GraureiherDie Brutvorbereitung der Graureiher (Ardea cinerea) am Max-Eyth-See, einem bekannten Erholungssee direkt bei Stuttgart, findet Anfang bis Mitte Februar statt. Dann besetzen die Graureiher ihre Horste. Die Nester werden ausgebessert oder neu gebaut. In dieser Zeit Ist es sehr lebhaft in der Kolonie. Unermüdlich suchen die Vögel auf dem Boden und in den Baumkronen nach abgebrochenen Zweigen. Haben sie dabei einen etwas dickeren erwischt, fliegen sie schwerfällig wieder zu den Horsten. Es werden auch Zweige von Bäumen abgerissen oder von anderen Horsten stibitzt. Diese Phase im Jahresablauf der Graureiher, eignet sich gut, um schöne Verhaltensbeobachtungen zu machen.

Der Max-Eyth-See ist Continue reading Brutgeschäft bei Graureihern in Stuttgart

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

Long-eared Owl chased by a Magpie

A rainy day in May at Romania´s Black Sea coast. Some good birds for a western birdwatcher like Reed, Corn and Black-headed Bunting, Great Reed-Warbler, Barred Warbler and a flying Lesser Spotted Eagle could be seen. A big surprise was what you see on the pictures: a Long-eared Owl, Asio otus, staying in a bush, eventually flying away. After a few seconds a Magpie showed up. Here you can see the Long Eared Owl chased by a Black-billed Magpie in flight. The images were photographed in the nice countryside of Romania north of the city of Constanta.
Basic habitat requirements for the Long-eared Owl are small forests or hedges with some trees. Preferred are open countrysides which nest-sites of Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) or Magpie (Pica pica). It is not clear, why the Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica) chased the owl. It is well reknown that magpies could be very aggressive in defending their nest and/or brood. Probably that has been the case Continue reading Long-eared Owl chased by a Magpie