Richtig lausiges Wetter herrscht im Winter im Sauerland. Grauverhangen ist der Himmel; Ein Staudamm bei trübem Wetter mit tiefen Wolken in Verbindung mit Nieselregen, Wind aus Westen mit Böen, das alles bei 8 ° Celsius ist in der Regel nicht der Ort, um sich lange aufzuhalten. Aber dies ist ein Ort, um einen verirrten Gelbschnabeltaucher (Gavia adamsii) auf der deutschen Vogelliste hinzuzufügen. Gelbschnabeltaucher sind stark nachgefragte Arten für den ernsthaften Vogelbeobachter im mittleren Kontinentaleuropa. Und es ist ein großes Ereignis, wenn ein Gelbschnabeltaucher so weit im Binnenland beobachtet werden kann.
Basierend auf Berichten im Club 300 und in Ornitho.de wurden bereits Scharen von Beobachtern angelockt. Am 13. Dezember 2016 wurde auf dem Diemelsee bei Kotthausen ein jugendlicher Gelbschnabeltaucher entdeckt. Auffallend waren der gelbliche und nach oben gerichtete massive Schnabel. Das bräunlich ausgewaschen wirkende Gefieder und der beige-farbenen Kopf mit dem dunklen Ohrfleck zusammen mit dem hellen Hals ließen auf ein diesjähriges Exemplar schließen. Der Gelbschnabeltaucher treibt sich meistens in der Mitte des verbleibenden Stausees gegenüber von Kotthausen herum. Gern ist der Taucher von Westen nach Osten unterwegs – vielleicht wegen der überwiegenden Winddrift aus Westen. Von Zeit zu Zeit fliegt er zurück nach Westen, um dann wieder nach Osten zu treiben. Dazwischen wurden umfangreiche Continue reading Gelbschnabeltaucher auf dem Diemelsee im Sauerland
A dam in the middle of the Sauerland in Germany in hazy weather with low-lying clouds combined with drizzle, wind from the west with in gusts 4 bofors at 8 ° Celsius normally is not the place to stay and watch. But this is the place to add a vagrant Yellow-billed Loons or White-billed Divers (Gavia adamsii) on the german birdlist. Yellow-billed Loons are highly thought-after species for the serious birdwatcher of continental Europe. And it is a big event, if a Yellow-billed Loon is observed so far inland in Europe.
Starting form December 13th of 2016 a juvenile Yellow-billed Loon was detected on the Diemelsee near Kotthausen. Striking were the yellowish and upward shifted massive beak, with a striking angled lower mandible. In addition to the brownish-washed body and the light head, the dark washed ear spot and the bright neck back were striking. For the next 2 weeks, the bird obviously loved the seaside resort at the height of the lido, from which a bunch of birder could observe the diver very well. Yellow-billed Loon mainly was constantly moving from west to east – maybe due to the winddrift from west. Then it flew back to the west to drift east. In between, extensive diving phases, then resting phases, were observed. Often the head was hold under water – to search for food. Despite an injury, the Gavia adamsii is apparently in good shape. Extensive Continue reading Yellow-billed Loon in the middle of Germany
Seawatching along the arctic coasts of north-west Alaska – with Siberia on the horizon – was the thrill at the end of May till the first days of June 2016. Along the edges pf St. Lawrence Island seabirds are living and migrating not only in the Nearctic region but also to the Palearctic.
Migration was on its peak when we arrived with a tour of the operator High Lonesome – a group for mainly US-birders. Migration kept going for the whole time (during a 6-day trip) with some changes in mixture of species.
Whereas Eiders as Common Eider (Somateria mollissima), King Eider (Somateria spectabilis) and Steller’s Eider (Polysticta stelleri) and Long-tailed Ducks (Clangula hyemalis) were abundant mainly in the first days, other seaducks like White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi) of both subspecies – Stejneger´s Scoter (Melanitta deglandi stejnegeri) and White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi deglandi) or divers like Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata), Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica) and Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii) showed up later. Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) could be seen daily. Unfortunately only Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri) we missed – probably these birds, which migrate normally quite early, had Continue reading Vagrant Mongolian Plover: seawatching surprise on St. Lawrence Island
A Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) with a yellow bill might be not the only difference what you realize, if you are seabirding on different locations. Well, Somateria mollissima v-nigrum is breeding along the arctic coasts of north-east Siberia to Alaska and shows a yellow bill unlike its relatives from the northern part of Europe. But is this the only difference when seawatching? Along island or peninsula edges seabirds are living and migrating not only in the Palearctic but also in the Nearctic. Bird-lens.com managed trips now to 2 hotspot destinations in the high arctic. One location, Slettnes is on the northern tip of Norway, on the Nordkyn peninsula. This is the best location to spot the migration out to the Barents Sea.
On contrast, Gambell, a small village on the north-western tip of the remote St. Lawrence Island of Alaska, is an outstanding outpost not only for North American Birders to observe impressive bird migration along the shore of the island to the Bering Sea further north.
After having performed these trips, it is time to compare the chances and challenges in observation and photography of migrating pelagic Continue reading Slettnes – Gambell-Seawatching: a photographers point of view
A moment ago it had rained. Now again, you are standing in the most beautiful sunshine. Well, that one is on the lee side of the lighthouse, because the east wind whistles pretty much. In a distance on the horizon you see migratory birds flying ahead against the heavy wind towards the Barents Sea.
