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

Thursday, February 9, 2012

23km walk at -13°C through the Duvenstedter Brook

When I finally stepped into the bus that would take me home I felt quite weak. I had not eaten anything since more than 10 hours, I had not drunk anything since I had left the house in the morning morning and I had walked aproximately 23km through the Duvenstedter Brook. The last hour or so had I wandered through darkness and all day the temperatures had been around -13°C. I couldn't feel much life left my fingers, which were packed in two pairs of gloves. Luckily the rest of my body was still warm as I was wearing two pairs of thick socks under thick shoes, thick pants, four layers of shirts and jackets, a thick scarf and a bonnet. But I think the day was worth it, eventhough I got no lifer.
It all began with a request in a forum about birds (called Birdent forum), where a person wanted to get to know other birders and new areas in Hamburg. So I was happy, that finally I could go birding with another person and we agreed thus to meet at 10AM to visit the Brook and search if we could find some nice winter birds.
About one weeks ago the temperatures had suddenly dropped from quite warm (for winter: around 10°C and more) to very cold: around -10°C and colder, so my hopes for wintering water birds had dissolved. Unfortunately the birds that had begun to sing already in midst of January had stopped to vocalize totally and were seemingly hiding very good the last days. In my yard I had been seeing much less birds, than normally and we experienced that also, when we walked through the Wohldorfer Forrest. Apart from very common birds nothing was to be found...
The lakes were entirely frozen and the only thing I saw was a brown rat that gathered beechnuts, that had fallen onto the ice.
Even the stream that connects the different lakes here was mostly frozen, only the very fast flowing parts wasn't covered entirely, eventhough in many places the ice began already to spread! So not even could i find waterfowl, apart from two sleeping Mallards.
So we moved on to the cementary were I hoped I could at least find the Tawny Owl and yes there it was, sitting in it's favourite spot in the church's chimney. Finally a success!
A second success was a new species for the area: 5 flyover Smews. But unfortunately my binoculars fogged almost immediately when I turned it up to watch them :-( They are normally very, very rare in the Brook, but the frozen lakes everywhere forced them to search for open water everywhere and so they came around the area, but all the frozen lakes here must have dissapointed them and they had to fly on...
But apart from Great Tits there was almost no other birds on the cementary either, so I wanted to move on, to the central part of the Brook, where maybe we could find a Great Grey Shrike or the Rough-legged Buzzard. One last glance at the beautiful Tawny Owl surprised me very much! There was not only the Tawny Owl I had observed many times before, but also a mate! Great job Owly!
We then went on and on our way a courageous Robin came hopping on the way. Maybe it was hoping for some food or something and so it approached us to less then a meter! What a brave bird! While my co-birder ate some morsels I took the opportunity to get very good Robin pictures. The next time, when I'm out in the nature again, I will take some bread with me, to reward such great photo models as this one.
After our short pause we continued, but found not a single interesting bird, not even some fairly common bird, only those that are very common to abundant and even those were quite rare...
Some other people pointed out a group of 15 Fallow deers to us, that was hiding between birch trees.
As it seemed to get a quite lame day (apart from the Robin and the Owls) my co-birder decided she would go home. I decided to show her at least the White-throated Dipper, that was hanging around since a month already.
We found it soon and apparently even watched a second Dipper, without knowing (but I was guessing that, as the Dipper seemed to disappear regularly to pop up at a totally different spot, where it couldn't have gotten by diving! When I came home and checked the observations of the day, another person had noticed, there were two different birds!)
After observing that beautiful and fascinating bird diving in this water, probably so cold I didn't even want to imagine what would happen if I fell in, for over half an hour the ways of my co-birder and me splitted, because I had still hope to find some nice birds in the central part of the Brook.
But before I got far I stumbled upon a small group of Long-tailed Tits and finally, finally got my first good Long-tailed Tit-pictures!
There were both kinds of Long-tails: One White-headed and four Stripe-headed, but apparently the White-headed was just a white-heads and not a bird from the northern subspecies caudatus. But that doesn't matter, it's still a very cute and beautiful bird! Such a fluffy ball
When I then walked through the central Brook it seemed like I was going to be disappointed, not a single bird. After a while finally a pair of Ravens flew over my head and I decided to try for pine forrest bird species. My biggest hope was to at least see a Crossbill and I also wanted to search if maybe anywhere a Long-eared Owl was roosting. Both missions failed completely and the only birds I found were two Reed Buntings. Not quite what I would call a pine specialist.
Well, I moved on and than finally was rewarded: A Rough-legged Buzzard flew over me rather slowly. I had enough time to observe it good and see all the field marks and so I wanted to take a picture of that beauty. But I didn't have enough feeling left in my fingers already. Eventhough I could swear I pressed quite hard on the trigger I didn't shoot a single pic. Damnit!
But not much later a juvenile Northern Harrier flew over me and I could observe it for about 5 minutes circling over my head and being harrassed by a Raven...
I had enough time to recover a bit of life in my fingers and thus I got a few decent shots of this nice bird.
As I moved on I found the Rough-legged Buzzard again, sitting on a fence post. It was a gorgeous female that showed perfectly all the field marks it could show. But it sat quite far away, so my pictures, taken with my reanimated but still very weak fingers, are only very decent ones.
But I was very happy to finally observe a Rough-legged Buzzard for more than just a few seconds. This female is hanging around in the area already since like 3 month and I had seen it only once before.
In the same place was also a Fox that would only show me its backpart. What a buffon :-P

