zaterdag 2 juni 2012

Birding trip Neusiedler See May 16 - May 27

Wednesday May 16, 2012

We split the 1300 km Autobahn trip from Zoetermeer in the Netherlands to the Neusiedler See in two days. The thirst 700 km brought us to the hotel Reiterhof near Günzenhausen in Germany, about 60 km from Nürnberg. A decent hotel with clean rooms and simple but good meals. But if you hate horses you will have to avoid that hotel.
There was a lot of cargo traffic on the Autobahn. It caused a delay of about two hours, and, due to an accident, a detour through German country roads, with a hunting Montagu's Harrier as a bonus. Along the autobahn we saw the usual birds that can be expected during such a trip like Common Kestrel, Common Buzzard, Black Kite and some smaller stuff.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

After a good night sleep and a fine breakfast the second day of travelling through Germany and Austria was to begin. It was unusually cold, about zero degrees but no rain today. From the balcony of our room we heard the first of many Great Reed Warblers of this trip. A Fieldfare, a resident breeder of  this part of Germany, was foraging in the garden.
Within 6 ours (600 km) and again some autobahn species including a Red Kite, we arrived at hotel zur Post in Illmitz near the Eastern border of the Neusiedler See This hotel has been recommended by other birders and indeed the staff did understand the needs of birders. Quiet rooms, decent meals and reasonably priced. You want to go birding at 5 A.M.? No problem, just ask the night before and you can take your breakfast, including coffee, with you. Dinner times are also flexible, so you can stay somewhat longer outside, or you can make an after dinner trip. We got a map and an introduction of the good birding areas near the Neusiedler See and the Seewinkel. Although I knew most locations from other trip reports and my trip from almost 30 years ago, the information was accurate. Unfortunately the Syrian Woodpecker nest hole, that could be seen from our hotel room, was now used by a Common Starling. The hotel manager told us that the woodpecker had disappeared after some building activities near the hotel garden. The same afternoon we made our first drive through the countryside. We visited a small lake (Lacke) that could be reached by car. The Warm See (Darscho on google maps) just North of Apleton is one of the few lakes that has a drivable track along the border. If you don't mind the harsh lights than you have especially in the morning good opportunities for bird photography. During our short visit we saw species like Eurasian Sky Lark, Marsh Harrier, Pied Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Common Redshank, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwitt and Blue-headed Wagtail. We also made a short visit to the reed beds west of Illmitz. In a few minutes we observed among others Little Grebes, our first Pygmy Cormorant, Eurasian Spoonbill, Purple Heron, Red-Crested Pochards, Marsh Harrier, Sand Martins, Sedge Warblers, and several Great Reed Warblers.

Friday, May 18 2012

At dawn, we went to the Hansag reserve. We took the road from Andau at the eastern border of the reserve. We observed the awakening of the local birdlife from an observation tower. 11 Great Bustards, 1 Montagues Harrier and 3 Short-eared Owls could be seen on the fields of the Hansag reserve. Despite the near zero temperature a lot of birds were singing under a sunny blue skye. Common Cuckoo, Eurasian Golden Oriole, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Sky Lark, Sedge Warbler, Common Grashopper Warbler, Common Nightingale, Icterine Warblers and European Stonechat. Up to the bridge over the Pamhagen Channel, we also heard a Common Quail near the road. At the bridge over the Einser Channel, again a lot of birds were singing. Besides the already mentioned species the border of the Channel was also populated by Common Chaffinch, European Goldfinch, Blackcap, White Wagtail and Great Reed Warbler. An early European Honey Buzzard flew above the fields. Strange to be able to walk freely into Hungary. 30 years ago it was impossible to get even close to the border.
We took the connection road along the Einser channel to the western border of the Andau reserve. Here we heard our first Barred Warbler. Along the western border of the Andau reserve, we observed several Red-backed Shrikes, some Curlews, a Barred Warbler singing in the top of a young tree, Winchats, European Stonechat, Marsh Warblers, Blue-headed Wagtails, Corn Buntings, again Common Grashopper Warblers. Early in the morning at a sunny day in spring this side of the reserve is a good spot for bird photography. Hunting Short-eared owls, song birds perching close to the road and more important these birds do not fly away. Today I only managed to digiscope a Winchat from the car.