In the distance, migrating Red-throated Diver (Gavia stellata) can be discovered. They are not the only migratory birds. Other seabirds are on the trip as well. There are King Eider (Somateria spectabilis), Long-tailed Ducks (Clangula hyemalis), Black Scoter (Melanitta nigra) and Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus), all can be seen on off-shore over the rough sea. Now – in early May – the passage of Red-throated Divers has reached its peak and Red-throated Divers make with the largest group of migrating birds. Again and again you can hear a strange cackle. After a while, normally you observe a Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) close to see at or above the lighthouse. But the main part of Red-throated Divers pulls over the open sea. Even from a long distance you can recognize them well due to their characteristic flight pattern. The feet Continue reading Red-throated Diver: Migration in May in front of Nordkyn/ Norway
It is hard to believe, but also on the northern edge of the WP (Western Palearctic) seabirds are living and migrating. To see them, bird-lens.com managed a trip in the beginning of May to the northern tip of Norway, to the Nordkyn peninsula. This is the best location to spot the migration out to the Barents Sea. The Nordkyn is the next peninsula west of Varanger, which might be more known.
After trips to the western edge of the WP to see and photograph migrating pelagic birds, now migrating seabirds with a strictly northern circle of migration could be observed from the land but also on an off-shore boat trip with Vidar Karlstad.
I went out on his boat to the excellent migrating grounds north of Continue reading Seabird migration from a boat in Nordkyn/ Norway
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) is said to be on its northern limit in Finmark/ northern Norway. It is described as a scarce and sparse breeding bird in Finmark. First breeding records date back to the 1960s. The bird breeds in small colonies normally in western Finmark and the Porsanger Fjord. The population in Finmark has decreased greatly in recent years. This gull migrates far away by the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and arrives on its breeding grounds at Finmark in mid May. There is probably 1 subspecies involved. It is L. f. fuscus – the Baltic Lesser Black-backed Gull which breeds in northern Norway, Sweden & Finland to the White Sea. An alternative might be L. f. heuglini –Heuglin’s Gull which Continue reading Lesser Black-backed Gull in Mehamn, Finmark in early May
During a trip to see the first spring birds in Lapland and Finmark in northern Norway, I discovered a Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor) which is called Great Grey Shrike, too. The bird was remoteless sitting in a snowstorm in a low birch wood along a road. It was still early May and the landscape was covered with a white linen of snow. Really a winter surprise in the – still almost – birdless snowy landscape of finish Lapland. Half the distance between the towns of Utsjoki and Inari in northern Suomi/ Finland right way from the Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) to the Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii) I could see and photograph the bird very well near the Syysjärvi – Lakes. This was really a surprise and far beyond my expectations. The next sighting this far north was reported almost 1 week later, on the 8th of May on this latitude. A Great Grey Shrike was seen in Neiden, Finnmark/ Norway, which is almost on the same latitude Lake Syysjärvi. Honestly I did not even Continue reading Great Grey Shrike – a winter surprise in Lapland
Polarmöwen (Larus glaucoides) sind trotz ihres hocharktischen Brutgebiets immer mal wieder in Europa zu beobachten. Meistens werden Beobachtungen im Winterhalbjahr nicht allzu weit von der Küste entfernt gemeldet. Die letzte Polarmöwe konnte ich in Oldenburg / Niedersachsen entdecken.
Diesmal war ich aber im März an der Westküste Norwegens erfolgreich. Polarmöwen überwintern wohl doch mit einer gewissen Regelmäßigkeit an der Westküste Norwegens und sind dann auch zwischen den Schären bei Flatanger zu entdecken. Allerdings nehmen nur wenige Vogelbeobachter in dieser Jahreszeit die Mühe auf sich, hierhin zu fahren. Es sind Continue reading Polarmöwe bei Lauvsnes in Nord-Trondelag / Norwegen
Yellow-billed Loons or Yellow-billed Divers (Gavia adamsii) are highly thought-after species for the serious birdwatcher of continental Europe. And it is a big event, with lots of hot telephone wires, if a Yellow-billed Loon is observed inland in Europe. This happened recently due to a Yellow-billed Loon which was observed near the small city of Goerlitz in the southeast corner of Saxony/ Germany. The bird could be seen for well 2 month on a lignite mining lake, called Berzdorfer See (lake). The distance to the next water, which you can call a sea, is roughly 400km away. I did not manage to travel there.
This time I was successful to see and photograph a Yellow-billed Loon on its “right” winter habitat. Because Yellow-billed Loon overwinter with some regularity on the west coast of Norway, it was Continue reading Yellow-billed Loon between the archipelagos of Flatanger
Ein Gelbschnabeltaucher (Gavia adamsii) war ja mindestens bis letzten Samstag, 28. Februar 2015, in der Nähe vonGörlitz auf einem Bergbaufolgesee, namens Berzdorfer See, zu beobachten. Mindestens seit dem 20.12.2014 war er auf dem Berzdorfer See bei Görlitz im südöstlichen Zipfel von Sachsen, gesichtet worden. Eine schöne Zuflucht hatte sich da der für Deutschland seltene Vogel aus der Gattung der Seetaucher als Winterquartier ausgesucht. Ich hatte schon einige vergebliche Anläufe unternommen. Bei einem Kurztrip in die Nähe von Arnheim Ende Januar 2014 war der kurz vorher entdeckte Gelbschnabeltaucher, Gavia adamsii, bei Continue reading Gelbschnabeltaucher zwischen Schären bei Flatanger/ Norwegen