Laterally, the warm first sunlight falls on the exposed hedge. A fence post stands picturesquely in front of it. For a long time, I look out of a hide at the place illuminated with the rise of the sun. The hedgerow is still in the shade. Suddenly, there is a grey-brownish bird standing on a branch in the shadow of the hedge in the middle of the Niederer Fläming. The yellow bordered bill and an obviously not yet pronounced cheek feathering could point to a young bird. I am undecided. The bird looks slim and really striking is the chestnut brown, long tail. The creamy-white bottom is striking as well. The most common bird in this oasis in the midst of the agricultural steppe is the Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus); immediately after comes the Greater Whitethroat (Sylvia communis). But this bird belongs in another family. Quickly I think of a young Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos), but I also do not want to exclude a young Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) first. But a little later I really see a small thrush exposed on a haystack. Striking is a dark beard in a white throat. In addition there is a dirty grey chest drawing. Yes, that is definitely a young Bluethroat. It looks very different from the grey-brownish bird. Slimmer and bigger. It is indeed a Common Nightingale.
First, the bird is still covered by branches and leaves. But then it sits free in the hedge. It is obviously keen to inspect the fence post. Finally, the young bird from the hedge flies to the stake, secures the Continue reading Young Nightingale in the countryside of Brandenburg
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
Die Nachtigall (Luscinia megarhynchos) kommt als Zugvogel im April aus dem tropischen Afrika u.a. nach Deutschland. In Afrika hat sie in den Galeriewäldern der Savannenzonen überwintert. Als erstes treffen die Männchen ein. Das Nachtigallenmännchen beginnt es sofort laut zu singen, um den Nachbarn den eigenen Revieranspruch zu verkünden. Der Gesang der Nachtigall ist sehr strophenreich und wohltönend, besitzt aber auch charakteristische, schwermütige dü-dü-dü-Rufe und harte Schmetterstrophen. Gesang ist insgesamt die am meisten verbreitete Art der Partneranlockung unter Vögeln. Die Nachtigall desFotos hatte ihr Revier entlang eines Entwässerungskanals, der mit Erlen bestanden war, bezogen und schmetterte sein Lied in die frische Morgenluft.
Da der Gesang meist aus dichtem Unterholz vorgetragen wird, bleibt der ohnehin sehr unscheinbare, oberseits rotbraune, unterseits fahl graubraune Vogel dem Beobachter häufig Continue reading Die Nachtigall: ein populärer, aber durch schleichenden Rückgang bedrohter Zugvogel
Ein Zugvogel, der erst im April aus dem tropischen Afrika zu uns kommt. Das ist die Nachtigall (Luscinia megarhynchos). Bereits im August allerdings brechen die Nachtigallen zu ihrer Reise zu ihren Winterquartieren auf. Die junge Nachtigall desFotos hatte die Nacht wohl in einem Strauch entlang eines Entwässerungskanals verbracht und war noch ganz klamm von den kühlen Temperaturen der Nacht. So ließ sie Continue reading Eine junge Nachtigall auf dem Weg in die Überwinterungsgebiete
Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is the gateway to continental Europe. Many airlines use the Airport as a hub for connecting flights all over the world. If you have some more spare time but only 2 hours between two flights, you might be interested to know, where you can find good places to stretch your legs, enjoy fresh air and enjoy birding for typical European birds.
One of these sites is the best riparian forest 60 km south of Frankfurt, called Kuhkopf or in German Kuehkopf. The nature reserve (in German: Naturschutzgebiet or NSG Kuehkopf-Knoblochsaue) is the largest in Hesse, with Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport – NSG Lampertheimer Altrhein
Eigentlich bin ich auf der Suche nach Bienenfressern (Merops apiaster)an einer Lehmwand am Neusiedler See. In der Nähe der Ortschaft Weiden am See befindet sich der Ungerberg, der sowohl eine Lehmwand aufweist, als auch dicht bewachsene Hecken, u.a. mit Robinie und Weißdorn. Ein kurzes ratternd-knarrender Laut begleitet mich, als ich die Hecken auf dem Weg zur Lehmwand passiere. Auf dem Rückweg von – erfolgreicher – Bienenfresser-Fotografier ist an den Stellen, die die ungastlichen Knarzlaute aufwiesen, ein wunderschön, melodischer und Continue reading Die Nachtigall: ein Gesangeskünstler am Ungerberg – Österreich
We flew in from Kerry airport Ireland and landed at Hahn to met by Johannes Ferdinand from Bird-Lens our bird guide. During our stay we had no rain, some cloud in the mornings and plenty of sunshine all day. We saw a total of 113 birds including lifers Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris), Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix), Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius), Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo), and adult Black-necked or Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis), European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) and Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica). Johannes had organised our trip to Continue reading Irish Bird Trip to the Frankfurt area in Germany; 16thMay-19th May 2014
Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is the gateway to continental Europe. Many airlines use the Airport as a hub for connecting flights all over the world. If you have spare time between two flight and you are a birdwatcher, you might be interested to know, where you can find good places to stretch your legs, enjoy fresh air and enjoy birding for typical european birds.