The rest of the (almost finished) day I didn't find much more of interest, just a few Voles and a pair of Roe deers. As it was getting dark and the sun had already disappeared behind the trees it was getting even colder and so I decided to walk back home. But I had underestimated the distance I still had to walk aswell as the distance I had already walked. But my feet would kindly point that out to me. And thus I agonized my feet to take me back the last kilometers till I finally arrived exhausted at the bus station. But I was happy with the result of the day, eventhough nothing really rare (well the Smews are quite rare in the area, but they were just flyovers), nor any lifer. There were not many bird species that day nor were there high amounts of birds anywhere, but still I was happy. I don't know why, but I liked that day a lot... My feet didn't :-P

Friday, January 27, 2012


2012 has started quite good. as I have already been able to observe 77 species. I have already seen a Lifer (Bar-headed Goose), a new subspecies (White-throated Dipper ssp. cinclus) and a few new birds for the Wedeler Marsch and the Duvenstedter Brook.
On January 18th i went to the Wedeler Marsch and it was incredible how few birds were around! I needed a while before I got anything out of the very common birds. First I tried a new spot for some forrest birds, I still needed on my area list and I found most of them: Hawfinch, Bullfinch, Long-tailed Tit and Short-toed Treecreeper.

Then in the bird station, from where you can normally observe dozens of species I got to see only 5 species in 2 hours! And those were quite normal ones: Goldfinch, Barnacle Geese, Kestrel, Black-headed Gull and Great Egret. So I decided to try my luck at a lake some kilometres further. On the way there i finally got two of the species I had mainly come for: 3 Little Gulls and 1 Black-legged Kittiwake, of which a few had been blown in by a storm a week or so before. At the lake i finally could add some new birds, but none of them was really out of the normal: 8 Shovelers and about 200 Wigeons were the best between those.
On my way home I came across a Rough-legged Hawk, 2 Smews and a Stoat with some mouse in its mouth, but none of those would show very good and long, so i didn't get any pics.
So in the end I had a day with only very few birds, but some of them were quite good (especially the Gulls and the Hawk)

Then yesterday I went to the Duvenstedter Brook in hope of the White-breasted Dipper that had been seen there since at least a week. But on the way to the exact spot I had to sadly realize that a sleeping tree, where a Tawny Owl had been living for some years had fallen down. Hopefully the Owl wasn't sleeping in it, when it fell down...
Then I arrived at the lake, from which a small stream comes and where the Dipper had been seen before. On the lake where 2 Whooper Swans, 1 gorgeous Goldeneye and a female Merganser, but on the stream was no Dipper to be found :(
I tried my luck on another part of the stream and another lake, but no Dipper either. But on the other lake were some nice birds: 1 immature Whooper Swan, another gorgeous Goldeneye, 18 Mergansers, 22 Tufted Ducks and 8 Gadwalls.
I hoped to see the Tawny Owl on the graveyard, but it wasn't there. instead I found a Great Grey Shrike, sitting on top of one of the Pine Trees. i would never have expected one up there. I was checking for Grosbeaks, but no luck... Seems like I'll never see one. Instead came 7 Redpolls flying over me. At least one new area bird.
In the main part of the Brook I saw almost nothing apart from a group of 21 Fallow Deer and another Great Grey Shrike. On a meadow close to the main part sat a very huge(!) Hare feeding, but as the light was fading fast I hurried to look another time at the stream, if the Dipper had reappeared. On the way I came across a group of 69 Greylag geese, between them where 1 Bar-headed Goose and 2 hybrids (Bar-headed x Greylag). My first lifer for 2012, a bird I had been hoping for for a long time already.
This Bar-headed Goose had bred with a Greyleg Goose in 2010 and raised 3 chicks in the surroundings of the Brook, but I hadn't seen it yet. So finally...

