Monday, August 27, 2012

Eagle-Owl at its best

Today I went to the Ohlsdorf cementary to show somebody the Eagle-Owl there, but it seemed like we were going to miss it. I had already shown this magnificient bird to some other people, but not always had it been easy to find it, but I was still quite disappointed, that this time I couldn't find it. But then, already on our way back to the metro station we suddenly saw somebody with a huge camera standing on the grass. Guess who he was taking pictures of:
After taking tons of pictures we moved on to the Duvenstedter Brook, where I could get her another 3 lifers: Tawny Owl, Whinchat and Honey-Buzzard. Well she discovered the Honey-Buzzard herself...
It was a very nice day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I'm sorry

I have to excuse myself for not having posted anything since 4 month. Well yesterday I made a post, but that post was looong overdue and I wanted to post it almost those 4 month ago, but had to finish the maps. Now I hope will be blogging more often, since I will probably have more freetime now. School is over for me and I will leave Hamburg in less than one and a half month to live on the island of Spiekeroog in the North Sea for one year, where I will have to work with tourists and birds. I will count and map the birdlife of the island and guide and inform tourists about the island and its wildlife. I'm already excited about that.

During the last month many interesting things have happened, I visited two new and very interesting countries - Ireland and Senegal - I passed my finals, spent three weeks as a lifeguard on the island of Föhr. I added several birds to my life-, yard-, area- and yearlists and saw some rarities, which were: 2 Red-breasted geese in the Wedeler Marsch, at least 1 Pied Wagtail and 2 Horned Grebes, which are not a rarity in Germany but are super-rare in Hamburg. I will try to catch up with those things and report more often from now on...

Travel maps

In an Internet community of other young birders one guy came up with a map of the counties he had already visited or driven through in the United States. The idea was eagerly adopted but many other communtiy members and Chris West made even a post about this in his blog ( I thought it might be a nice idea to follow his example, but since I have never been to the US I used a map of Germany and here's the result
Dark blue = Provinces i visited, light blue = Provinces I drove through
I also made a map of Ecuador, where I lived for one year. I have been to Azuay, Cotopaxi, Esmeraldas, Galápagos, Imbabura, Manabí, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Sucumbíos and Tungurahua and drove through Chimborazo, Guayas, Santa Elena and Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas.

And here's an even more detailed map with the so called cantons of Ecuador I've birded in (dark blue) or driven through (light blue). (Unfortunately the Galápagos Isles are missing, but I've been to Baltra, Santa Cruz, Santa Fé and Floreana)

And as I have travelled quite a bit through the world I also made a map for the whole world. Those are the countries I have been to already (blue):
Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, France, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Maldives, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia and Turkey.
The countries Germany and Ecuador are coloured red, because I have lived there.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Red-necked Beauty

Last Saturday I went to an interesting area quite close to my home (about 20 minutes by bike), that I hadn't visited since I was a very young child!
The day before a Red-necked Grebe had been seen there and so I took the opportunity to get to know the area a little bit.
There are some forrests, where I found Greater Spotted WPs and also many Green WPs. The grasslands dominate the area and are quite dry. There I found a Great Grey Shrike, Yellowhammers and a singing skylark.
On the lake were 10 Gadwalls, 1 Pochard and 2 Mute Swans and of course my first-for-Hamburg Red-necked Grebe. What a beauty!
I had seen a Red-necked Grebe only once before, on Heligoland, where it was much further away and the views weren't comparable to the views I got this time.
As I watched it I also heard my first Chiffchaff for the year, which soon showed up, but was too quirly for photos.
Other good birds were a Hawfinch and a Raven. Unfortunately this area is just 1km east of "my area", an area I defined myself and is more or less my neighboorhood in a radius of about 5km. If "my area" was just a little bigger I could have added Great Grey Shrike, Raven, Red-necked Grebe, Skylark and Yellowhammer to the "My area"-list...
Doesn't matter... I had a beautiful day

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

ALL Woodpeckers (but Lesser Spotted)!!!