One of these sites is the best riparian forest 60 km south of Frankfurt, called Kuhkopf or in Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport – Kuehkopf-Knoblochsaue
Frankfurt is the financial capital of Germany. It is well known although the city limits inhabit only roughly 600,000 people. But the greater Frankfurt area of course is much more populated. If you are on business in Frankfurt and have some spare time between two meetings and you are a birdwatcher, you might be interested to know, where you can find good places to walk a bit and enjoy birding for typical european birds.
One of these sites is the countryside around the area south of the town “Hungen” less than 30km south-east of Giessen. The nature reserve is located in the Medium Horloffaue. The next villages are Trais- Horloff and Utphe.
The reserve includes open water mostly with shallow water levels, reeds, marshes and mud banks and residues of softwood floodplain forest. It has also created a lot of extensively used agricultural area with hedges and shrubs. The area is an important stopover for migratory birds, Common Crane (Grus grus), among others, and is also a breeding Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt – Mittlere Horloffaue/ Wetterau
This morning all 4 species of Sylvia-Warblers which regularly occur in Germany could be seen. First the male of a Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) showed up in the first light of this chilly but sunny morning. Then a beautiful singing individual of a Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) could be seen very near to a observation tower which is located on the eastern end of the old gravel pit. A Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca) showed up briefly afterwards. And finally even a silent Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin) could be seen catching a caterpillar in a dense bush.
When photographing it was obvious to see that breeding is in full swing. Singing and other territorial habits were rare and normally quite short – with the exception of the singing individual of a Common Whitethroat and a Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos).
A sunny morning with clear sky after several rainy days was a good reason to make the trip to that abandoned gravel pit which is now a nature reserve and try to photograph some special birds.
This early morning on a sunny day (but quite cold in the first hours) was a real pleasure – even from the point of ornithology. In addition to the shots of the Warblers, it was possible to see and photograph birds like European Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia turtur), Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), Eurasian Golden-Oriole (Oriolus oriolus), Sand Martin (Riparia riparia) and Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes). Good contributions to the bird-lens portfolio and possible to see here in the Continue reading All 4 Sylvia – Warblers in Weilbacher Kiesgrube near Frankfurt
Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is the gateway to continental Europe. Many airlines use the Airport as a hub for connecting flights all over the world. If you are coming from Frankfurt Airport and heading down to the south for e.g. Munich or Stuttgart or the Black Forest, you might consider to squeeze in a morning of birding you might have a look at the wagbachniederung. Here you can walk, enjoy some fresh air and enjoy birding for typical european birds.
One of these sites is the best riparin woods 110 km south of Frankfurt, called The “Wagbachniederung” . This location is situated on the right bank of the Rhine at Waghaeusel southeast of Speyer between Mannheim and Karlsruhe. The Wagbachniederung was formerly a loop of the Rhine, which was separated from the main Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport – Wagbachniederung:
There are not too many foreign birdwatchers coming to the middle of Germany for just birding. But Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is the gateway to continental Europe. Many airlines use the Airport as a hub for connecting flights all over the world. If you have spare time between two flight and you are a birdwatcher, you might be interested to know, where you can find good places to stretch your legs, enjoy fresh air and enjoy birding for typical european birds. One of these places is only 15 minutes away from the Frankfurt Airport. This is the Schwanheimer Duene (Dunes of Schwanheim) located in a southern outskirt of Frankfurt. In so far, the area is more or less the same distance than the Langener Waldseen. But whereas these lakes, situated just 2 km east of the runway of Frankfurt AP, are a highly frequented recreation area in summertime, the Schwanheimer Duene is especially good in spring and summer. Thus an excellent alternative to the Langener Waldseen which are very productive in wintertime.
The Schwanheimer Duene is one of the few inland dunes in Europe. It was established after the last ice age of sands that have been blown out of the riverbed of the River Main. Then, a forest grew on it. In the last century farmers cleared the forest and put on cherry meadows. Several dry periods ended these attempts in the second half of the 19th Century. The dune devasted and started to wander. Between 1882 and 1890 the dune moved aground to its present location.
Following the desolation a typical plant community of inland dune developed, which can be encountered up to nowadays. This plant community is called Continue reading Birding around Frankfurt Airport – Schwanheimer Duene