Tag Archives: Rock Pigeon

Birding Berlin: Ducks in winter in Charlottenburg Palace

A splash drops of water, a wild tumult. Just a moment ago the two male Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) had been standing side by side on the ice-plate. Now they quarrel like crazy. Diving, swimming, fluttering and finally escaping, they obviously let their aggression run wild. Most of the short but intense fights end with the fact that one of the males gets through and drives his rival away with a bite in the tail. The defeated duck flies a short distance; and after a few minutes they are together again on the ice – as if nothing had happened. Since the winter temperatures are now also noticeable in the middle of Berlin, large areas of the large ornamental pond – the Karpfenteich (i.e. carp pond) – are covered in ice in the western part of the park in Charlottenburg Palace Park. Only a small part, located in close proximity to the tributary to the river Spree, has remained an open water surface, which is the center of attraction for many waterfowl such as Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) and Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula). Goosanders (Mergus merganser) are also well represented. Even a male Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) appeared, but it looked quite pale, suggesting an escaped ornamental bird or a hybrid. Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) is standing on the shore quite close to the trails in the park. The ornamental park in the middle of the city of Berlin is a very special bird paradise. Partly natural water surfaces form a beautiful combination with the more than 100 years old thick Beeches and Oaks. For managed parks, the park has an amazing amount of old wood.

Birding parks in big cities are often surprisingly good. Berlin is a great place to combine a city trip with a birding excursion. A U-bahn ticket for the trip to Sophie-Charlotte Platz is cheap. From here it is only a short walk along Schlossstrasse to the Charlottenburg Palace. The extensive gardens here are home for many bird species, Continue reading Birding Berlin: Ducks in winter in Charlottenburg Palace

Dreizehenmöwen im Fowlsheugh RSPB

DreizehenmöweDer Lärm ist durchdringend. In den Felsen nisten offensichtlich viele Seevögel. Wir stehen erst kurze Zeit direkt am Absturz des Kliffs. Da kommt auch schon die erste Dreizehenmöwen (Rissa tridactyla) praktisch im Wind stehend, angeflogen.

Ohne die Beschreibung in den einschlägigen Feldführern wäre ich total aufgeschmissen gewesen. Das Fowlsheugh RSPB ist zwar gar nicht weit südlich von Stonehaven, aber die Gegend hier ist schon sehr einsam. Nur ein paar Häuschen stehen direkt am Kliff. Außer uns ist offensichtlich keiner im Gebiet. Nur 2 Angler haben sich unten am Felsenstrand eingenistet. Leider gibt es kein B&B weit und breit. Das Reservat ist nur ein paar Meilen die Küste südlich von Stonehaven entfernt. Eigentlich könnte man einen schönen Küstentrail entlang der Klippen nehmen. Wir laufen nur die ersten 200m die Klippen entlang. Die ganze Szenerie ist nicht so spektakulär wie Handa. Aber immerhin! Und man ist viel näher dran. Continue reading Dreizehenmöwen im Fowlsheugh RSPB

Krähenscharben an Bulgariens Steilküsten

KrähenscharbeEine wunderschöne, naturnahe Steilküste im zeitigen Frühjahr im Nordwesten von Bulgarien. Hier ist auch die Heimal der Krähenscharbe (Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii).  Die  hier auftretende Subspezies desmarestii kommt nur im Mittelmeer und am Schwarzen Meer vor und wird im Englischen als Mediterranean Shag bezeichnet.

Krähenscharben weisen die gleiche dunkle, leicht violett glänzende Fäbrung auf, wie ihre nördlichen Kollegen der Nominatform Phalacrocorax aristotelis aristotelis. Der auf dem Foto des Blogs erkennbare aufgestellte Büschel wird durch Kopffedern hervorgerufen, die während der Brutzeit im späten Winter besonders zur Schau gestellt werden.

Während der winterlichen Brutzeit bilden Krähenscharben nicht zu dichte Kolonien und nisten in Felsspalten, Felsbändern, Höhlungen innerhalb der Kreideklippen oder zwischen Continue reading Krähenscharben an Bulgariens Steilküsten

Adventure: driving to the Keoladeo National Park

Sarus Crane, pair on field

It is November. A trip to Arunachal Pradesh in north-eastern India is scheduled. Due to delays in domestic flights I find out, that there are still three days left . Now you can spend the time in New Delhi, the capital of India, of course. According to some strange statistics the human population of New Delhi barely exceeds 250,000 people, but there are still at least several million in the Delhi area. Nature must stand back there. Nevertheless, there are practically some interesting areas within the city limits, such as Sultanpur, and in the vicinity is also Keoladeo, a national park in the Indian state of Rajasthan, which has been object of a blog on www.bird-lens.com already.. It is also known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. The national park is not too far south of the city of New Delhi. Since I had already read about this bird paradise, I opted for the Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary.

From Germany, the first part of the trip went to Amman, then after a stopover to New Delhi. Actually I had arranged with the hotel directly located at the park entrance – the Birder’s Inn – that I get a lift from the airport at additional costs. The Birder’s Inn is quite recommended on the Internet for a stay in the area. When I accomplished the passport control, baggage claim and the retriev of money in Indian currency at an ATM, I must go and look for a taxi to Bharatpur. The pick-up service is in fact not there. A taxi agent speaks to me. I start in a bargain and get him down to 3,500 IR – this is roughly 42,- Euro – for the one-way driving southward. Then I think to use the morning hours for some more birding nearer to the airport. That is still on the way and a good location might be Sultanpur. Ok, that for additional costs. So in total now again Continue reading Adventure: driving to the Keoladeo National Park