We didn't respond to a tip of an Austrian birder that a Bluethroat could be seen. We thought that we would get plenty other opportunities . Afterwards this appeared to be wrong, because we never got even a glimpse of a Bluethroat during this holiday.
Not only birds are easy to observe. A Roe Deer didn't bother that we were busy to save its image on silicon (Picture was made with the Canon)
Roe Deer
Back to the hotel we rounded the Warm See by Car. Many reed birds like Great Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Savi's Warbler, Reed Bunting were still singing. At the border of the lake, today only one Ruff, some Pied Avocets, Black-tailed Godwitts and a few Little Ringed Plovers.
After breakfast at about 9 A.M. we left the hotel for a car trip through the Seewinkel. It appeared that most minor roads (dirt tracks) are not accessible by car. This holds especially for the tracks within the reserves of the national park Neusiedler See/ Seewinkel, which can only be followed by bike or on foot. For me, this was a draw back because I am not capable of walking distances larger than about 100 metres, and we didn't bring a bike with us. This meant that we possibly missed some very good species like Broad-billed Sandpiper, Slender-billed Gull and Great Snipe, just because I was not able to reach the right spots. 
We drove through the Seewinkel to find the spots that we could reach bij car. Seewinkel is well known for its salty lakes that dry up in spring. When we arrived most lakes were (almost) dry and most birds were gone too. Only a few lakes like the Warm See (near Apleton) and the Zick See (near St Andrä) have always water. We saw at the border of the Zick See, a nice group Ruffs, a couple Wood Sandpipers and a lot Red-Crested Pochards. By far the most abundant duck in this area. Above the Zick See, Common and Black Terns were hunting.
East of the village Weiden in the Northern part of the Seewinkel, we found the colony European Bee-eaters. Unfortunately we couldn't get there by car. But a walk to the colony might have been rewarding. From Weiden we took the road to Podersdorf am See and followed the coast track from Podersdorf to the south. This was the first of about 8 routes were we observed an Eurasian Hoopoe. At the border of the Neusiedler See we added some ducks to our list, like Mallard, Northern Shoveler and Common Shelduck.
Red-crested Pochard

After about 8 hours of birding and a breakfast break we went back to the hotel, to take a nap before dinner. Just before sunset, we went again to the reed beds at the Neusiedler See near Illmitz.There wasn't much wind and the birds were very active so we experienced a nice evening bird show. Again several Pygmy Cormorants flew over, but today we also saw beside the ever present Marsh Harriers, some Great Cormorants, Eurasian Spoonbills, Purple Herons and Western Great Egrets flying above the reed beds. Little Grebes, Great Bitterns and Bearded Tits were calling. Great Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers, Savi's Warblers, and a single Reed Warbler were singing. In the swamps we observed Red-crested Pochards, Great Crested Grebes, Coots and Black-winged Stilt. A Greenshank called while flying over.

