Tag Archives: Whinchat

Red-throated Pipit: Fall migration along Egypts Rea Sea

RotkehlpieperHotel garden lawns along the Red Sea coast can be remarkable birdy. The sun has just appeared on the horizon for 3 hours. Nevertheless, it is already really hot. Coming from breakfast in a hotel complex on the Egyptian Red Sea, we walk first our inspection round. Here we see again the two Ruffs (Calidris pugnax) and also the one Spur-winged Plover (Vanellus spinosus) in the middle of the hotel area on the same lawn as 5 days ago. When we then run back to the free grassy areas, I think to realize, that in contrast to spring bird quantity is high but diversity is rather low. Except for the Yellow Wagtails (Motacilla flava), we have not seen any other birds on the grass. Especially no Pipit. That is just thought, as we see two passerine birds patterned with broad-stripes. They are Red-throated Pipits (Anthus cervinus). One of the birds still has a still a red throat. Great, I’ll have to go and scan it again. When I come back, both Red-throated Pipits are practically still present in the same area. The Yellow wagtails are of course in the majority. As I approach, they all fly up. Then I hide behind a lush bush and crawl on all fours behind the bushes. Eventually they are not more than 8 meters ahead of me. In contrast to the Yellow wagtails the Red-throated Pipits seem not be so keen to stay in the shade. They give great images despite the steep sunlight. One of the Continue reading Red-throated Pipit: Fall migration along Egypts Rea Sea

Karmingimpel im Murnauer Moos

KarmingimpelAusgangspunkt unserer Wanderung ist der Parkplatz bei der Gaststätte “Ähndl“. Heute steht eine Rundwanderung im Murnauer Moos auf dem Programm. An einem kleinen Schilfstreifen sind bald aufgeregte, schwätzende, kräftige Laute zu hören. Da die Rufe sehr schnell vorgetragen werden und sie sich nicht wirklich entscheiden können, ob sie zu einem Teichrohrsänger (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) oder einem Gelbspötter (Hippolais icterina) gehören sollen, wird schnell klar, dass hier ein Sumpfrohrsänger (Acrocephalus palustris) ganz ausgezeichnet andere Vögel imitiert. Im Gebüsch sind unzählige Gartengrasmücken (Sylvia borin) zu hören und gelegentlich auch zu sehen. Tatsächlich ist praktisch auf jedem Baum und jedem Busch mindestens eine Grasmücke zu sehen oder zu hören. Auch Fitisse (Phylloscopus trochilus) sind in kopfstarker Zahl in den Weichhölzern entlang des Schilfs unterwegs. Während wir von weiter weg auch den scharfen, weit tönenden Gesang eines Braunkehlchens (Saxicola rubetra) lauschen, hören wir plötzlich den markanten Ruf des Gimpels. Ein wunderschönes Männchen des Karmingimpels (Carpodacus erythrinus) ist schon nach kurzer Zeit auf einem niedrigen Schwarz-Erlenstrauch (Alnus glutinosa) zu sehen.

In der Ferne sind immer wieder Braunkehlchen zu sehen, die im Prachtkleid auf einzelnen Halmen ihren Gesang vorgetragen haben.  Neben den Braunkehlchen sind auf den Rohrhalmen die Männchen der Rohrammer (Emberiza schoeniclus) zu sehen und zu hören.

Die gelben Unterseiten der Schafstelze (Motacilla flava) sind immer wieder schön zu sehen, wenn sie im bogenförmigen Flug über die Continue reading Karmingimpel im Murnauer Moos

Auf die Kehle kommt es an: Schwarzkehlchen

Schwarzkehlchen (europ.)In der Reihe von Rotkehlchen (Erithacus rubecula), Braunkehlchen (Saxicola rubetra) und Blaukehlchen (Luscinia svecica) darf das (europäische) Schwarzkehlchen (Saxicola rubicola) natürlich nicht fehlen. Es ist auf Anhieb in einem ähnlichen Habitat zu Hause wie das Braunkehlchen. In einer offenen, buschreichen Landschaft mit überwiegend kargem Bewuchs lebt dieser Sänger, der in Gestalt und Verhalten dem Braunkehlchen sehr ähnlich ist. Das auffallend kontrastreich gefärbte Männchen unterscheidet sich vom männlichen Braunkehlchen durch den schwarzen Kopf und die weißen Halsseiten. Außerdem fehlt der hellen Streifen über dem Auge wie er beim Braunkehlchen zu finden ist. Das Schwarzkehlchen sitzt meistens auf dem Boden oder noch häufiger auf einer exponierten Buschspitze. Es singt von seiner Warte aus oder präsentiert sich ebenfalls im Singflug. Das kontrastreich gefärbte Schwarzkehlchen trägt sein Lied häufig von der Spitze eines einzeln stehenden Busches in der ansonsten offenen Landschaft vor.

