Tag Archives: Taunus

Alpenbraunellen und andere hochalpine Vogelarten in Hessen

AlpenbraunelleSogar 3 Alpenbraunellen (Prunella collaris) konnten am 11. April 2014 auf dem Großen Feldberg, nur 20 km von der Frankfurter Innenstadt entfernt, beobachtet werden. Nachdem ein lokaler Ornithologe, Ingo Roessler, die Art auf der Suche nach Ringdrossel (Turdus torquatus), in der Nähe des Städtchens Schmitten gefunden hatte, waren damals schnell mehrere Ornithologen auf dem Gipfel des Berges (ca. 800 m ü.M.) geeilt, um die zu dem Zeitpunkt sehr seltenen Arten zu beobachten. Inzwischen kommt die Alpenbraunelle fast alljährlich und im Jahr 2019 am 8. April wieder mit drei Artgenossen und am 26. 4. mit einem Einzelvogel am Feldberg festgestellt werden. Die Beobachtung dieser hochalpinen Vögel komplettiert sehr schön die ebenfalls in Hessen festgestellten auf der Wasserkuppe bei Gersfeld in der Rhön im Osten Hessens. Dort waren 2 Schneesperlinge oder auch Schneefinken (Montifringilla nivalis) über mehrere Tage Anfang April 2016 bei teils stürmischem Wetter und daher schlechten Bedingungen für eine Sichtung angetroffen worden. In diesem Frühjahr wurde eine für Hessen neue hochalpine Vogelart nachgewiesen. Am 4.4. wurde in Grebenstein nördlich von Kassel eine Felsenschwalbe (Ptyonoprogne rupestris) beobachtet und fotografiert. Angesichts der Ausbreitung der Felsenschwalbe als Continue reading Alpenbraunellen und andere hochalpine Vogelarten in Hessen

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

Dompfaffe auf Durchzug am Grossen Feldberg

Eurasian BullfinchGimpel, Pyrrhula pyrrhula, werden im Volksmund auch Dompfaff genannt. Diese farbenprächtigen Finkenvögel sind nun wieder auf dem Durchzug am Großen Feldberg, dem höchsten Berg des Taunus zu beobachten. Auch letztes Jahr konnten sie dort an den Vogelbeeren mit anderen Zugvögeln gesehen werden. Meist ziehen sie in kleinen Gruppen,  seltener in Scharen von hundert Vögeln. Ein Teil der Vögel, die hier gebrütet haben, sind in südlichere Gefilde abgezogen. Sie werden nun nach und nach von den angekommenen und den immer noch ankommenden Brutvögeln vom Norden und Nordosten, ersetzt. Unter den Neuankömmlingen sind auch immer wieder die sogenannten Tröter, Gimpel der Subspezies (ssp.) pyrrhula. Diese Continue reading Dompfaffe auf Durchzug am Grossen Feldberg

Eurasian River Warblers discovered near Frankfurt

SchlagschwirlThere is proof of a Eurasian River Warblers (Locustella fluviatilis) around Idstein in the Taunus region about 40 km north from Frankfurt city center. The area is called the “Hintertaunus”. According to a report in Continue reading Eurasian River Warblers discovered near Frankfurt

Irish Bird Trip to the Frankfurt area in Germany; 16thMay-19th May 2014

Black KiteWe flew in from Kerry airport Ireland and landed at Hahn to met by Johannes Ferdinand from Bird-Lens our bird guide.  During our stay we had no rain, some cloud in the mornings and plenty of sunshine all day. We saw a total of 113 birds including lifers Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris), Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix), Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius), Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo), and adult Black-necked or Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis), European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) and Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica). Johannes had organised our trip to Continue reading Irish Bird Trip to the Frankfurt area in Germany; 16thMay-19th May 2014

Nachweis des Schlagschwirls (Locustella fluviatilis) im Hintertaunus

SchlagschwirlAm 21.05.14 konnte auf eine Meldung in Ornitho.de bei einem Besuch der Umgebung von Idstein im Hintertaunus ca. 40 km nördlich vom Frankfurt Stadtmitte ein singender Schlagschwirl entdeckt werden. Es wurden Fotobelege gemacht. Der Gesang war schon aus einer Entfernung von gut 100 Meter sehr gut zu vernehmen. Der Schlagschwirl sang auf einem recht kleinen Weidengebüsch – dem kleinsten in der Umgebung – ausdauernd. Von dort wechselte der Schlagschwirl gelegentlich in das angrenzende vorjährige Schilf, um dann wieder in die Reihe mit Weidengebüschen zu fliegen. Der Aktionsradius betrug während der Continue reading Nachweis des Schlagschwirls (Locustella fluviatilis) im Hintertaunus

High-spirited Eurasian Eagle-Owls rumble on houses roofs

UhuThe family of Eagle-Owls (Bubo bubo) on the Hundertwasserhaus in Bad Soden is still very active. The 3 youngs have now moved their focus of activity to the slope opposite to the breeding tower, the so-called Dachberg. Not always to the delight of neighbors they change from the canopy of the trees sometimes on the rooftops and jump on the gables of the roofs of the houses around. Doing this, they call Continue reading High-spirited Eurasian Eagle-Owls rumble on houses roofs

Junguhus randalieren auf den Hausdächern an Dachbergstraße

UhuDie Uhufamilie (Bubo bubo) am Hundertwasserhaus in Bad Soden ist immer noch – besser: immer mehr – aktiv. Die 3 Ästlinge haben den Schwerpunkt ihrer Aktivitäten nun in den Hang des Dachbergs verlegt. Nicht immer zur Freude der Nachbarn wechseln sie von den Kronen der Bäume mitunter auf die Hausdächer und springen auf den Giebeln der Häuserdächer herum, daß einem Angst und Bange werden kann. Dazu rufen sie etwas unheimlich. Schon mancher der Nachbarn wird da an Continue reading Junguhus randalieren auf den Hausdächern an Dachbergstraße

