Tag Archives: Ring Ouzel

Birdphotographie in the Picos De Europa

While the southern landscapes in Spain – like the Estremadura – are among the most popular photo destinations on the Iberian Peninsula, the mountains in the north, like the Picos De Europa, are largely unknown to many bird photographers.

On my travels to Spain mountainous birds of the Hochgebirge had been too short. They were at the center of a birding trip this time. The target species were: bearded vulture Yellow-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus), (Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus), Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus), Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris) and Citril Finch (Serinus citrinella).

During a break at one of the numerous clear streams I hear a wonderful melodic bird song. I quickly set up my mobile camouflage tent. This is a converted camping landruiser. I slowly approach the song. Suddenly a yellowish-green bird flies back and forth Continue reading Birdphotographie in the Picos De Europa

Observation site for spring migration on the river Oder

SchwanzmeiseAfter having presented protected nature areas in the Havellaendisches Luch or the Guelper See, a recent blog was dealing with the Oder valley in general and The National Park Lower Oder especially. The National Park protects a flood plain, the last still intact in large parts of the estuary of Central Europe.

A rainy, cloudy Sunday led me to the river Oder. Having refueled with gasoline and a Breakfast from a gas station I decided going to Criewener polder south of Schwedt. Criewen is a small village only 3 km south of the industrial city of Schwedt and roughly 100km north-east of Berlin. The car I parked just in front the bridge on the western side channel of the Oder. I grabbed the tripod, spotting scope and the Canon 4.0 / 400 DO from the car. So I walked up to a bench not far from the crossing between the entry road from the village of Criewen and the dike. Here you really an impressive view over the whole polder with riparian woods and wide Continue reading Observation site for spring migration on the river Oder

Dreizehenspecht am Feldberg im Hochschwarzwald

DreizehenspechtNur wenige 100 Meter entfernt vom Trubel an der Piste und dem kahlen „Gipfel“ des Feldbergs gibt es einige Pfade, die kaum von Wanderern frequentiert sind und außerdem mitten durch eine einmalige Gebirgswelt führen: Mannshoher Eisenhut (Aconitum napellus), üppige Trollblumen (Trollius europaeus), Geflecktes Knabenkraut (Dactylorhiza maculata), und Scheuchzers Glockenblume (Campanula scheuchzeri) stehen direkt am Weg. Oben in der Fichte singt vielleicht eine selbstzufriedene Ringdrossel (Turdus torquatus) und mit ein wenig Glück sieht man einen Dreizehenspecht (Picoides tridactylus) an einer toten Kiefer, die ihm die wichtigen Großkäfer im verrottenden Baum liefert. Dieser Vogel, lange Zeit im Schwarzwald verschollen, eroberte aber in den letzten Jahren verlorenes Territorium zurück. Der Specht stochert meist gelassen in dem dichten Geflecht aus Flechten, Rinde und totem Holz nach Spinnen und Käfern. Das wirklich erstaunliche an diesem Vogel ist seine geringe Fluchtdistanz. Ich habe schon Dreizehenspechte aus vier Metern Entfernung beobachten können. Besonders gerne fotografiere ich im Bannwald. Unter den vom Borkenkäfer gemeuchelten Fichten kommt schon wieder die Buchenverjüngung hervor, von der Morgensonne effektvoll in Szene gesetzt. Die knorrigen und bizarren Baumformen, Continue reading Dreizehenspecht am Feldberg im Hochschwarzwald

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

Alpenbraunellen im Taunus bei Frankfurt/ Main

AlpenbraunelleGenau vor 2 Jahren gab es für Birder im Rhein-Main-Gebiet eine große Überraschung. Sage und schreibe 3 Alpenbraunellen waren am 11. April 2014 am Großen Feldberg gerade mal 20 km entfernt von der Innenstadt von Frankfurt / Main zu beobachten. Nachdem ein Ornithologe, Ingo Rössler, die Art bei der Suche nach Ringdrosseln, Turdus torquatus, entdeckt hatte, waren schon mehrere Ornithologen auf dem über 800m NN hohen Gipfel gewesen, um die hier sehr seltene Art zu beobachten. Zuerst war die Rede von einem Vogel, dann waren sie angeblich weg und dann waren es doch insgesamt 3 Individuen,  die sich auf dem Großen Feldberg dem höchsten Berg des im Südwesten Hessens gelegenen Mittelgebirges aufhielten.

Als wir gegen 16:30 ankamen, trieben sich die Alpenbraunellen (Prunella collaris) gemeinsam im westlichen Innenhof direkt am großen Fernmeldeturm herum. Sie waren eifrig damit beschäftig, auf dem mit Pflaster ausgelegten Innenhof nach Nahrung zu suchen. Immer wieder flogen die Braunellen auf und landeten dann in den Regenrinnen des Funkturms. Noch bis mindestens Continue reading Alpenbraunellen im Taunus bei Frankfurt/ Main

Overshoots im Frühjahrszug auf den britischen Inseln

GartenrotschwanzEs lohnt sich immer wieder, mal über den Tellerrand des unmittelbaren Orni-Umfelds zu schauen. So konnten auch die Birder auf der Insel im Westen des Kontinents das erste Wochenende im April als Frühling mit angenehmen Temperaturen, einem leichten Windchen und in der Regel Sonnenschein willkommen heißen. Mit den frühlingshaften Temperaturen war auch auf den britischen Inseln ein deutlicher Schub von sommerlichen Migranten verbunden: Ringdrosseln (Turdus torquatus) wurden verstärkt an ihren traditionellen Rastplätzen angetroffen; es gab einen bemerkenswerten Einflug von Gartenrotschwänzen (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) (weitgehend Männchen) und auch andere Zugvögel wie Trauerschnäpper (Ficedula hypoleuca), Feldschwirl (Locustella naevia), Schilfrohrsänger (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) und Teichrohrsänger (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)  waren erstmals in diesem Jahr zu bewundern.

