Friday, January 28, 2011

A little tour through my area

Yesterday I made a little tour my area, covering like half of it and I was rewarded with great birds. Though I didn't see a single new bird, I saw very interesting birds. For example I saw my 2nd Middle Spotted Woodpecker and could add it to my area list. I saw my second Northern Pintail ever and this time it was the much more beautiful male. I saw the Green Woodpecker for the first time this year and 4 Goldfinches for the first time in Germany (and my area). For the third time I got to see a Hawfinch, a Long-tailed Tit ssp. caudatus, and other cool birds were 4 Bramblings, a Goldcrest a total of 10(!) Grey Herons and the second sighting this year of a Mute Swan.
It was a really cool day to resume it, eventhough I couldn't feel my fingers and feet after it.
The Middle Spotted Woodpecker
A Cackling Goose?

The Northern Pintail
The Mute Swan
A Grey Heron
7 Grey Herons!
A Short-toed Treecreeper
A female Bullfinch
A Rook
A Fieldfare

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Duvenstedter Brook

The White-tailed Eagle from two perspectives
The best picture of the Middle Spotted Woodpecker. It was one of my most wished birds for this year...
The Tawny Owl sleeping in a chimney

On Sunday I woke up much earlier than normally, at 9AM, to go and visit the Duvenstedter Brook. It is Hamburgs second biggest conservation area and I had already visited it in September, when the only interesting sighting was a fox. This time I hoped for some other animals, hping for good mammals, as the reserve is known for its populations of Red and Fallow Deer, Wild Boar and other smaller mammals. But I didn't know what was expecting me.
Already on the way to the reserve I encountered a first for 2011. A pair of Jackdaws lingered on the metro-station. Then when I arrived at the final station I first headed to a cementary, where Tawny Owl had been reported the last few days. And I was lucky and got already my third owl species since I'm back from Ecuador. Tawny Owl had been the only owl I had seen before, but that was when I was about 5 or 6 years old. Other really cool birds on the cementary were a pair of Goldcrests and 3 Crested Tits. On my way to the actual reserve I passed by several lakes, where 10 Mergansers, 2 Goldeneyes and 14 Tufted Ducks swam on the water and a Grey Heron, 2 Cormorants, 3 Greylag Geese and 2 Whooper Swans sat beside it. Short after a group of 102 Greylag Geese flew over. As soon as I was in the Brook I was greeted by a Red Kite, but only got a very bad shot through the mist. Soon after I found two Ravens of which I would find 7 in total this day. In a woody patch I hoped to find Woodpecker and was rewarded... by a Middle Spotted Woodpecker!!! I hadn't really hoped for that one, but was really happy about it. The pictures I got were all taken against the light, eventhough I tried hard to get to an other place:(
In the same area were 3 Eurasian Woodcreepers, the rarer of the two Woodcreeper species. It seemed like every rare bird I could get would appear and so did 2 White-tailed Eagles swoop over the forest to land not too far away from me, but too far for really good pictures. Then I walked a long time through some quite beautiful scenery but without seeing any bird at all. When I finally arrived at the end of the trail I was surprised by a male Northern Harrier over a field searching for mice and other small animals. On my way back to the metro-station I saw a Willow Tit and ended this incredible birding trip without any mammal but with 37 bird species, 3 of them being totally new and 9 more new birds for 2011. WOW! This gets close to a birding trip in Ecuador...
The fox I saw back in September
The 2 Whooper Swans
A Great Cormorant (juv.)
3 Mergansers and a Crested Duck
A Merganser and a Goldeneye
A Crested Tit

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Some pictures

This shot of a Hawfinch was taken back in September, but two weeks ago I saw two more Hawfinch, which was only the second time for me so far

Yesterday I went in search of some interesting birds on the Bramfelder See, as the ice should have gone by now and so it was. I saw 5 Grey Herons, 9 Mergansers and a Long-tailed Tit from the rarer underspecies Caudatus...
A Grey Heron
Nine Mergansers were present on the Bramfelder See yesterday

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Stadtpark

The Stadtpark (or in English the City-park) is a beautiful park area in midst of Hamburg. It is much liked and visited especially during the summer. But I went today, during the freezing winter to look for a new species. And I got it in the very end...
I started quite late but luckily it isn't far from my home and so I got there soon.
First I walked to a little lake where beside a Grey Heron, 2 Moorhens, 58 Mallards and 2 Laughing Gulls swam my first Pintail ever. A female and a LIFER
The lake was almost completely frozen and only a very small patch was still open and all the life was gathered there... Also some fish and I saw a young perch and 2 big carps. There was also a big, but dead pike on the ground...:-(

Then I walked on through the park and found a Goldcrest and some Long-tailed Tits. But my main-goal was to find a group of 4 Long-eared Owls. A knew where it was supposed to be, but I couldn't find the exact place, and when it was almost dark already I finally found someone who could show me. Another LIFER today, eventhough the year is still so young...
I watched them for a time and hoped they would fly away soon, as got darker and darker, but they would only stretch their wings...
My first Pintail ever!
Three Long-eared Owls
They were way smaller, than I had always thought, especially after having seen the gigantic Eagle-Owl