Tag Archives: Woodchat Shrike

Steppe habitat just outside Castilla de la Mancha

The Spanish province of Valencia was visited in summer. One reason was to relax for a week. The second argument was to get a feel for avian delights of an area of the country normally thought of in mainstream tourism terms. As a habitual visitor to the more well-known birding destination of Andalucía and Portugal, I wasn’t expecting too much but was enjoyably surprised by the numbers and variety of Valencia’s avian inhabitants. One day I headed for the steppe habitat just outside Castilla de la Mancha. This area is blessed with an incredibly diverse range of habitats and excellent birding sites.

A stop at the tiny Bonete Municipal Cemetery en route meant we could search a small lake and a few trees, giving us great intimate views of Egyptian Vulture (Neophron pernocterus), Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica), Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula), a lonesome Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) and – best of all – a yellow-and-black male Eurasian Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus). European Bee-eaters (Merops apiaster) are common in these lowland Continue reading Steppe habitat just outside Castilla de la Mancha

Overshoots im Frühjahrszug auf den britischen Inseln

GartenrotschwanzEs lohnt sich immer wieder, mal über den Tellerrand des unmittelbaren Orni-Umfelds zu schauen. So konnten auch die Birder auf der Insel im Westen des Kontinents das erste Wochenende im April als Frühling mit angenehmen Temperaturen, einem leichten Windchen und in der Regel Sonnenschein willkommen heißen. Mit den frühlingshaften Temperaturen war auch auf den britischen Inseln ein deutlicher Schub von sommerlichen Migranten verbunden: Ringdrosseln (Turdus torquatus) wurden verstärkt an ihren traditionellen Rastplätzen angetroffen; es gab einen bemerkenswerten Einflug von Gartenrotschwänzen (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) (weitgehend Männchen) und auch andere Zugvögel wie Trauerschnäpper (Ficedula hypoleuca), Feldschwirl (Locustella naevia), Schilfrohrsänger (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) und Teichrohrsänger (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)  waren erstmals in diesem Jahr zu bewundern.

Mit dem zunehmenden Vogelzug aus südlichen Gefilden wuchs natürlich auch die Vorfreude auf die Vögel, die von den Briten „overshoots” genannt warden. Dies sind Zugvögel, die in dieser Zeit ihr eigentliches Verbreitungsgebiet nach Norden überschreiten und in Großbritannien und Irland in den kommenden Wochen nur sporadisch wahrgenommen werden und sich dann in ihre südlichen Brutgebiete zurückziehen. Hier konnten u.a. schon die ersten Beobachtung mit einem Rotkopfwürger (Lanius senator) bei der Windmill Farm, Cornwall gemacht werden. Schon fast „fest-gebucht“ zu diesem Zeitpunkt ist der Continue reading Overshoots im Frühjahrszug auf den britischen Inseln

Hide Photography in Bulgaria in July; Images from the Dobruja

Eurasian Golden-Oriole, maleThe north-eastern countryside of Bulgaria called Dobruja or in Bulgarian Dobrudzha or in romanian Dobrogea was not famous of being one of Bulgaria´s birding hot spots for bird-lens before. But a trip to the Romanian Dobrogea in may 2012 was already very productive. Thus maybe an excursion to that thinly populated area south of the city of Silistra might be good as well.

No disappointment!

The area is a charming countryside which has to offer surprisingly good locations to shoot images of excellent birds.

Having been spent 4 days at the place aiming to photograph Golden Oriole, Ortolan Bunting, Bee-eaters, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Barred Warbler, Tawny Pipit, etc. on invitation of Iordan Hristov one of the two owners of Nature Travel has been very productive – as you can see in the gallery. The other owner, Sergey Panayotov, and his friend Iordan Hristov offer Wildlife Workshops, trips with bicycles and canoes but also the chance to sit in one (or more) of their hides located in the superb gently rolling countryside of that part of Bulgaria. The center of these activities is an ancient farmhouse with an orchard meadow behind. The area in General is dry and can be – at least in that aspect – best compared to the Macin Mountains in Romania.

One of the main targets was the Golden Oriole photography. For this the tower hide was used. This brand-new photohide is in the yard of a small farmland. The tower overlooks the branches of a walnut-tree where birds often perch. Several bird species have their territories around the yard and they often perch on the highest branches for their displays in spring. When bird-lens was shooting the images you see in the gallery the breeding season was almost over. I felt, that the birds use the exposed position of this tallest tree to orientate between a open field and a forest behind and the cherry trees in the orchards of that nice village. An excellent chance to photograph Continue reading Hide Photography in Bulgaria in July; Images from the Dobruja