Tag Archives: Bearded Tit

White-tailed Eagles on an icy coot hunt

The night was cold, so that a layer of ice had formed on the vast lake. Already 70 percent of the lake area was frozen over. The ice layer was strong enough to carry the White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla). After a few days of snowing, it didn’t get any drier, but it was significantly colder. Temperatures below -5 ° C were possible. A few days later I went on to Lake Blankensee from an excursion to Potsdam.

A morning excursion to the Blankensee not only gave the birder a wonderful water landscape on an impressive winter morning with minus temperatures and fog, but also a remarkable bird-watching of a sea eagle on its icy coot hunt. Obviously the White-tailed Eagle had just captured a Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) that have run carelessly on the ice. The Eagle immediately tried to leave the ice surface with the coot it had captured, but was attacked by a conspecific as well as some Hooded Crows (Corvus cornix) because of the prey. The struggle dragged on for a while. When the successful White-tailed Eagle had just scared away the Hooded Crows, another hungry White-tailed Eagle came flying in.

The well-developed reed areas of the Blankensee southwest of Berlin are a very good photo area and, among other things, known for the Bearded Tits or Bearded Reedlings (Panurus biarmicus) found in the reeds. A boardwalk affords a very nice view of the lake from the east. The boardwalk can be reached either from the parking lot at the exit of Blankensee in the direction of Schönhagen or from the parking lot in the middle of Blankensee (near Blankensee Castle) on a short walk. It is the only way to observe birds up close on the Blankensee, as the lake is otherwise completely surrounded by wide siltation zones with reed beds and alder break.

Adult female eagles can weigh up to 7 kg, while males remain significantly below that, but still weigh up to 5 kg. So it is no wonder that the imposing birds have a wingspan of up to 2.5 meters. White-tailed Eagles also feed on fish. But also (larger) waterfowl up to the Continue reading White-tailed Eagles on an icy coot hunt

Young Whinchat on summer morning

BraunkehlchenA fresh morning. Thick layers of fog are lying over the wetlands of the Nuthe floodplain south of Berlin. The weather forecast was perfect and everywhere there were numerous motives. So I took advantage of every free minute in the morning to be outside. The meadows along the river offer a diverse habitat structure. One family of Whinchats (Saxicola rubetra) with at least 2 juveniles were seen in uncut grassland. I placed the car not far from a pole inside the meadow, hoping a young Whinchat, I had seen before, to return. After a while the recently fledged Whinchat really returned to the pole. In the first morning light, it started to preen and stretch the wings. Obviously it wanted to get rid of their youngster’s feather dress. Successful, as it seems. With a surprised look, the young Whinchat looked after the flying plume.

The area south of Berlin has a lot to offer in terms of nature. In addition to the natural richness this is a legacy of the division of Germany, which has prevented the city´s spread after the end of the 2nd World War like in no other city. This means, that even today you often have to pass the city limits only in order to stand in the middle of nature. One of these areas is the Continue reading Young Whinchat on summer morning

Birding around Berlin – Reckahner Teiche

KrickenteBerlin, the capital of Germany is a top tourist destination. Many airlines use the Airport of Berlin, but it is possible to take a flight to Frankfurt/ Main as well and drive with a rented car in roughly half a day. If you have spare time between two tourist attractions, are fed-up with the museum in crowdy downtown Berlin, have enjoyed nightlife extensively and are a birdwatcher, you might be interested to know, where you can find good places to enjoy fresh air and relax with birding for typical European birds. One of these sites Continue reading Birding around Berlin – Reckahner Teiche

Bearded Tits south of Berlin

Bartmeise, Although the capital of Germany, Berlin has a lot to offer in terms of nature, too. In addition to the natural richness this is a legacy of the division of Germany, which has prevented the city´s spread after the end of the 2nd World War like in no other city. This means, that even today you often have to pass the city limits only in order to stand in the middle of nature. One of these areas is the Nature Park “Lowlands of Nuthe and Nieplitz”. The small rivers Nuthe and Nieplitz are located south-west of Berlin and form Continue reading Bearded Tits south of Berlin