Tag Archives: Vordertaunus

Orchards: home for the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

KleinspechtLesser Spotted Woodpeckers (Dryobates minor) only rarely find a breeding ground under the flower roof of apple trees in Central Europe anymore, because there are hardly any orchards or other suitable habitats for this small woodpeckers. However, the structurally rich landscape of the Vordertaunus near Bad Soden close to Frankfurt am Main is an exception. Here still a number of breeding pairs live in old tree caves and during the breeding season, the fruit blossom provides a striking backdrop for bird photographers. The little woodpecker is perhaps the least well-known of the black-white-red woodpeckers of Europe.

In the diversity of Central European cultural landscape, this small woodpecker has lived many centuries in close proximity to humans. Here the former inhabitant of alluvial forests found optimal conditions to live. But in recent decades, its holdings in Central Europe have partly melted drastically. In some areas it is still to be found on distribution maps, but in fact it is extinct in many places or there are only residual occurrences. The culprit of his disappearance is certainly the intensive agricultural use and the associated destruction of his habitat.

The woodpecker often shares its breeding grounds with the Little Owl (Athene noctua). Here, however, the flat Lower Rhine in North Continue reading Orchards: home for the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Streuobstwiesen: eine Heimat für den Kleinspecht

KleinspechtEine Kinderstube unterm Blütendach finden Kleinspechte (Dryobates minor) in Mitteleuropa nur noch selten, denn Streuobstwiesen und andere, für die kleinen Spechte geeignete Lehensräume gibt es kaum noch. Die strukturreiche Landschaft des Vordertaunus bei Bad Soden macht da jedoch eine Ausnahme. Hier wohnen noch etliche Brutpaare in alten Baumhöhlen und zur Brutzeit bietet die Obstblüte eine plakative Kulisse für Vogelfotografen. Der Kleinspechte ist von den schwarz-weiß-roten Spechten Europas vielleicht der unbekannteste.

In der abwechslungsreichen mitteleuropäischen Kulturlandschaft hat der Kleinspecht viele Jahrhunderte in enger Nachbarschaft zum Menschen gelebt. Hier fand der ehemalige Bewohner von Auenwäldern optimale Lebensbedingungen. Doch in den letzten Jahrzehnten sind seine Bestände in Mitteleuropa zum Teil drastisch zusammengeschmolzen. In manchen Gebieten ist er zwar noch auf Verbreitungskarten zu finden, tatsächlich aber ist er vielerorts ausgestorben oder es gibt nur noch Restvorkommen. Schuld an seinem Verschwinden ist sicherlich vor allem die intensive Continue reading Streuobstwiesen: eine Heimat für den Kleinspecht

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