When I arrived at the stream the light was almost gone already, but I was lucky, because I realized, there was a White-throated Dipper quite well hidden. Mission accomplished...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


2011 is over and thus also my first complete year of birding in Germany. Here's a report of that fantastic year:
I saw a total of 250 bird species, 210 of those in Germany and 178 species in Hamburg and the nearer surroundings. From those 250 species 114 were lifers. Another two birds were only heard this year: Water Rail (eventhough it wouldn't even have been a lifer) and Corn Crake.

The year started well with 4 Long-eared Owls in the city park. My first real visit to the Duvenstedter Brook brought me a male Northern Harrier, a wintering Red Kite and three lifers that became almost ordinary: Tawny Owl, White-tailed Eagle and Middle Spotted Woodpecker. The year continued with a Northern Pintail and another Middle Spot. They were so special because they both showed in my area (which is about the region 5km around were I live).
Also the Wedeler Marsch yielded some new species for me: Eurasian Wigeon, Smew and Reed Bunting.
On the Bramfelder Lake were present up to 30 Grey Herons on a little stream near to the Öjendorfer Lake was a White-breasted Dipper. Unfortunately just outside my area.
When I found my first Great Grey Shrike I was very happy a few days later I also saw auncooperative Merlin, which shot 3 times through my field of vision. Every time I was just to give up the search for it, it would come shooting out of nowhere and disappear into nowhere...
Then migration time began and some waders appeared, but also a Wood Lark, which is normally quite rare, where I saw it. Between the Black-headed Gulls were some Mediterranean Gulls.
2 Kingfishers could be observed for a long time on the Ohlsdorfer cementary, but then they disappeared out of reasons I still don't understand and I have seen one in the area only once after.
Then it began with Ducks: Garganeys and Shovelers, but especially a very lucky observation of Red-breasted Goose. After about 15 secondes of observations it disappeared between the Barnacle Geese never to be seen again.
On the 4.4. 20 Bohemian Waxwings sat in the neighboors yard. Furthermore I could add Wigeon and Grey Wagtail to the area list.
Shortly after I saw two of my absolutely favourite birds 2011: Ruff and Bluethroat. But also a very surprising Cattle Egret in the Wedeler Marsch, that disappeared into nowhere after 45 minutes.

A holiday in Lisbon got me some nice lifers: Gannet, Yellow-legged Gull and also a Ring-billed Gull. A vagrant I didn't even recognize while seeing and of which I just shot a pic, because it looked a bit different.
In the Duvenstedter Brook more and more summer birds appeared, for example Whinchats, Hobbies and Cuckoos. In the Wedeler Marsch more and more Warblers appeared.
My listed expanded with White-tailed Eagle and Oystercatcher flying over my house.
On an individual Birdrace, one day after the official one I found 98 species, amongst others a Temminck's Stint and my nemesis bird Black Woodpecker.

I saw more and more passerines, especially Warblers and Flycatchers, but also my first Red-backed Shrikes. In the Brook I was fortunate to follow the growth of 2 Eagle-Owl chicks in an oak. There were also many other young birds to be found, for example Cranes.

I made a short vacation with my family in Büsum, where I saw 30 Spoonbills, 2 Montagu's Harriers, some Little Gulls and a Gull-billed Tern.

Back in the Brook I heard two Corncrakes for many days, aswell as some Quails, until on 27.6 I saw the backparts of one in the grass, before it sneaked away. I saw some Woodcocks in display flight, but heard many more that I never saw in the undergrowth.

Then I was in Madrid for one month and saw: Little, Egrets, Night-Herons, White Storks, Griffon and Cinereous Vultures, Booted Eagles, Montagu's Harrier, Black and Red Kite, Lesser Kestrels, Bee-eaters, Hoopoe, Red-rumped Swallow, Crag Martins, Golden Orioles, Azure-winged Magpie, White-throated Dipper, Cetti's Warbler, Moustached Warbler, Great Reed-Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Southern Grey and Woodchat Shrike and Cirl Bunting to name just the best. Also did I see many new subspecies...

