Tag Archives: Steppe Eagle

Mega-rare Raptor sightings for central Europe?

BartgeierSometimes, you just need luck: A bird-loving hiker in the Alps had never seen a Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) with such a wide, white band on its lower wings. Therefore, he photographed the flying eagle. Only some time later it turned out that he had seen a Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) from the last calender year. The only third suspected wild bird in Germany since 1977, which was accepted by the german rarity commissions.

The Steppe Eagle is only recognized as a wild bird in Germany since 2005. Previous observations were always treated as refugees from captivity by the rarity commissions. Up to 2013, there are currently three German records compared to a total of 28 records for Denmark. In the past ten years alone, a Steppe Eagle has been observed eight times in Denmark.

In Western Europe, meanwhile, a flurry of extremely rare Raptors is expected. The Netherlands and northern France have seen a wave of exciting reports of large birds of prey in the past weeks. And of course the British bird watchers hope that one or the other raptor could also make it across the strait.

Belgium, northern France and the Netherlands have housed a steppe eagle in Apeldoorn in mid of May. After all, this is only the fourth Dutch report. It was therefore more than unexpected that another Steppe Eagle appeared in Middelburg, the capital of Zeeland, on May 21st. It is believed that the Steppe Eagles migrated west this spring due to longer periods of southern and eastern high pressure systems. This almost invites further speculation as to whether more birds of prey from the southern part of Europe are being drifted further north. This expectation is strengthens by the appearance of at least three Booted Eagles (Hieraaetus pennatus) in the past week – two in Belgium (one of which also came to France) Continue reading Mega-rare Raptor sightings for central Europe?

Super-seltene Greifvögel in Deutschland?

SteppenadlerManchmal hilft richtig Glück: Ein vogelinteressierter Wanderer in den Alpen hatte noch nie einen Steinadler mit einem so breiten, weißen Band auf den Unterflügeln gesehen. Daher fotografierte er den überfliegenden Adler. Erst einige Zeit später stellte sich dann heraus, dass er einen vorjährigen Steppenadler (Aquila nipalensis) gesehen hatte. Der erst dritte vermutliche Wildvogel in Deutschland seit 1977, der von den Seltenheitskommissionen anerkannt wurde.

Der Steppenadler wurde erst 2005 in Deutschland als Wildvogel anerkannt. Frühere Beobachtungen wurden von den Seltenheitskommissionen BSA und DSK hingegen stets als Gefangenschaftsflüchtlinge behandelt. Aktuell drei deutschen Nachweisen stehen bis 2013 insgesamt 28 Nachweise in Dänemark gegenüber. Allein in den letzten zehn Jahren wurde die Art dort achtmal beobachtet.

Im westlichen Europa erwartet man derweil geradezu eine Flut von extrem seltenen Greifen. Die Niederlande und Nordfrankreich haben in der letzten Woche eine Welle aufregender Meldungen großer Greifvögel zu verzeichnen. Und natürlich hoffen die britischen Vogelbeobachter, dass es der ein oder andere Greif auch über die Meerenge schaffen könnte.

Belgien, Nordfrankreich und die Niederlande haben so u.a. Mitte Mai einen Steppenadler in Apeldoorn beherbergt. Dies ist immerhin erst die vierte niederländische Meldung. Daher war es mehr als unerwartet, dass ein anderer Vogel am 21. Mai in Middelburg, der Hauptstadt von Zeeland, auftauchte. Man vermutet, dass die Continue reading Super-seltene Greifvögel in Deutschland?

Nationalpark Pilanesberg: a heaven not only for Kingfishers

GraukopfliestIn the surrounding bushes of the Tidodi Dam there is  loud bustle already. In the gallery forest around, numerous birds such as the Grey-headed Kingfisher (Halcyon leucocephala) enjoy the first sun beams. Haze floats above the water. It is morning shortly after sunrise. The surrounding trees of the dam form a small gallery forest, which attracts many birds such as Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill (Tockus leucomelas), Grey-headed Kingfisher, Brown-hooded Kingfisher (Halcyon albiventris), Crested Barbet (Trachyphonus vaillantii), Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) and Broad-billed Roller (Eurystomus glaucurus).

