Friday, October 29, 2010

Finally the Eagle-Owl!

A Dunnock that sat just under my window

I knew there was an Eagle-Owl here in the surroundings as I had heard of it. Then I got finally the information, where it lived: On a cementary not even 2km from my house. This cementary is the biggest cementary of Europe and therof I didn't find the Eagle-Owl twice, eventhough I knew almost exactly were it was supposed to be.
This time I had been birding around a near sea with many ducks and I had been hoping for a new species, but I only got birds I had seen before on it. Concerning ducks I saw Mallards, a female Red-crested Pochard, Tufted Ducks, Common Pochards, Common Goldeneye and a few hybrids of House Ducks and Mallards...
5 Grey-Herons (during the warm period of the year there's a big colony of about 30-40 pairs breeding on an island), 4 Cormorants, Canada and Greylag Geese, Great Crested Grebes were on the sea.
I was already going to go back home when I thought of trying again for the Eagle-Owl. That was a very good idea, because this time i finally saw it, exactly where I had been the last times... I am so happy now!
The Eagle-Owl had caught something the night before and was eating in its box
Some breeding box had been build for the Owl...

Two Tufted Ducks, first a male, then a female...
Just a common Greylag Goose

Apart from that I got to see my first Waxwings this year, much earlier than I see them normally. A group of 30 Gulls probably Black-headed gull was migrating to warmer places aswell as a group of about 50(!) Buzzards. I'm not sure but I'd say those were Rough-legged Buzzards, which would mean another new species for me.
My first Waxwings this year
The migrating Gulls

Friday, October 22, 2010

Birding in the Bretagne

Only short time after I had arrived at Germany I went to France. I would have disclaimed on this trip, I made the best out of it and went birding for two days around a small village called Pen Mané.
The first day got me a few new bird species, especially water- and shorebirds. For example Black-tailed Godwits, Shelducks and Sandwich Terns. But the most interesting one were the Sacred Ibis' that flew over me several times. Escapees have built up a small colony in this region since the 70's. Cool bird...
The first day ended with Bearded Reedlings, which I had to stalk about 15 minutes, before they would come out of the reed, eventhough I had seen the reed move all the time and knew where the Reedlings had to be... That was favourite bird of the day though.

The next day I started very early morning and arrived to the lagoon about five minutes before the sun would rise. The day started very good as I found another favourite bird of mine standing between Grey Herons and Little Egrets, Gulls and Moorhens: The Eurasian Spoonbill. What a cool bird.
I got really good photos of the lagoon and its birds with the sunrise. I saw more Sacred Ibis`s and Bearded Reedlings and also got to see a pair of Water Rails, which I had maybe seen the day before, but I couldn't identifie them for sure...
On the fields around where Northern Wheatears, Meadow Pipits, Chiffchaffs and a Grasshopper Warbler in the reed, on the water were Little Grebes, the Shelducks and between them I found some Little Stints, Dunlins and many other bird species.

I have seen 20 bird species, that I haven't seen in Germany yet for the year 2010.
But my list is growing with everyday and I have now seen a total of 122 species in Germany and France. And there's still a lot of dirt common birds I haven't yet seen. Well most of those are summer birds, that's why I haven't seen them:-P

What a nice sunrise...
Little Egret
My first Spoonbill!
Sacred Ibis flying over
Another one
Bar-tailed Godwits
Water Rail
Greater Black-backed Gull
The best picture I got of the Bearded reedlings, what a shame...
Meadow Pipit
Who dives there...?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Back home

Well now I'm home again, already since 2 months and I'm still searching for animals in Germany. The first bird I got to see when I was back in Europe was a Magpie, in the second night I was here I already got to see my first hedgehog and during those two month I grew my list to already 108 bird-species and 10 mammal-species. I added many new birds I hadn't seen the 15 years before, like Common Ravens, my personal favourite the Hawfinch, and even a new mammal species was added to my list, eventhough only a tiny Bank Vole (a mouse).
I was just looking outside the window, where I got to see some interesting birds in just a few minutes. First of all I got to see a group of Eurasian Siskins, just in front of my window, then 9 Song (or Mistle?) Thrushes flew by followed by 6 Starlings. A Greater Spotted Woodpecker called on top of a tree and a Sparrowhawk chased a Magpie. This was the first time I'd seen that! Cool
From now on I will report from Germany, where the wildlife is probably not as interesting as in Ecuador, but it can be as exciting to see a new or rare species as it was in South America...
And maybe there will be a vacation or a day trip to some near place or even a holiday to another country...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The mammals of Ecuador

Many humpback whales swam around in the coastal waters
Once a group of 4 Pink River Dolphins showed up at Coca and in Cuyabeno we saw them different times.

I found two Capybaras close to Coca and a many more at the Samona Jungle Lodge...
Black Agoutis were common at Samona
A Tapeti in the highlands of Ecuador
The Guayaquil Squirrel
And a Red-tailed Squirrel
A White-tailed Deer I encountered while walking through the highland paramos of Papallacta

The Tapir and its funny nose
I think the left one is a Galapagos Fur Seal

Sea Lions on Galapagos
An Andean Fox
At Samona Lodge a single Coati crossed the river and at the Yellow House trails I found another group of these cool animals...
A Hoffmann's Two-toed Sloth
I saw Monk Sakis at Samona aswell as in Cuyabeno
Squirrel Monkeys were the most common monkeys
I saw White-tailed Titis at Samona, but first in Shushufindi, an oil-town in the rainforest
Graell's Tamarin was the first monkey I ever saw and I found it also in Cuyabeno
This tiny Pygmy Marmoset lived close to a road near Coca...

Bats were common in the lowlands and even on Galapagos. Ecuador has the biggest number of bat species in the world.