Tag Archives: Eurasian Linnet

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 – 5 winter months. But this one is different, darker and also a little bigger. It is a male of the Merlin (Falco columbarius), a fast hunter from the Far North.

So far I had seen the Merlin in autumn in the intensively arable Niederen Fläming, also in southern Brandenburg. in one case a female Merlin that I was able to photograph with a captured Sky Lark (Alauda arvensis) in the catch flying deep over the field.

In some years the Merlin can be observed quite well and regularly. In many other years, the little bird of prey, which comes from the far north and sometimes spends the winter with us, or also crosses into the Mediterranean region, is only a fleeting sighting.

When determining the Merlin, increased attention is required. It is important that other falcon species, but also smaller birds of prey with similar hunting behavior (especially the Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)) can be excluded. Merlins hunt mainly in open landscapes. This can be heathlands, moors, dune areas, but also over harvested fields and plowed fields. One can get the impression: the clearer the landscape, the more advantageous for the Continue reading Winter visitors: the Merlin

Eurasian Wryneck and other birds in Bulgaria

Eurasian WryneckI am now back from a trip to Bulgaria for quite a while. As I wrote already in the Bee-eater-Blog, the main purpose was to photograph European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster). But as I mentioned in the recent blog, Bulgaria is full of wildlife which could be found relatively easy. As most of the mornings were spent with Bee-eaters or in a hide for Eurasian Golden Orioles (Oriolus oriolus), evening photo sessions quite often were spent roaming along country roads in the car and photographing any birds I encountered. I came up with pretty good results. There were many passerine birds present. I came across with Crested Lark (Galerida cristata), Eurasian Linnet (Carduelis cannabina), Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala), Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca), Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor), Continue reading Eurasian Wryneck and other birds in Bulgaria