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

Mating of Common Buzzards on spruce top

MäusebussardDuring a visit on a fairly high mountain in the Taunus first mountain chain, the Atzelberg, in early March it was possible to observe and photograph the copulation of a pair of the Common Buzzards (Buteo buteo). On top of the Atzelberg there is a lookout tower, which gave the perfect position to photograph this unique event. The mating season begins usually in early spring in Middle Europe. During the mating Continue reading Mating of Common Buzzards on spruce top

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

Heavy migration of Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) through the Taunus/ Germany

Song ThrushDuring a short trip with sunny weather and quite clear sky but a cold wind in the morning of March 26th through the upper Taunus near Bad Soden I experienced many migrating birds among them approx. 50 Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) and more than a 100 Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs).  Remarkable in the sighting of the Chaffinches was the gender relationship which was very much in favor of the males – all in beautiful breeding plumage.

Remarkable with the Song Thrushes were the sheer numbers observed. They tried to conceal among dry grass or clods to take food. All this was complicated by the tight chokes for wind, which the thrushes also tried to avoid. Eventually, using the car as a moving hide, a smaller flock of Song Thrushes could be seen in perfect light showing their typical arrow-markings on the belly.

There are other recent sightings Continue reading Heavy migration of Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) through the Taunus/ Germany

Migratory birds herald spring

Common Cranes flying overLast weekend, you could observe heavy traffic in the skies over Frankfurt/ Germany. Although winter is not ready to lower its grip the first returning migrants already point to the imminent end of the cold season. In recent weeks, Eurasian Skylarks  (Alauda arvensis), and Northern Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus), were seen already on their return. Particularly striking are currently the Common Cranes  (Grus grus) flying in wedge-shaped formations over western Germany.  On the 9th of march you could see at least 30 individuals over the outskirts of Kelkheim/ Main-Taunus-Kreis. The southern slopes of the Taunus are one of the pathways of the western migration corridor of these tall, slender birds before they are heading further north of the Wetterau

For the Bay of Cologne, which is 200km further north located, the long-term statistical average is between 5th and 13th of March. What this mean in terms of quantity you can see by the fact that highest count in crane observation was made by the NABU Aachen (further to the west), who observed more than 8,000 cranes in the region between that time period (5th and 13th of March in 1991).

The birds spend the winter mainly in sunny Spain or France. Their main wintering area is located in the Extremadura in western Spain. There, the cranes in the clear Mediterranean oak forests searched for the fruits of holm and cork oaks. On the way back to their breeding grounds, the cranes Germany crossed on quite a narrow corridor toward the southern shores of the Baltic sea in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
But there are even more flocks of birds expected in the coming weeks: Blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla), Continue reading Migratory birds herald spring

Great Grey Shrike, Lanius excubitor in the Hochtaunus near Frankfurt

Northern ShrikeDuring a short trip to a hiking site near my hometown in the Hochtaunus just 25km from downtown Frankfurt I could observe a beautiful Great Grey Shrike, Lanius excubitor. This Northern Shrike could be seen in perfect light in the afternoon of the 20th of February in an area called Viehweide (cattle pasture) northwest of the small village Schloßborn near both to the highest peak of the Taunus, the Grosser Feldberg, and the fashionable town of Koenigstein im Taunus.

The bird was already observed by Eleonore Gothe on the 18th of February.

This was my first sighting for this winter in the Taunus. One of the last Great Grey Shrikes I could see was on Helgoland in the Suedhafen area last October.

In his „Handbuch der Vögel Mitteleuropas“, Band 13/II „Passeriformes, Sittidae – Laniidae“ Urs N. Glutz von Blotzheim mentioned that migration of the Great Grey Shrike, Lanius excubitor, (also called Northern Shrike), back to breeding grounds has been reported between mid of February until beginning of April with peaks in March. In so far the observation could still fit for a wintering ground observation or a sighting during migration.

Remarkably otherwise there were 8 Ravens (Corvus corax) and at least 5 Red Kites (Milvus milvus). Although Red Kites breed in the Taunus and these Kites seem to stay and feed in the area, they will probably go further north in the near future. The german Birdnet is full with migration counts of Red Kites – sometimes in good numbers (as 37 individuals migrating in north-eastern direction in the Landkreis Waldeck-Frankenberg in northern Hesse).
Moreover, 8 Eurasian Buzzards (Buteo buteo) could be seen. Very interesting to see 5 Common Buzzard with 2 Kites trying to Continue reading Great Grey Shrike, Lanius excubitor in the Hochtaunus near Frankfurt

Birding around Frankfurt Airport: Bad Soden

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.

One of these sites is the hilly countryside around Bad Soden. The state (Bundesland) of Hessen still supports a comparatively large number of mixed orchard meadows where the Little Owl (Athene noctua) is a relatively common bird. After North-Rhine Westphalia, Hessen has the largest Little Owl population in Germany.

Bad Soden is located on the southern slope of the Taunus mountains, 15 km north-west of Frankfurt and 20 kilometers northeast of Wiesbaden and 10km south of the highest summit of the Taunus, the Grosser Feldberg. Although a wealthy suburb of the city of Frankfurt a high percentage of the area (15%) is forested. The altitude ranges between 130 m above sea level (asl) and 385 m asl.

The landscape of the so-called Vordertaunus is very scenic and host some excellent birds, which are quite hard to see in other more northern parts of Germany as e.g. European Honey-buzzard(Pernis apivorus), Red Kite (Milvus milvus), Stock Pigeon (Columba oenas), Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo), Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor ), Middle Spotted Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport: Bad Soden

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