Tag Archives: Turdus viscivorus

Steinschmätzer am Hohneck

SteinschmätzerDer kratzende Laut ist unüberhörbar. Nicht auf Anhieb würde der geneigte Naturfreund dies als Gesang betrachten. Doch genau das ist es. Damit soll das Revier verteidigt und ein Partner interessiert werden. Obwohl der Steinschmätzer (Oenanthe oenanthe) sich nicht scheut, sich offen zu präsentieren, ist es gar nicht so leicht den kleinen, schwarz-weißen gefärbten Vogel auf einem der Felsblöcke zu entdecken.

Die Bergwiesen in den Vogesen sind in der Sommerzeit ausgesprochen reizvoll. Neben Vögeln der alpinen Zone sieht man auch einige typische Pflanzen dieser Region wie Gelben Enzian (Gentiana lutea), Arnika (Arnica montana), Kleine Alpen-Kuhschelle (Pulsatilla alpina) und gelbe und blaue Vogesen-Stiefmütterchen (Viola lutea) auch Gelbes Vogesenveilchen genant.  Wiesenpieper (Anthus pratensis) und Feldlerchen (Alauda arvensis) sind neben den oben beschriebenen Steinschmätzern sicher die häufigsten Vogelarten. An den schnell fließenden Bachläufen sind Gebirgsstelzen (Motacilla cinerea) zu finden. In den Klippen und Geröllhalden leben neben den Steinschmätzern auch einige sonst seltene Vogelarten. Wanderfalke (Falco peregrinus) und Kolkrabe (Corvus corax) kann man regelmäßig beobachten. Mit etwas Glück erspäht man hier aber auch den ansonsten in den Alpen beheimateten Steinrötel (Monticola saxatilis) oder man kann andere „Hochgebirgsarten“ wie die Alpenbraunelle (Prunella collaris) beobachten.

Zum Steinrötel ist interessant zu wissen, daß ein früher Ornithologe, nämlich Raimund Scheicher, schon kurz vor dem 1. Weltkrieg über seine ornithologischen Ausflüge in die Umgebung von Freiburg und in die Südvogesen berichtete.  Dabei konnte er im Juli in den Vogesen am Rotenbacher Kopf (südlich vom Hohneck) ein Pärchen des Steinrötel beobachten, das sich in den steil nach Osten abfallenden Felsen aufhielt. Leider wurde es schon zur damaligen Continue reading Steinschmätzer am Hohneck

Alpine birds in the Haut Chaumes / Vosges

SteinrötelThe mountain meadows in the Vosges are very attractive in summer time. Beside birds of the alpine zone one sees some interesting plants like Yellow Gentian (Gentiana lutea), Mountain arnica (Arnica montana), Alpine Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla alpina), Mountain Pansy (Viola lutea). Northern Wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe), Meadow Pipits (Anthus pratensis) and Skylarks (Alauda arvensis) are certainly the most common species of birds, but some rare bird species live in the cliffs and boulder fields as well. If you are lucky, you may spot the Common Rock Thrush or Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatilis) or other “high mountain species” such as Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris).

The scratching sound is unmistakable. Not necessarily the nature lover would consider this as singing. But that’s exactly what it is. With that, the Northern Wheatear is defending his territory. Although the Wheatear is not afraid to present itself openly, it is not so easy to spot the small, black and white colored bird on one of the boulders.

It is even more difficult to discover the Common Rock Thrush. Continue reading Alpine birds in the Haut Chaumes / Vosges

Singdrosseln bei Zugstau

SingdrosselNicht nur dieses Jahr ist von einem kalten März geprägt, der schon fast am Klimawandel zweifeln läßt. Auch vor 5 Jahren gab es dieses spätwinterliche Phänomen. Während eines kurzen Ausflug bei sonnigem Wetter und ziemlich klarem Himmel, aber einem frischen, kalten Wind am Morgen des 26. März 2013 durch den oberen Taunus bei Bad Soden erlebte ich viele Zugvögel darunter 50 Singdrossel (Turdus philomelos) und mehr als 100 Buchfinken (Fringilla coelebs) in unmittelbarer Nähe zu den Gehöften des Dorfes, in dem ich wohnte.  Bemerkenswert bei der Sichtung der Buchfinken war das Geschlechterverhältnis, das Männchen klar bevorzugte;  allesamt in schönem Brutgefieder.