An alternative is the Malatse Dam along the Dithabaneng Drive. This dam offers the opportunity to photograph the African Fish-Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) and other birds such as Ibisse and Spoonbills at their sleeping retreat.

Not far from the Malatse dam is the Dithabaneng dam. If the water is high, you can go by car directly to the shore. The light is perfect for taking photos in the morning and in the evening. It is worth driving to the Ruighoek waterhole in the afternoon. At this small dam is a relatively low-lying hide.

From the frog’s perspective you can take pictures at the waterhole of the Kwa Maritane Lodge. The waterhole of the Kwa Maritane Continue reading Nationalpark Pilanesberg: a heaven not only for Kingfishers

Bird Migration in Eilat/ Israel

SteppenadlerBirding in Israel in general is unique. But the observation of the spring migration of thousands of raptors is literally breathtaking. The Steppe Buzzard (Buteo buteo vulpinus) is one of the first raptors, you can observe migrating. On good days, migration starts as early as before 8 am. Then the birds pass the city of Eilat between Sholmo and Mount Yoash in about 300-400 meters above sea level (asl). During the morning, migration normally moves a little to the northwest of the area between Mount Yoash and Moon Valley. However, the migration may also switch to southeast, directly over Eilat if there is bad weather in the Negev desert. The Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus) forms the conclusion of migratory events in the spring around the end of May. Approx. 1 million birds of this species migrate within just two weeks through the area, in some years, the birds migrate even in the course of just one week. In early May usually the temperature drops at night below 25 degrees Celsius, which means that the Honey Buzzards do not have to wait until the air is heated by daybreak. Therefore, you can already Continue reading Bird Migration in Eilat/ Israel

Vogelzug in Israel

FalkenbussardEs ist noch stockdunkel, als wir uns in der Lobby des Hotels von Eilat treffen. Wenig später stehen wir schon auf einer Landstraße am Berghang des Mount Yoash. Ein frischer Frühlingsmorgen, die aufgehende Sonne im Osten. Schnell ist es taghell. Ein weiterer Tag an der Südspitze Israels, dem südlichen Hotspot für die Zugvogelbeobachtung westpaläarktischer Vögel. Früh am Morgen muß man aber auch raus, um die besten Stehplätze zu ergattern.

Der Falkenbussard (Buteo buteo vulpinus), oder im Englischen Steppe Buzzard, ist in Eilat einer der ersten Greife, die ziehen. An guten Tagen beginnt der Zug bereits vor 8:00 Uhr. Dann passieren die Vögel die Stadt zwischen Sholmo und Mount Yoash in etwa 300-400 Meter NN. Im Laufe des Vormittags verschiebt sich der Zug normalerweise ein wenig nach Nordwesten auf das Gebiet zwischen Mount Yoash und Moon Valley. Der Vogelzug kann sich aber auch nach Südosten, direkt nach Eilat verlagern, wenn im Negev schlechtes Wetter herrscht. Der Wespenbussard (Pernis apivorus) bildet Ende Mai den Abschluß des Zugvogelgeschehens im Frühjahr. Rund eine Million Vögel dieser Art ziehen innerhalb von nur Continue reading Vogelzug in Israel

A Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis: From Eye to Eye

Most pictures of Steppe Eagle you find in the internet are from falconry or zoos. But the keen birdwatchter want the right stuff. Here you can see Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis, in the wild. Photographed in the desert environment of Dhofar/Oman near the city of Salalah. To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic, Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find in the western palearctic. Trips to remote places to capture images of rare birds of western palearctic were very successful. Part of the images gained are photos of Baillon’s Crake, Heuglin’s Gull and Imperial Eagle. The behaviour of Steppe Eagles is not very eagle-like. They prefer to scavange but are able to kill their own prey, too. This is the reason, that Steppe Eagles can be found on garbage dumps in Arabia where they find easy food supply on carcasses of livestock and slaughterhouse waste. Continue reading A Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis: From Eye to Eye