The wide meadows oft he Elbe south of Wittenberg in Saxony-Anhalt is a special bird protection area. By far not as populated as the lower Rhine valley, it favors many migrating and breeding bird species. Spring is spectacular. A familiar “neigh” is in the air. The meadows are mainly characterized by the distinctive calls of the Common Cranes (Grus grus) or the calls of the Taiga Bean-Geese (Anser fabalis) and Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons) high in the blue sky, but this gentle, melodious trill clearly indicates the Black Kite (Milvus migrans ). Hearing the Black Kite is one thing. But to find the Black Kite is not that easy. Then I discover a Black Kite high in a poplar tree on the edge of the wide floodplain. When I stop the car and get out, the bird flies away and shows very nicely the tail, which is not as notched compared to the Red Kite (Milvus milvus), which had already arrived on ist breeding ground the week before.
For many people, bird migration is synonymous with the masses of birds that move over us in a more or less orderly manner. But this form of bird migration is more the exception than the rule for us. Many species migrate secretly and quite quietly. Our warblers such as the Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin), the Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) or the Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca), the Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita), the Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) or the Reed warblers such as the Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) migrate individually at night. During the day they rest mostly hidden in forests, bushes or reeds. Conspicuous Continue reading The first returnees from migration: the Black Kite