Bemerkenswert bei den Singdrosseln  waren die beobachteten Zahlen. Die Singdrossel n versuchten, sich zwischen trockenem Gras oder Erdklumpen zu verstecken, um sich mit Nahrung zu stärken. All dies wurde durch die eisigen Böen erschwert, die die Drosseln nach Möglichkeit zu vermeiden suchten. Schließlich, mit dem Auto als bewegliches Versteckt, konnte ein kleiner Trupp von Singdrosseln in perfektem Licht fotografiert werden. Die typischen Pfeilmarkierungen auf dem Bauch sind gut zu sehen. Continue reading Singdrosseln bei Zugstau

Die ersten Singdrosseln für 2018

SingdrosselNachdem schon letzte Woche mit einer Warmfront die ersten Singdrosseln (Turdus philomelos) Singdrosseln in Brandenburg eingetroffen waren, sind nun recht viele im Gebiet. Die werden sicher nicht nur im Land brüten sondern auch weiterziehen. Bei einem aktuellen Kälteeinbruch, kann sic h die hier abgebildete Singdrossel offensichtlich nicht entscheiden, ob sie dem Wind trotzen und die Sonne genießen oder ob sie sich vor dem Wind verstecken soll.

Aktuell sind überhaupt viele Drosseln zu beobachten. Gestern war ein ganz beachtlicher, zahlenstarker Trupp von Rotdrosseln (Turdus iliacus) in einem Erlensumpf unterwegs. Der Trupp schien artrein zu sein und umfaßte überschlägig mindestens 30 Exemplare. Häufig werden Rotdrosseln gesehen wenn sie mit Singdrosseln auf dem Zug sind. Sie kommt dann in viel kleineren Anzahlen vor.

Besonders auffällig sind die zahlenstarken Trupps mit Buchfinken Continue reading Die ersten Singdrosseln für 2018

Vogelzug am Stockert in der Eifel

Haubenmeise in SchleheEin schöner Tag im Herbst. Indian Summer wie er im Buche steht. Diesmal soll es in die Eifel gehen, zu einem Berg, der Stockert genant wird und südlich von Euskirchen gelegen ist. Hier kann man den Vogelzug der am Tag ziehenden Vogelarten sehr gut beobachten. Es war noch dunkel, als ich ankam. Das erste Vogelgezwitscher konnte aber bereits gehört werden. Es waren vor allem Meisen, deren Rufe noch in den Bäumen zu hören waren. Dann ging es sehr schnell. Innerhalb weniger Minuten waren die Büsche voll. Natürlich waren vor allem Kohlmeisen (Parus major) und Blaumeisen (Cyanistes caeruleus) in den Schlehen und Hagebutten zu sehen. Ein wunderbarer Kontrast zu den blauen und roten Früchten, die übervoll an den Zweigen hingen. Die Zugunruhe hatte offensichtlich auch zwei Spezies von Meisen gepackt, die in der Regel nicht mit der offenen Landschaft, sondern eher mit Nadelbäumen in Wäldern in Verbindung gebracht werden. So waren gut 5 Tannenmeisen (Periparus ater) und auch mindestens 3 Haubenmeisen (Lophophanes cristatus) zu beobachten, die für eine Weile auf den Ästen einer Schlehe ausgeruhten. Nur kurz – ca. 2 Minuten – dann waren sie wieder weg.

Beim Beobachten und Fotografieren war klar zu erkennen, dass das Zuggeschehen in vollem Gange ist. Gesang und andere territoriale Verhaltensweisen waren selten zu sehen und beschränkten sich wenn auf den frühesten Morgen. Was für ein wunderschöner, früher Morgen an einem sonnigen Tag. Allerdings ziemlich kalt in den ersten Stunden. Dazu ein wahres Vergnügen – auch unter dem Gesichtspunkt der Ornithologie. Zusätzlich Continue reading Vogelzug am Stockert in der Eifel

Bird migration at the Stockert in the Eifel hills

Crested Tit, resting in sloe

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A beautiful autumn day. Indian Summer, as written in the books. This time it is to go to the Eifel to hill Stockert south of Euskirchen where bird migration at day can be observed. It was still dark when I arrived. The first bird whispers were heard already . It was mainly chickadees whose calls were audible. Then it went very quick. Within minutes, the bushes were full. Of course, especially Great Tit (Parus major) and Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus ) were seen in the sloe (or Blackthorn), Prunus spinosa, and rosehip, Rosa canina, bushes. A wonderful contrast to the blue and red fruits that hung plentiful on the branches everywhere. Migration unrest obviously hit two species of tits too that are usually not associated with the open countryside but with conifers in the forests. There were some Coal Tits (Periparus ater) and Crested Tit (Lophophanes cristatus), which rested for a while on the branches of a sloe . Only short – about 2 minutes – then they were gone again.

