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

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