Chlidonia’s terns in Germany

It applies to all species of the genus Chlidonias that they colonize nutrient-rich waters with rich bank vegetation, especially on lakes and slowly flowing rivers. They build their nests on floating plants and often form colonies during breeding season. Long stalks of rushes, ledges and cattails are used as building material. These are easy to… Continue reading Chlidonia’s terns in Germany

Dusky Thrush as rare vagrant in Germany

It was a bit of a sensation. A Dusky Thrush (Turdus eunomus) was sighted in a flock of Fieldfares (Turdus pilaris) in the middle of the Erzgebirge (Iron Mountains) near Stollberg, south-west of Chemnitz in south-eastern Germany. A Dusky Thrush discovered 4 years ago on Helgoland was the only report that I was able to… Continue reading Dusky Thrush as rare vagrant in Germany

ID immature Chlidonia’s terns

The Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida) occurs widely across the world in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia. It is rare in Germany and only breeds in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony-Anhalt. Evidence of breeding was also recently reported in Brandenburg. In other parts of the world, however, this Chlidonia tern is the most common of the genus.… Continue reading ID immature Chlidonia’s terns

Winter visitors: the Merlin

Progress is slow on the little-traveled pothole road. Lucky, because just 100 meters in front of me, a bird flies into an apple tree with a raptor-like flight. This is a winter habitat for the Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor), which can be seen here in the south of Brandenburg in some years for the 4… Continue reading Winter visitors: the Merlin

Small Pratincole at Yala NP beach/ Sri Lankas

Tiny grains of sand whirl up. The wind on the southern coast of Sri Lanka is very decent again. There is sand and salt in the air. The combination of wind, sand drifts and blazing sun does not allow many visitors to enjoy the beautiful beach just 100 meters from the hotel in the dunes.… Continue reading Small Pratincole at Yala NP beach/ Sri Lankas

Wood Ducks on small pond in Brandenburg

On the reedy pond of a pumping station in southern Brandenburg, mist clouds rise above the water in the early autumn morning. A quick visit shows a surprise. It is a pair of Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) sitting on the rusty railing of a staircase. The male is in full breeding plumage. This was the… Continue reading Wood Ducks on small pond in Brandenburg

Little Terns breeding in Brandenburg

The gravel and sand pit opens up a view like over a prehistoric river landscape. Between shallow water areas, sandy areas, reeds the blue water sparkles. The edges of the pit are separated by heaped dams from the agricultural land. Suddenly a bird emerges at about the edge of the dam, which is characterized by… Continue reading Little Terns breeding in Brandenburg

Pintail Snipe: ID for a WP vagrant

The genus Gallinago provides observers with difficulties in field identification, chiefly because of the rather similar general plumage patterns of snipes and their concealed lifestyle. Most views are of flushed birds flying away from the observer. Difficulties generally arise between large-looking Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) and Great Snipe (Gallinago media) but emphasis on these two species… Continue reading Pintail Snipe: ID for a WP vagrant

Common Barn-owl in Sri Lanka

The buoyant, slow, wavering flight of the Common Barn-owl (Tyto alba) with its legs dangling makes the owl appear ghost-like. Sometimes it can be seen as a fast, dark shadow in the evening sky. The nocturnal birds are a special challenge for bird photographers. They can only be photographed with a lot of knowledge of… Continue reading Common Barn-owl in Sri Lanka

Eurasian Pygmy-Owls in Brandenburg

Wintertime is the best time to detect owls. And the Eurasian Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium passerinum) is no exception to that pattern. The Rochauer Heide, an area of dense oak and pine forest some 60 km south of Berlin, lies in a monotonous peace in the wintry twilight. The oaks are bare and the pines and spruces… Continue reading Eurasian Pygmy-Owls in Brandenburg

Oriental Skylark versus Eurasian Skylark

The Oriental Skylark (Alauda gulgula) is basically an “eastern” species.  Nonetheless, the species is a local migrant and winter visitor in Israel. The best places to observe them are the are alfalfa and lucerne fields in the valleys. During migration periods, these larks are regularly seen along the Mediterranean coast. The Lesser Skylark is often… Continue reading Oriental Skylark versus Eurasian Skylark

Singing Cisticola at Nyika National Park

In the foothills of the Nyika National Park in western Malawi, a singing Singing Cisticola (Cisticola cantans) of the subspecies muenzneri could be heard. A little later, the Singing Cisticola is hidden on an acacia branch. When the song of the Singing Cisticola is played from the tape, it does not keep the bird in… Continue reading Singing Cisticola at Nyika National Park