Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No birding today :-(

Well, I forgot about how long I have school on Wednesday and how early it gets dark in the winter. Today was the shortest day of the whole year and since I had school until 3PM it made no sense to go search for the Velvet Scoters. Before I would have found them the light would have been already gone. I hope I get to try for them on Friday...

Well let me tell you about a project I'm working on at the moment: To get a better grade in biology classes I am writing a less or more scientific study about the winter birds of the Duvenstedter Brook. As you may know the Duvenstedter Brook is an area where I go often birding and as winter was coming I decided to examine the birds to be found there during the winter.
I'm examining all bird species reported since 1993 during the time from September 21st until March 21st.
I haven't got too much yet, because I didn't have any time for it until a few days ago, but now I'm starting with it and hopefully I get a good grade for it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


In the last month I have been out for birding only once (Long-eared Owl on my bday) and I don't think you could even really call this birding. It was rather twitching, but not the birding I enjoy doing normally: Go to a nice area and then drive around there with my bike and stopping always when there's something that looks interesting and thus finding many interesting birds.
Eventhough I tried to turn that twitch into something similar it just wasn't since i had no bike and was very slow (in my opinion) and the area I was in, wasn't that interesting. And the main goal of that day wasn't to find interesting birds, but to see an interesting that had already been found by many people before. So you can not really call that short trip a birding trip; thus i haven't been birding for over one month!!!
The school is just killing me the laast weeks (not really, because I'm still quite relaxed, but at least I don't have enough time so i could go out for a whole day and bird).

I WANT TO GO BIRDING!!! Thankfully in a few days christmas arrives and there's almost two weeks of no-school. Hopefully I'll get out a few times.

On the Außenalster (a big lake in the middle of Hamburg) there have been reported 2 (maybe even 5) Velvet Scoters that I'll try to find tomorrow, eventhough this will quite ressemble my Long-eared Owl trip.
But I'd be glad to at least come out of my house and maybe get a new lifer...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Long-eared Owl in the Park

On my 18th birthday I made myself the gift of my second only observation of a Long-eared Owl. In the same location, as my very first observation, in the City Park, where they have got a roosting tree during most winters.
Other nice sightings were
Other nice sightings were 1 Goshawk, 1 Kestrel, 2 Pochards, 67 Crested Ducks, about 100 Bramblings and 1 Bank Vole

Thursday, December 1, 2011


On 13th October I went to Heligoland for my first time. I was very excited, because I had heard a lot of great things about Heligoland. It is the only offshore island belonging to Germany and lies on the migration route of many birds halfway between Denmark and the Netherlands. There are the only breeding grounds for many pelagic birds like Gannets or Auks in Germany and there are a lot of migrants and vagrants stopping on Heligoland. It probably possesses the biggest bird list in Germany, with many very rare vagrants like Siberian Rubythroat. It is like the best place in Germany to see vagrants or rare migrants and the month from September to November are the best to see them.
So I hoped go get a whole bunch of new lifers, the days before many interesting birds had already been seen.
So in the morning I started my trip in Hamburg, shipping on the Elbe river and then on the North Sea. During that ship passage I already began my list and saw some nice birds and many of them were long-awaited lifers!
I made my first contacts and met another birder I had already met once before: At the Pectoral Sandpiper!
When I finally arrived on Heligoland I had already 9 lifers. What a great start.
After bringing my things to the youth hostel I immediately began to bird and I almost never stopped with. I even had my camera and bins within reach during the meals.
I never slept very long and often was already outside before sunrise, searching for animals. Unfortunately I didn't have any walkie-talkie, so I never knew when an interesting bird showed up somewhere. Therefor I always kept asking the other birders I met if they had seen anything interesting or if anything had been said through the walkie-talkies. By this for example I learnt there was somewhere a Red-flanked Bluetail on the island, but only 2 people had seen it yet. They told me where and I informed other birders to join me and search for. Unluckily we didn't find it, but just the day after I left Heligoland it was refound and banded...
There were some birders I met regularly on my ways. Most birders were from Germany but there were also some from the US, the netherlands and switzerland, who I talked with. It was fun to talk to other birders from other countries, the last time I did that was in Ecuador...
When I finally had to leave I was quite sad and I know I will return as soon as possible.
After I had arrived back home I kept looking in the internet what was being seen on Heligoland and I was sooo disappointed about having missed some of the birds recorded just a few days later, including Great Northern Loon, Pallas's Leaf Warbler, Red-necked and Grey Phalarope, Sabine's Gull, Olive-backed Pipit, Siberian Stonechat and Desert Wheatear amongst other very cool birds. But I'm still quite satisfied with the 98 species i saw of which 27 were lifers.