Mit dem zunehmenden Vogelzug aus südlichen Gefilden wuchs natürlich auch die Vorfreude auf die Vögel, die von den Briten „overshoots” genannt warden. Dies sind Zugvögel, die in dieser Zeit ihr eigentliches Verbreitungsgebiet nach Norden überschreiten und in Großbritannien und Irland in den kommenden Wochen nur sporadisch wahrgenommen werden und sich dann in ihre südlichen Brutgebiete zurückziehen. Hier konnten u.a. schon die ersten Beobachtung mit einem Rotkopfwürger (Lanius senator) bei der Windmill Farm, Cornwall gemacht werden. Schon fast „fest-gebucht“ zu diesem Zeitpunkt ist der Continue reading Overshoots im Frühjahrszug auf den britischen Inseln

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

Alpine Accentor on migration on top of the Grosser Feldberg near Frankfurt / Main

AlpenbraunelleNo less than 3 Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris) could be observed on April 11th, 2014 at the Grosser Feldberg just 20 km from the city center of Frankfurt / Main. After Ingo Roessler had found the species in searching for Ring Ouzel, Turdus torquatus, around the little town of Schmitten, several ornithologists had already been on the top of the mountain (approx. 800m asl) , to observe the very rare species. First, there was talk of a bird , then they were supposedly away and then there were but a total of three individuals which were staying near the radio tower at the Great Feldberg. This of course was a big sensation for the birders of the Rhine -Main region. When we arrived around 4:30 pm, the Alpine Accentor could be seen feeding in the western courtyard by the large telecommunications tower. From time to time they flew to the gutters of the radio tower and returned to the yard. Until at least 5:20 pm, 3 individuals of the Alpine Accentor could be observed in the small courtyard Continue reading Alpine Accentor on migration on top of the Grosser Feldberg near Frankfurt / Main

Alpenbraunelle (Prunella collaris) am Großen Feldberg bei Frankfurt / Main

AlpenbraunelleSage und schreibe 3 Alpenbraunellen waren 11. April 2014 am Großen Feldberg gerade mal 20 km entfernt von der Innenstadt von Frankfurt / Main zu beobachten. Nachdem Ingo Rössler die Art bei der Suche nach Ringdrosseln, Turdus torquatus, entdeckt hatte, waren schon mehrere Ornithologen auf dem über 800m NN hohen Gipfel gewesen, um die hier sehr seltene Art zu beobachten. Zuerst war die Rede von einem Vogel, dann waren sie angeblich weg und dann waren es doch insgesamt 3 Individuen,  die sich auf dem Großen Feldberg dem höchsten Berg des im Südwesten Hessens gelegenen Mittelgebirges und des gesamten Rheinischen Schiefergebirges aufhielten. Das war natürlich eine Riesensensation für die Rhein-Main-Taunus-Region. Als wir gegen 16:30 ankamen, trieben sich die Alpenbraunellen gemeinsam im westlichen Innenhof direkt am großen Fernmeldeturm herum. Sie waren eifrig damit beschäftigt, auf dem mit Pflaster ausgelegten Innenhof Continue reading Alpenbraunelle (Prunella collaris) am Großen Feldberg bei Frankfurt / Main

Birding around Frankfurt Airport: Grosser Feldberg

Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is the gateway to continental Europe. Many airlines use the Airport as a hub for connecting flights all over the world. If you have spare time between two flight and you are a birdwatcher, you might be interested to know, where you can find good places to stretch your legs, enjoy fresh air and enjoy birding for typical european birds.

If you have the time and you can use a car, you should consider a trip to the Taunus Mountains northwest of Frankfurt. The Grosser Feldberg is only the most reknown – and due to easy access by a curvy road – the most visited of the Peaks of the Taunus near Frankfurt

In dense fog and strong north-western wind on the morning of the 7th of October 2012 38 Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus)  could be seen around the hightest summit of the taunus, the Grosser Feldberg. (Gr. Feldberg> 26 ind.; in the little town of Oberreifenberg nearby: 12 individuals). In general the time in September and October is excellent to see the active Migration of many bird species.

Generally March and April are best for viewing woodpeckers as Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport: Grosser Feldberg

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

Ring Ouzel migrating through the Taunus near Frankfurt/ Main

Sunny weather and clear sky seduced for a nice hike on midday of September 30th through the upper Taunus near Bad Camberg, only 25 km north of the center of the city of Frankfurt. Having parked the car near Riedelbach, the nice Riedelbacher Heide on more than 500m above sea level (asl) was a resting home of a little flock of resting Ring Ouzel, Turdus torquatus. In totel 6 individuals could be seen. Immediately I made some shots with my camera. The birds were quite shy, trying to avoid contact with the photographer. They were uttering their contact call almost all the time. Only one of the images is good enough to proof the observation.
The Riedelbacher Heide is a small – but nevertheless the biggest in the upper Taunus – area of juniper heathland, which is protected as a nature reserve (Naturschutzgebiet).
When we returned to the car in the evening probably the flock has already flewn further south along the slopes of the Hochtaunus north of Frankfurt/Main.
To cope with the growing demand Continue reading Ring Ouzel migrating through the Taunus near Frankfurt/ Main