Der Bestand dieser Art hat, wie bei vielen anderen Ödland- und Wiesenbrütern auch, stark abgenommen, da sein Lebensraum, die Continue reading Auf die Kehle kommt es an: Schwarzkehlchen

Tree Pipit: back from Africa

BaumpieperA remembrance of a song, beautiful and both familiar and strange. It took a while until I got the clue. It was a Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis) singing in a woodland in the heath on sunday. Singing now south of Berlin, seen 20 days ago in Cameroon. There the subspecies trivialis was still fairly common near the Ngaoundaba Ranch on the Adamawa Plateau of middle Cameroon in the beginning of April. Other migrant WP-birds were Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops), Great Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) and many Whinchats (Saxicola rubetra).

The Tree Pipit is a small passerine bird which breeds across most of Europe. It is an nondescript species, similar to the Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis). The Tree Pipit is brown with streakings above and has black markings on a white belly and buff breast below. It can be distinguished from the slightly smaller Meadow Pipit by its heavier bill and greater contrast between its buff breast and white belly. Tree pipits more readily perch in trees in comparison Continue reading Tree Pipit: back from Africa

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 Frankfurt Airport – Schwanheimer Duene

Eurasian Golden-OrioleThere 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

Fall migration at the Black Sea Coast/ Romania

Spectacular numbers of Pallid Harrier, Circus macrourus, and Red-footed Falcon, Falco vespertinus, were the highlight of the first day. Having spent 3 days in May north of Constanta at Romania´s Black Sea coast, it was decided to try our luck with birds again in the area around the village of Vadu. The target was, to increase the birdlist and to look what differences in the bird diversity we could experience. South of the Danube Delta is wide stretch of a sandy shoreline with shallow lagoons. This is part of Romania´s Black Sea coast. September– like May – is migration time. Whereas the association of the east Romanian countryside is normally with the core Danube Delta with its special birds like Pelicans, Black-necked and Red-necked Grebes, Glossy Ibises, Spoonbills, the stretch of coast just south of the Danube Delta up to the northern city limits of Constanta is an excellent birding spot not only for migrating birds, too. Two dedicated bird photographers went for the countryside area near of Vadu at the sandy coast in the 3rd week of September 2012. The area called Dobrudja with its steppe habitat more to the west was neglected this time. All breeding specialities should have gone already.

The trip date was perfect, allowing us to see good variety of species, many of them in considerable numbers, especially raptors. We also saw waders, gulls, herons, pelicans and passerines.

The Bird Diversity we enjoyed was high; exactly 90 species of birds we found in only 2,5 days. Highlights of the tour you will find in the gallery. Among others we made photos of Black-necked Grebe, Podiceps nigricollis, Dalmatian Pelican, Pelecanus crispus, Purple Heron, Ardea purpurea, Ruddy Shelduck, Tadorna ferruginea, Common Shelduck, Tadorna tadorna, Black Kite, Milvus migrans, Western Marsh-Harrier, Circus aeruginosus, Pallid Harrier, Circus macrourus, Montagu’s Harrier, Circus pygargus, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus, Red-footed Falcon, Falco vespertinus, Eurasian Hobby, Falco subbuteo, Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus, Common Quail, Coturnix coturnix, Syrian Woodpecker, Dendrocopos syriacus, Red-backed Shrike, Lanius collurio, Sedge Warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, many Willow Warblers, Phylloscopus trochilus, Common Chiffchaff, Phylloscopus collybita, lots of Blackcaps, Sylvia atricapilla, only a few Common Whitethroats, Sylvia communis, many Lesser Whitethroats, Sylvia curruca, many Spotted Flycatchers, Muscicapa striata and Red-breasted Flycatchers, Ficedula parva, good numbers of Common Redstarts, Phoenicurus phoenicurus, Whinchats, Saxicola rubetra, Northern Wheatears, Oenanthe oenanthe and a single Tawny Pipit, Anthus campestris.

This tour gave us the opportunity to witness the spectacular autumn migration Continue reading Fall migration at the Black Sea Coast/ Romania