When photographing it was obvious to see that migration is in full swing. Singing and other territorial habits were rare and restricted to the earliest morning. This early morning on a sunny day (but quite cold in the first hours) was a real pleasure – also from the point of ornithology. In addition Continue reading Bird migration at the Stockert in the Eifel hills

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

Birding around Frankfurt Airport – Schwanheimer Duene

Eurasian Golden-OrioleThere are not too many foreign birdwatchers coming to the middle of Germany for just birding. But 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 places is only 15 minutes away from the Frankfurt Airport. This is the Schwanheimer Duene (Dunes of Schwanheim) located in a southern outskirt of Frankfurt. In so far, the area is more or less the same distance than the Langener Waldseen. But whereas these lakes, situated just 2 km east of the runway of Frankfurt AP, are a highly frequented recreation area in summertime, the Schwanheimer Duene is especially good in spring and summer. Thus an excellent alternative to the Langener Waldseen which are very productive in wintertime.

The Schwanheimer Duene is one of the few inland dunes in Europe. It was established after the last ice age of sands that have been blown out of the riverbed of the River Main. Then, a forest grew on it. In the last century farmers cleared the forest and put on cherry meadows. Several dry periods ended these attempts in the second half of the 19th Century. The dune devasted and started to wander. Between 1882 and 1890 the dune moved aground to its present location.

Following the desolation a  typical plant community of inland dune developed, which can be encountered up to nowadays. This plant community is called Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport – Schwanheimer Duene

Birding around Frankfurt Airport: Langener Waldseen

Gavia stellata

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 sites to stretch your legs, enjoy fresh air and enjoy birding for typical european birds. One of these places – only 10 minutes away from the Frankfurt Airport – are the Langener Waldseen. These artificial lakes are situated just 2 km east of the runway and are a highly frequented recreation area with an oper-air swimming area. But wintertime is quiet and goods birds – including some vagrants – can be seen on the most western lake. This lake is still an active gravel spit, thus access especially for the best site is more or less tolerated and cannot be guaranteed.

Good birds to be seen on the lake in wintertime here on a regular basis are Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus), Gadwall(Anas strepera),  Common Pochard (Aythya ferina), Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) and  Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula). At the beginning of December 2012 there was an influx of cold temperatures in Germany. Shortly after a Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellate), Smew (Mergellus albellus) ,  Common Merganser (Mergus merganser ) and a male Red-crested Pochard  (Netta rufina) as well as up to 10 Velvet Scoter  (Melanitta fusca) showed up. The woods hold all 6 species of continental woodpeckers (incl. Black, Middle-spotted and Grey-faced Woodpecker) and vast numbers of Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes ) and Bramblings (Fringilla montifringilla) in the winter. Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus) are often heard and sometimes seen in the canopy of the many pine trees.  For the last winters 1 Great Grey (Northern) Shrike (Lanius excubitor) used the area as a wintering ground. I have seen large flocks of Common Crane moving overhead in late October from this site.

For direction it is recommended to take a taxi Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport: Langener Waldseen

Looking for larks in Morocco, PART II

…. A pre-adult Thick-billed Lark (Ramphocoris clotbey) was the next mornings highlight. After spending the night not too far away from the town of Boumalne, I started the day already at dawn. Behind the village, the road winds back to a plateau. Because I missed the turnoff, I drove on and finally stopped in an area that looked very promising due to its rocky, stony surface. First I saw the otherwise ubiquitous Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae). When I was taking photos, I realized a movement underneath my car. This discovery came out as a real winner: a juvenile Thick-billed Lark (Ramphocoris clotbey), which I had never seen photographed so far. Great! Some shots, then the bird disappeared.

Despite this success soon I had to realize that this was not the described direction to move further south to the sandy desert to see more larks and other desert specialists.

So I had to go back and focus myself strictly to the mileage-data in the reports and the road signs – or what I regarded as road signs. Than I started to ask the people on the road for a place called Ikniouin, a destination said to be in the wider environment. But the Bedouin, I ask, were not very helpful. They merely wanted to smoke something. Finally I decided to simply take the next driveway and follow the direction of my GPS. Driving in this stony flat desert Continue reading Looking for larks in Morocco, PART II

New Bird Images in Picture Shop

Bird Lens is proud to show some excellent images of the birds shot from a hide in Hungary in December in the gallery of the pictures shop. The hide is located in the eastern part of Hungary in a superb old oak forest. The hide has a drinking pool in front of the window of the hide and a feeder attracted woodpeckers and some passerine birds, mainly tits. That year, it was a winter poor in snow. The temperatures and the colors of the fallen leaves created a feeling of fall or even late indian summer. Excellent conditions to photograph on 2 days from inside the hide. Besides the birds who showed up were Continue reading New Bird Images in Picture Shop