Tag Archives: Water Rail

Ungeheuerwiesen in winter

KornweiheThis winter wildlife heaven is often full of birds. Probably the most spectacular (and noisy) are the thrushes and European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to feast on the unfrozen meadows. Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) winter out on the remote parts of the meadows, but will regularly hunt the lakes and wetland down to the shores of Blankensee. In the hawthorn and crab apple trees you might see Redwings (Turdus iliacus) and hundreds of Fieldfares (Turdus pilaris). Both Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) and – to a lesser extent – Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) over-winter near the Ungeheuerwiesen and occasionally drop in for a feed or even to spend the night. Frozen days might even reveal the usually shy Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus) as it is forced to leave the cover of vegetation in the ditches to find something to feed.

An excellent stake-out is an observation tower on the south-eastern edge of the Ungeheuerwiesen. Photographic opportunities are ideal for flying birds. It results in options to take pictures of the birds from above as well as to take pictures at eye level. Continue reading Ungeheuerwiesen in winter

Zwergschnepfen im Rasthabitat

ZwergschnepfeFür den ornithologisch Interessierten sind Zwergschnepfen (Lymnocryptes minimus) sicher eine der Vogelarten der Westpaläarktis, die jeder noch auf seiner Liste hat. Viele Vogelbeobachter haben Zwergschnepfen noch gar nicht gesehen. Einige Beobachtungen, die mit Fotos belegt sind, stammen dann von Helgoland, wo doch praktisch alljährlich am Hafen – in der Nähe des sogenannten Kringels – die Zwergschnepfen im Oktober beobachtet werden können. Diese Zwergschnepfen sind dann von der Reise über die See so erschöpft, daß sie sich ausgiebig betrachten lassen. Das richtige Rasthabitat für die Zwergschnepfe stellen die Wellenbrecher am Kringel jedoch nicht dar. Wer Zwergschnepfen daher in der Rast- oder Überwinterungsumgebung beobachten möchte, ist darauf angewiesen, die richtigen Stellen in der Landschaft zu finden.

Zuerst sollte man sich darüber klar sein, daß die Zwergschnepfe ein Vogel des Tieflandes ist. Die meisten Vögel werden auf Gebieten unter 100 m (NN) Höhe berichtet. Meldungen von Hügelländern auf  Continue reading Zwergschnepfen im Rasthabitat

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

Moorhen chases Snipe at Rieselfelder Munster


Migration season starts in Germany right now. One of the best places to see especially the early fall migrants – the waders – is the old sewage farm in the north of Muenster, called Rieselfelder Munster. Early morning, 6:30 am. Still dawn. Haze over the water and I am watching through a well located hide here on the edge of the best lagoon, called E1. Waders are my main interest, but I would not complain, if an early Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana) or Continue reading Moorhen chases Snipe at Rieselfelder Munster

Golden Eagle at the Laguna de Gallocanta/ Spain

Going for Laguna de Gallocanta, this lake on 1,000 m asl in the middle of Northern Spain, seems to be good for impressive numbers of wintering birds as well as Steinadlerfor surprises. Some years ago, there has been observations of a Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis). Actually, I wanted to watch and photograph Common Cranes (Grus grus) on their resting and wintering grounds. These birds breed in Germany, Fennoscandia and the Baltic States, and then take a western migration route through Europe to wintering areas. It is estimated that the total number of birds that migrate along the western route count up to 70,000 individuals. Most of them 50,000-60,000 wintering in Spain. The rest of Continue reading Golden Eagle at the Laguna de Gallocanta/ Spain