Before I tell you about my recent trip to Ireland I want to tell you about my day yesterday in the Duvenstedter Brook.
Actually I had an appointment with one of my Blog readers from the UK, but regrettably he was ill, so I headed out on my own.
When I was in the Brook the last time it was still very cold and the lakes were all frozen. This time you already got a nice feeling of the coming spring. The day began with a singing Song Thrush in the forrest. Also did I find a Middle Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Hawfinches flew over me. On the lakes were 4 pairs of Goldeneyes, a pair of Teal, a pair of Goosanders and a pair of Whooper Swans. 6 male Tufted Ducks swam around a single female.
The White-throated Dipper is still there and I finally got some nice pics, eventhough they are still somewhat blurry.
A Water Vole swam through the stream, whilst a Bank Vole scuttled through leaves.
An uncommon sighting in the Brook was the Egyptian Goose that stood between some Greylag and a pair of Canada Geese. My first White Wagtail 2012 flew overhead, chipping.

A pair of Kestrels hunted over the fields and juvenile Hen Harrier did so aswell. 5 pairs of Cranes had already found their territories, while another 5 pairs were standing together on another field, still not sure, which territory they'd choose.
A Great Grey Shrike reminded me that winter had been there not so long ago.

The Hen Harrier scared up a Snipe and later a White-tailed Eagle soared overhead, but the real deal of the day were the Woodpeckers: I heard several Green Woodpeckers "laughing" from a forrest section nearby and noticed a Black Woodpecker flying away from me. I tried to find one of the Green Woodpeckers and eventually did so, but my attention was drawn to another movement in the forrest. There was another Woodpecker that was none of the Woodpeckers I'd seen on that day: No, it was the long hoped-for Grey-headed Woodpecker, that has been hanging around the area since 2 years now, but that is so very shy and has such a big territory that I failed to find it until yesterday. I got a few pictures that turned out sooo bad that I'm ashamed to show them here. You can't even really recognize it as a Woodpecker, because I had to take the pictures with 80x zoom in backlight through many branches...
But that doesn't matter much, since I finally saw the mysterious Grey-headed Woodpecker! Yeah, I'm still so happy I finally found it! I had already been thinking of taping it in (the germans often do not like if you try to tape in a bird) or if I was going to hear it somewhere I might leave the path (which is forbidden!), but now I had to do none of those things!
Another Middle Spotted Woodpecker distracted me shortly and was chased away by one of the many Great Spotted Woodpeckers from the day. When I tried to get into another position, where the light wold be better and I nearer to the Grey-headed Woodpecker vanished. I could only hear some drummings after that, that i suppose came from it, but couldn't find it anymore, eventhough I stayed for another half an hour...

In the end of the day I decided to drive some trails I didn't know and totally got lost and needed almost 2 hours to find my way back to the paths I know. During this deviation I found some more singing Song Thrushes and some Roe Deers plus a Hare. When I found back to the Duvenstedter Brook it was already quite dark and some Fallow Deer had emerged, with them a totally white one, an albino Deer...
I also got to see my first bat for 2012 in Germany (already saw one in Ireland)

Today I went birding too, but to a place I don't know this well. It is called Holzhafen (could be translated as Wood-Harbour), where two days ago a Glaucous Gull had been seen, but I had no luck with that one...
But I still found some nice birds: 4 Smews, 15 Gadwall, 8 Goldeneyes, 13 Pochards, 3 Lapwings, 21 Oystercatchers and the first Black-tailed Godwit for 2012 in Germany... Also 56 migrating Cranes

I finally got some nice pics of the Smews (eventhough light could've been btter)
On my way home I made a little detour to a little lake, where a Kingfisher had recently been seen and I found even two Kingfishers to put on my year list...
Tomorrow I'll head to the Wedeler Marsch in another attempt to find the Red-breasted Geese that have been seen again. Other very good birds that have been seen there the last few days include a male Red-crested Pochard, a Short-eared Owl and some Mediterranean Gulls.
Wish me luck