Saturday, May 19 2012

The hotel manager arranged for us a couple of E-bikes (for rent) and so we were able to explore the cycle tracks of the Seewinkel area and visit places that we couldn't reach by car or on foot. We hired the bikes for two days. It would have been more affordable to hire the bikes for a full week, but the wheather forecast was not very good for the days following the weekend, so we compromised at two days. Today, there was a strong wind and the electric support was really needed.
Because the bikes were available after 8.30 A.M. we started our trip at about 9.00 A.M. We first went to the Sandeck, were in a stable with white donkeys (die weisen Esel) an Eurasia Hoopoe should breed. This part of the Neusiedler See reserve is also known as a good place for observing waders. In the village of Illmitz we discovered our first Spotted Flycatcher and the European Serins were singing everywhere. The mud/sandy flats weren't completely dry yet. And although we had a lot of back-light we observed Pied Avocets, Black-winged Stilts, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, several Grey Plovers, Red Shanks and Ruffs.
The Eurasian Hoopoe was indeed present at the white donkey stable. A lot of birders were waiting for the Hoopoe and didn't notice the 11 Hawfinches calling in the top of the trees above their heads. Also a Purple Heron was to be seen near the reed beds. We followed the cycle track to the reed beds we visited the previous evening. Here we heard our first of many Eurasian Penduline Tits. As we cycled through the reed beds a Little Bittern was calling. We were lucky, because this appeared to be the only observation of this species during our holiday. We took the cycle track B20 around the Zicklacke Northwest of Illmitz. There we spotted a few Gadwalls. In a little pool, that wasn't dry yet, just outside Illmitz I discovered a Common Snipe, Little Ringed Plovers, Ruffs, Redshanks, Black-winged Stilt, several Kentish Plovers and a Marsh Sandpiper. In this area the Marsh Sandpiper is a relatively uncommon migrant. Back to Illmitz we decided to take the B20 cycle track to the Lange Lacke and the Zick See and back via the Eastern an Western Wörtenlackes. The Lange Lacke and Wörtenlackes can only be reached on foot or by bike. Although these lakes were almost dry this trip was very rewarding with a some new species for our holiday. Near the Lange Lacke we encountered so called "Siesels" or European Ground Squirrels. Cute little animals that were easy to observe. Near the Lange Lacke some Mediterranean Gulls were flying around. Above the Zick See Common Terns, Black Terns and White-winged Terns were hunting. The same species were flying above the Eastern Wortenlacke together with a Whiskered Terns.
Althogether we cycled about 50 kilometers in the neighboorhood of Illmitz. With the strong winds (up tot 6 Bft) this was only possible due to the electric support. This evening we stayed at the hotel, we were a little bit too tired of cycling.

Sunday, May 20 2012

Our second day with the e-bikes started with a trip to the observation tower near the so called Graurinderkoppel. Another good place to find waders. This place was a little disappointing because the birds were mostly too far away to identify. Actually we were too late so the light was bad. In the outskirts of Illmitz, we observed our first Crested Lark. We went back to Illmitz to recharge one of our E-bikes. After we changed the bike, we took the B10 cycle track in the direction of Podersdorf am See. We again visited the Marsh Sandpiper pool but today, there were beside the breeding Kentish Plovers and Black-winged Stilts, only some Wood Sandpipers and a pair of Northern Shovelers. A Spotted Crake was calling at this location. The track to and along the border of the Neusiedler See was very rewarding, with Whiskered Tern, Golden Oriole, Icterine Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Penduline Tits, Spotted Flycatcher, Eurasian Hoopoe, European Turtle Dove, Red-backed Shrikes and Barred Warblers. A Pygmy Cormorant was resting on a mudflat. Here we observed also a small group Curlew Sandpipers and a Garganey. Due to the strong winds (up to 7 Bft) and despite the electric support, it took us quite some time to get back to the hotel. About dinner time we went again to the Sandeck, to have better view on the mudflats and the Eurasian Hoopoe. On the mudflats we observed Black-winged Stilts, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Greenshank, Redshank, Dunlins, Curlew Sandpipers, Wood Sandpipers and Grey Plover. Whiskered Terns were resting on a sand bank near the "white donkey stable", together with a nice group of Wood Sandpipers in beautiful evening light. The Eurasian Hoopoe visited the nest site and we were feeling very happy. 

Monday, May 21 2012

This morning I woke at 5 A.M. for a pre-breakfast birding trip. There wasn't much wind so I went to the reed beds near Illmitz. An Eurasian Hoopoe was calling, two Black-Crowned Night Herons were flying above the road and a male Ferruginous Duck was swimming at about the same spot where I took a picture of a female about 30 years ago. 
Great Reed Warbler
Another surprise was a calling Little Crake at the same spot where Saturday a Little Bittern was calling. Here I also saw my first Tufted Duck of this holiday. I had the opportunity to spend some time on my digiscope set en could make some pictures of a Great Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Purple Heron.