Back in Germany I saw my first Curlew Sandpipers and the next nemesis bird: Honey-Buzzard!
On 5th August I twitched my first rarity, a Pectoral Sandpiper in the Wedeler Marsch.
Then the migration time began again and from my own window I saw 14 migrating White Storks. In the Wedeler Marsch I saw an incredible total of 65 Honey-Buzzards and a Wryneck, which I still can't believe!!!

In Eckernförde I saw 6 female Mergansers and my first Eiders 2011.

Back in Hamburg I have even the luck to put the Honey-Buzzards on my yard list aswell as some other birds on the area lists.

During the autumn vacations I went to Morocco where I saw many new lifers: Barbary Partridge, (Wild) Rock Pigeons, Little and Pallid Swift, African Blue Tit, Common Bulbul, Chough, Moussier's Redstart, Sardinian Warbler, Western Bonelli'S Warbler, Atlas Pied Flycatcher, Blue Rock-Thrush, Black and White-crowned Wheatear, Trumpeter Finch and House Bunting aswell as many new subspecies again.

One day after returning from Morocco I continued to Heligoland, where I birdwatched hardcore and got 98 species. New for me were most pelagic birds like Guillemot, Black Guillemot, Little Auk, Common Scoter, Greater Scaup, Norhern Gannet, but also some shore birds like Horned Lark, Twite, Lapland Bunting, Rock Pipit and Short-eared Owl. On Heligoland there are almost always some rarities, so I was happy to see Yellow-browed, Hume's Leaf and Western Bonelli's Warbler and Richard's Pipit which are all rare fopr Germany, but also Barred Warbler and Thrush Nightingale which are rare for the region and the time (October). I was also very happy about the Ring Ouzels and the Purple Sandpipers, like I was about every other bird I saw there!

Back in Hamburg it was quite calm. There were 42 Great Egrets in the Wedeler Marsch (on the day before it had even been 75!) and I got my lifer Ruddy Shelduck.
A Rough-legged Buzzard stuck around in the Brook as did a Long-eared Owl in the city park, in exact the same spot where I had seen it in the beginning of the year.
On 28th December I saw 3 Waxwings flying away and then on the last day in 2011 I added 3 lifers and 4 new species for the Wedeler Marsch. The lifers were Caspian Gull, Tundra Swan and Water Pipit, the new area species were Brant, Kingfisher, Great Grey Shrike and Bearded Reedling.

I ended the year 2011 with 250 bird species seen, 210 of those in Germany and 178 in Hamburg (and surroundings). I'm very happy about that result!

Monday, January 2, 2012

December 31st 2011

On the last day in 2011 I finally got out again to bird the Wedeler Marsch. I hoped for a new bird for the area or maybe even a lifer, but the result were 3 lifers and another 3 new birds for the area.

I started the day not in the Wedeler Marsch, but in Altona. There have been reported up to 3 Caspian Gulls and one Yellow-legged Gull from there, so aimed to get one of these. First I did not find anything apart from Black-headed, Herring and very few Mew Gulls. Then I spotted a Gull with white head on the other side of the Elbe 200m away. It is probably a Yellow-legged Gull, but I don't think I can be sure of this.
So I kept searching for interesting Gulls and finally was rewarded witht his second winter Caspian Gull

Then in the Marsch everything started very good as I immediately found a new bird for the area and one i hadn't seen since a few month: A Kingfisher.
Unfortunately the pics turned out horrible, as the bird was quite far away.

As I had to notice the bird station was closed today and I had to bird outside but this turned out to be great.
I soon found 2 Bearded Reedlings in the reed, were also 6 Reed buntings were feeding.
I saw as almost always in Wedel a White-tailed Eagle, that was hunting and a Greater Black-backed Gull harrassing it a bit.

I saw my lifer Water Pipit and a newbie for the area a Great Grey Shrike.
A Peregrine chased up all the Barnacle Geese and then the third lifer flew over me, a calling Tundra Swan!
Oh yes I also saw a beautiful fox, which was new tot he area aswell!
So I ended this year 2011 with a total of 250 bird species seen, 210 of those in Germany. I'm pretty happy about that, especially because almost none of them was twitched, but most were found by me.
Highlights of this year were for sure Red-breasted Goose, Ring-billed Gull, Cattle Egret and Pectoral Sandpiper in terms of rarity but also breeding Eagle-Owl, White-breasted Dipper in Hamburg, the Penduline Tit and the 65 Honey-Buzzards on one day and just every single lifer!