Snow Buntings on the North Sea Coast

We’ve had some couple of Snow Buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis) on the coast around Westkapelle for the last month or two. The coast near Middelburg is in the province of Zeeland. A small flock of five individuals at a spot just behind the dike and a single bird at a lighthouse. I decided to go and… Continue reading Snow Buntings on the North Sea Coast

R’as al-Khor: a paradiese for Waterfowl

Nowhere else in Europe or the Middle East can you get so close to Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus phoenicopterus) or Western Reef-Herons (Egretta gularis schistacea) as in the R’as al-Khor. Many waders fish in the shallow waters just meters from tourists armed with binoculars and cameras. The Western Reef-Heron´s plumage shows two color phases. There is… Continue reading R’as al-Khor: a paradiese for Waterfowl

Songbird migration at Cildir Lake in eastern Turkey

The planted pine grove is surprisingly productive. In the car, I patrol the edge of the forest, which is now in the morning sunlight. This draws out the resting migratory birds in masses. I patiently park my car a short distance from the pines and just wait. Several (5) Spotted Flycatchers (Muscicapa striata), a Willow… Continue reading Songbird migration at Cildir Lake in eastern Turkey

Eurasian Jackdaw of subspecies soemmerringii along Caspian coast

Heavy migration can be observed on the side facing the Caspian sea at the Besh Barmag Bottleneck. Between Rooks (Corvus frugilegus) there are also flocks of Eurasian Jackdaws of the eastern subspecies. Corvus monedula soemmerringii occurs from eastern Europe through Iran to northwestern India. I had seen this race of Eurasian Jackdaws before in northern… Continue reading Eurasian Jackdaw of subspecies soemmerringii along Caspian coast

Arctic Terns, globetrotters of the planet

The Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea) is a real globetrotter. She is graceful in flight and downright dainty. This makes their worldwide occurrence all the more amazing. The birds breed around the Arctic Ocean to the northern tip of Greenland at almost 84°N and still comes regularly to breed on the North Sea coast at 54°N.… Continue reading Arctic Terns, globetrotters of the planet

Pied Wagtail at sewage plant north of Berlin

Normally, the Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii) occurs in Germany in winter as a vagrant in the north-west, especially at the North Sea. In 2021, for example, the species was found on Hohe Klint near Oxstedt in the district of Cuxhaven, on the island of Borkum, on the salt marshes of Juist or (on several… Continue reading Pied Wagtail at sewage plant north of Berlin

Turkish sick jay with begging young bird on Black Sea coast

The view of the blue sea through the pines and chestnut trees is really impressive. Well-known calls reveal that Eurasian Jays (Garrulus glandarius) initially roam around the hotel invisibly. Then I see them too. They are 2 birds of the same species. One looks amazingly disheveled, the other is obviously a hatchling that wants to… Continue reading Turkish sick jay with begging young bird on Black Sea coast

Greater Short-toed lark on migration along the Pontic Mountains in Turkey

We walk along a narrow pebble beach on the Black Sea coast. What is really remarkable is that I see a fawn colored bird flying in that has a remarkable eye stripe and a thick beak. Spontaneously I think of a Pipit (Anthus sp.), but it is a Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla), which turns… Continue reading Greater Short-toed lark on migration along the Pontic Mountains in Turkey

Red-footed falcons resting during migration south of Berlin

A violent thunderstorm announces itself over the meadows south of Saarmund in the Nuthe-Nieplitz-Niederung. Four individuals of the Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) fly together with Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) to catch prey in the high grass of the meadows. The Common Kestrel do not appear to be affected by the presence of the other falcon… Continue reading Red-footed falcons resting during migration south of Berlin

European Bee-eater: life in Germany

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) lead a short, eventful life in Germany. The iridescent birds only arrive in our latitudes in the second half of May, and in August they migrate back to the south. In between, they have just enough time to raise their young and prepare them for the long way to the winter… Continue reading European Bee-eater: life in Germany

Black-winged Kite in winter near Torgau

For a birder interested in subtropical birding in the middle of german winter, there is a chance right now. Reports in Ornitho.de notice a Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus) just 150 km or 2 hours drive away from Berlin. The Kite has positioned itself on the Elbe near Dommitzsch north of Torgau. With the great portrait… Continue reading Black-winged Kite in winter near Torgau