Purple Heron
In the reed beds the usual birds were singing. Probably, I heard also a Moustached Warbler but I was not able to confirm my observation with a sighting. I am not familiar enough with its song. The morning sun disappeared behind the clouds so I decided to make another tour with the car through the Seewinkel area. At the Graurinderkoppel I was lucky to spot a single male Common Teal and again I (another) Eurasian Hoopoe was calling.

Sedge Warbler
I finished my pre-breakfast trip with a visit to the Warm See (Darscho), where a male European Stonechat and a Little Ringed Plover were very cooperative.
European Stonechat
After breakfast we went to the Marchegg reserve north of the Donau river at the border with Slowakia. This reserve is well known for its White Storks breeding in trees, but also its variety of riverine woodland birds, with several species of woodpeckers, River Warblers, Black Stork and Collared Flycatcher. It also is a good spot for observing birds of prey, hunting above Slovakia. We made a short walk into the woodland and were lucky to hear a singing Collared Flycatcher and observed some Eurasian Nuthatches. We saw and heard quite a few woodpeckers but they were all Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Today, the birds of prey didn't really show up. We only saw a Common Kestrel, Black Kite and a Sparrow Hawk.

Little Ringed Plover

While we were driving over the bridge near Hainburg I saw an eagle flying above the Donau. It took some time to find a place to park the car and the eagle had disappeared. We stayed for a while at the border of the Donau, looking for raptors and we did see two displaying Honey Buzzards and another Black Kite.
After a while we went through Neusiedl am See, and I was surprised to see some Eurasian Bee-eaters flying above the village during rush hour. We turned the car and found a colony on a steep hill within the Neusiedl village. This appeared to be a great place to digiscope Bee-eaters, and afterwards we took almost every opportunity to make a few shots. Today I made mainly pictures of flying Bee-eaters (of cause not digiscoped but with the Canon 30D and a 300 mm with 1.4 extender).
Eurasian Bee-eater

Tuesday, May 22 2012

At 5.00 A.M. we again paid a visit to the reed beds near Illmitz. Although there was less wind than the previous day, the birds were less active than monday.  I was able to digiscope a Great Reed Warbler, that was  more cooperative than yesterday, but due to the poor light, and thus low shutter speeds, it was difficult to make a decent picture.

Great Reed Warbler

The cloud cover was thickening and we paid another visit to the Graurinderkoppel and subsequently to the fields South and East of Appleton. Here we discovered a nest with three downy young of an Little Owl under the roof of a farm. At 9.00 A.M. it started to rain and we had to stay inside during the rest of the day. A visit to the information centre of the national park, was informative but not very exciting. We bought some interesting books (in German) about the national park's history. In the afternoon, we took this opportunity too catch up some sleep. In the evening a Water Rail was calling in the reed beds near Illmitz.

Wednesday, May 23 2012

Our pre-breakfast trip went to the Hansag and the Einser Channel. We observed most species we already had seen on Friday. We were hoping for a closer look to the Great Bustards, and maybe a River Warbler. We weren't lucky this morning. After breakfast we decided to explore the Eastern border of the Seewinkel area. We drove about 10 kilometers on small roads, in fact cycle tracks were cars are allowed, and suddenly we were forced to turn around and drive back. Cars couldn't go further. Bikes could. After this detour we drove to a Natura 2000 protected area, in fact a part of the Leitha valley, North of the village Nickelsdorf. Here we heard our first Yellowhammer and we saw a Honey Buzzard. Just after we had crossed the bridge, we discovered our first (Eastern) Imperial Eagle. After the Imperial Eagle had disappeared we drove through the woods, that looked very promising for woodland birds. We parked the car for a while near a crossroad and in a few minutes we observed several Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a singing Marsh Tit, Yellowhammer and a Tree Pipit. We went north in the direction of Deutsch Jahrndorf. An approaching thunderstorm made us pull over the car, to inspect the very good Hungarian rain radar to see whether we could wait for the thunderstorm to pass. This was our lucky move because I discovered 19 Great Bustards on the fields near the Hungarian border. These Bustards were much closer than the birds in the Hansag, but soon the rain was pouring down and we couldn't see anything. The thunderstorm should last for at least an hour, so we decided to drive to the South West corner of the Neusiedler See.
Within an hour we arrived at the little town Rust, well known for its numerous White Storks breeding on the roofs in the village. The reed beds bordering the Neusiedler See are much larger than the reed beds on the Eastern side of the lake. I believe the birdlife here is even more impressive, with numerous Savi's Warblers, Great Reed Warblers, Great White Egrets and Purple Herons,  but the area is less easy to access due to the few tracks that cross the reed beds to the lake and the presence of much more tourist accommodations like cottages, that have been built in the reeds.Today we couldn't find the Cattle Egret that had been seen a few days ago near Rust. 
Eurasian Bee-eater
We finally visited the famous village Morbisch am See, near the Hungarian border. Unfortunately it seemed impossible to cross the border by car  and drive back to Illmitz through Hungary. But according to the maps it must be possible to round the Southern part of the lake by bicycle. We took the same road back to Neusiedler am See and visited  the Bee-eater colony. Here we also observed a Syrian Woodpecker. This was the only Syrian we could identify during this holiday.

Eurasian Bee-eater

Thursday, May 24 2012

Today we went to Hungary to visit the Fertö-Hansag national park, including a part of the Neusiedler See and the relicts of the Hansag swamps. Again a strong wind was blowing and many birds stayed in cover. Most good observation points couldn't be reached by car, so our observations were restricted to these made from the main roads. We found a Whiskered Tern hunting above a lake near the Southern border of the Neusiedler See. While driving slowly on electricity (we have a Toyota Prius) we heard a singing River Warbler, we saw some Green Woodpeckers and a couple of Honey Buzzards flew above the woods. During a roadside stop we also discovered a Short-toed Treecreper. Due to the restrictions I have with walking, this trip was a little disappointing. We went back to Austria and drove to the Great Bustard spot we had discovered yesterday. Although I had to explore the technical limits of my digiscoping gear, I managed to make some decent pictures of these impressive birds.

Great Bustard
After the Great Bustards, we made our last trip to the Bee-eater colony in Neusiedler am See. Of cause I could make some new pictures.
Eurasian Bee-eater

Just before sunset we again visited the read beds near Illmitz. I was a little bit surprised to discover an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, among a group of Yellow-legged Gulls resting at the Zicksee near Illmitz.

Friday, May 25 2012

I started our final birding day in Austria with a pre-breakfast visit to the reed beds near Illmitz. There was still a lot of wind near the Neusiedler See and it was unusual quiet in the reed beds. The sun also disappeared behind the remains of a thundersturm, so I decided to make a last visit to the Hansag area, hoping for some new photographic opportunities and better light conditions.
Sky Lark

Here I was able to digiscope an Eurasian Sky Lark, as well as male and female Red-backed Shrike.
Red-backed Shrike (male)

Red-backed Shrike (female)

Surprisingly a Common Raven flew above the fields. But the biggest surprise was an immature (Eastern) Imperial Eagle that crossed my road. I was very excited to be able to shoot some pictures with the Canon

Imperial Eagle
After breakfast we decided not to visit the Schneeberg and/or the Hohe Wand but we went to Schloss Eckartsau in the National Park Donau Auen. The reason was that Schloss Eckartsau should have a wheelchair track, so I could enter the woods without walking too much. However, the wheelchair track was virtually impassible for a wheelchair. The park management should shame themselves. During a short and very uncomfortable wheelchair drive, we observed a Green Woodpecker, some Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Spotted Flycatcher, Eurasian Nuthatch, Red-backed Shrikes, Yellowhammer and a large group of Long-tailed Tits.

We again visited the Marchegg reserve and today we were more lucky. We spotted a Beaver in a small stream, Honey Buzzard, Common Buzzards, Imperial Eagle, Black Kite, Common Kestrel and Black Stork were flying above the reserve. A Collared Flycatcher was singing in the Schlosspark.

Common Kestrel

After dinner we made our final visit to the reed beds near Illmitz. We saw in total 7 Black-crowned Night Herons flying above the reed beds.

Black-crowned Night Heron

This evening the birds were very active with singing Great Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers, Savi's Warblers and calling Bearded Tits, Great Bitterns and Little Grebes. We spotted Great White Egrets, Purple Herons, Marsh Harriers, Spoonbills and Pygmy Cormorants flying above the reeds.

Saturday, May 26 2012

Time to return to the Netherlands. The drive to Germany went fast and easy. In about 5 hours we completed the 600 km trip to the Reiterhof in Germany. Before dinner we drove a while through the woods and added Mistle Trush and Coal Tit to our species list.

Sunday, May 27 2012

We finished the last 700 km in about 6 hours. The autobahn provided us with sightings of the usual birds like Common Buzzards, some Black Kites and even a Red Kite. Just after we crossed the border with the Netherlands we observed our last Honey Buzzard of this holiday.

Species List

1. Little Grebe
2. Great Crested Grebe
3. Great Cormorant
4. Pygmy Cormorant
5. Great Bittern
6. Little Bittern (Reed beds Illmitz)
7. Black-crowned Night Heron (Reed beds Illmitz)
8. Great White Egret
9. Purple Heron
10. Blue Heron
11. White Stork
12. Black Stork (Marchegg)
13. Eurasian Spoonbill
14. Mute Swan
15. Greylag Goose
16. Common Shellduck
17. Common Pochard
18. Red-crested Pochard
19. Ferruginous Duck (Reed beds Illmitz)
20. Tufted Duck
21. Mallard
22. Gadwall
23. Northern Shoveler
24. Garganey
25. Common Teal
26. Red Kite (Germany)
27. Black Kite (Marchegg, Donau)
28. Marsh Harrier
29. Montagu's Harrier (Germany, Hansag)
30. Common Buzzard
31. Honey Buzzard
32. Imperial Eagle (Hansag, Marchegg, Nickelsdorf)
33. Eurasian Sparrowhawk
34. Northern Goshawk (Germany)
35. Common Kestrel
36. Grey Partridge (Nickelsdorf)
37. Common Quail
38. Common Phaesant
39. Eurasian Coot
40. Water Rail (Reed beds Illmitz)
41. Spotted Crake (near Illmitz)
42. Little Crake (Reed beds Illmitz)
43. Great Bustard (Hansag, Nickelsdorf)
44. Pied Avocet
45. Black-winged Stilt
46. Little Ringed Plover
47. Kentish Plover
48. Grey Plover
49. Northern Lapwing
50. Dunlin (Sandeck)
51. Curlew Sandpiper (Sandeck, Podersdorf)
52. Wood Sandpiper
53. Common Redshank
54. Common Greenshank
55. Marsh Sandpiper (near Illmitz)
56. Black-tailed Godwitt
57. Eurasian Curlew
58. Whimbrel (migrating Zicksee)
59. Common Snipe
60. Ruff
61. Black-headed Gull
62. Mediterranean Gull
63. Yellow-legged Gull
64. Lesser Black-backed Gull (Zick Lacke)
65. Common Tern
66. Black Tern
67. White-winged Tern
68. Whiskered Tern
69. Stock Dove (Germany)
70. Common Wood Pigeon
71. Eurasian Collared Dove
72. European Turtle Dove
73. Common Cuckoo
74. Short-eared Owl
75. Little Owl
76. Common Swift
77. Eurasian Hoopoe
78. Eurasian Bee-eater (Neusiedl, Weiden)
79. European Green Woodpecker
80. Great Spotted Woodpecker
81. Syrian Woodpecker
82. Eurasian Sky Lark
83. Crested Lark
84. Sand Martin
85. House Martin
86. Barn Swallow
87. White Wagtail
88. Blue-headed Wagtail
89. Tree Pipit
90. Winter Wren (Germany)
91. Dunnock (Germany)
92. European Robin (Germany)
93. Common Nightingale
94. Black Redstart
95. Whinchat
96. European Stonechat
97. Song Thrush
98. Fieldfare (Germany)
99. Mistle Trush (Germany)
100. Common Blackbird
101. Barred Warbler
102. Garden Warbler
103. Blackcap
104. Common Whitethroat
105. Lesser Whitethroat
106. Sedge Warbler
107. Common Grashopper Warbler
108. River Warbler
109. Savi's Warbler
110. European Reed Warbler
111. Marsh Warbler
112. Great Reed Warbler
113. Icterine Warbler
114. Common Chiffchaff
115. Willow Warbler (Germany)
116. Spotted Flycatcher
117. Collared Flycatcher (Marchegg)
118. Great Tit
119. Blue Tit
120. Coal Tit (Germany)
121. Marsh Tit (Nickelsdorf)
122. Long-tailed Tit
123. Bearded Tit
124. Eurasian Penduline Tit
125. Eurasian Nuthatch
126. Short-toed Treecreeper (Hungary)
127. Red-backed Shrike
128. Eurasian Magpie
129. Eurasian Jay (Germany)
130. Rook
131. Carrion Crow (Germany)
132. Hooded Crow
133. Common Raven
134. Common Starling
135. Eurasian Golden Oriole
136. House Sparrow
137. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
138. Common Chaffinch
139. Common Linnet
140. European Goldfinch
141. European Serin
142. European Greenfinch
143. Hawfinch
144. Common Reed Bunting
145. Yellowhammer
146. Corn Bunting

vrijdag 6 mei 2011

Lesbos 29 april 2011 t/m 6 mei 2011

30 april 2011
Na twee jaar weer terug op Lesbos. Nu niet met de Vogelwerkgroep maar met Marga. Groot voordeel was dat ik de beste plekjes al kende en nog redelijk de weg wist. Bovendien kon ik alles op eigen tempo doen. Het ene jaar is het andere niet, dus er waren grote verschillen met soorten en aantallen in vergelijking met vorig jaar. De Yelkouan pijlstormvogels vlogen ons de eerste dagen om de oren. Twee jaar geleden hadden we nog urenlang over zee getuurd en alleen maar Nachtzwaluwen gezien. Maar sommige dingen bleven ook hetzelfde. Binnen een paar uur konden we , Orpheusgrasmus en Maskerklauwier op dezelfde plekjes tussen Petra en Molivos begroeten. Deze Cirlgors fotografeerde ik op bijna dezelfde plek als twee jaar geleden (Raptor Watch Point tussen Kalloni en Petra).

Op de verjaardag van Marga hebben we een kijkje genomen bij de oversteekplaats in de Tsiknias River. Deze lichte Slangenarend vloog hier over.
De show werd hier gestolen door een niet te verstoren Zwarte Ooievaar. Hier gedigiscoopt met de Leica D-lux 4 op de nieuwe 82 mm Leica telescoop
1 mei 2011
De eerste dag zit er alweer op. Het was heerlijk weer bij Molivos. De eerste Roodkopklauwieren lieten zich zien, De Rüppels Grasmus zong, en ik ontdekte ook een Sperwergrasmus. Diep in de struiken dus niet fotografeerbaar. We besloten om naar het beroemde klooster Ipsilou te gaan. Dat viel tegen, het weer sloeg om en het werd koud, winderig en regenachtig een bezoek aan Ipsilou zat er niet in. Onderweg nog wel een Boomleeuwerik en enkele Raven.
Wij hebben de regen uitgezeten in Sigri en hebben daarna de Faneromeni velden bij Sigri verkend. Het waaide hard en het licht was waardeloos, dus geen geslaagde foto's van dit uitstapje met Bonte vliegenvangers, Wielewalen en heel veel Grauwe vliegenvangers. Terug bij Sigri landde deze Oeverloper vlak naast onze auto. De foto is vanuit de auto met de Canon gemaakt.

Daarna hebben we de onverharde weg van Sigri naar Eresos genomen. Inspannend voor de chauffeur en afgezien van de Bruinkeelortolanen en Ortolanen die we zingend aantroffen was er niet veel te beleven. Alhoewel. Kuifleeuweriken zie je op Lesbos overal. Deze zat op een fraai, verroest hek.

2 mei 2011
Twee jaar geleden, waren de Klein Waterhoenen al weggetrokken. Dit jaar waren we een weekje vroeger. En jawel in de vroege uurtjes, troffen we veel vogelaars en meerdere Klein Waterhoenen in Metochi Lake. Hier zongen ook Grote Karekieten, Nachtegalen en Cetti's Zangers. In het riet Woudaapjes en onvolwassen Kwakken. Onderstaande foto van de Klein Waterhoen is gemaakt met de telescoop. Een klein wondertje, want het was bijzonder lastig om een groot genoeg plekje op de eretribune te krijgen. Bovendien was er erg weinig licht en de vogelbleef niet lang op één plekje staan. Voor deze foto heb ik wel wat hinderlijke onscherpe takken en stengels moeten wegklonen

Met de Canon en de 300mm kon het ook, alleen dan minder groot in beeld.
Na het ontbijt zijn we samen met onze nieuwe vogelvriendin Christa richting de zoutpannen vertrokken. De tamheid van de Bosruiters, zoals hieronder afgebeeld is nauwelijks te begrijpen als je de schuwheid van de steltlopers in je eigen leefgebied gewend bent. Alhoewel in de Groene Jonker bij Zevenhoven zie je dit ook wel. Eten is hier belangrijker dan vluchten.
Van de zoutpannen hebben we een uitstapje naar de Alykes wetlands gemaakt. Dit Paapje poseerde langer dan gebruikelijk op één van de uiterst decoratieve roestige hekjes op Lesbos
Ook deze Grauwe Gors wilde graag op de foto. De vogel paste niet helemaal in de zoeker, dus ik heb er een portretje van gemaakt.
De Alykes wetlands waren zeker de moeite waard. Vorkstaartplevieren, Kortteenleeuweriken, drie soorten kleine plevieren en Krombekstrandlopers. De foto's van de Vorkstaartplevieren vielen erg tegen en zijn niet toonbaar.
Na de Alykes Wetlands hebben we toch nog even een bezoekje aan de Tsiknias rivier gebracht. Wel waren we zo stom om de verkeerde kant van de rivier te kiezen. Bovenstaande Arendbuizerd bezorgde ons vele hoofdbrekens, met name omdat de ondersnavel niet intact was.
Deze Bosruiter werkte ook geweldig mee in de natte weide met bloemetjes

Het einde van deze fantastische vogeldag konden we afsluiten met deze foto van een Dwergooruil. Gelukkig zagen we vogelaars op de bekende plek bij het mini voetbalveldje bij Kalloni staan, dus de vogel was snel gevonden.

3 mei 2011

Deze dag begon regenachtig en beloofde niet veel goeds. Echter het weer klaarde al weer snel op en het weer werd weer aangenaam. Lekker zonnetje en niet te warm. Nadat we de Isabeltapuit deze keer wel goed in beeld kregen, werden we bij Sigri verrast door deze Visarend met buit die door een Zilvermeeuwe werd achtervolgd.
Even verderop zong deze prachtige Zwartkopgors op weer zo'n decoratief hekje.

Bij de oversteekplaats in de rivier waren vele Grauwe vliegenvangers actief. Voor het eerst heb ik echt scherpe foto's van deze soort kunnen maken.
4 mei 2011

Vier mei zou weer een echt lange dag worden. Wel vreemd om bij Metochi Lake je vrienden uit Zoetermeer tegen te komen. We wisten niet van elkaar dat we op Lesbos waren. Ik wandelde rustig rond een klein meertje en dan opeens zie je drie zeer bekende gezichten (Winfried, Hanneke en Leon). We zijn samen met Christa onze eigen weg gegaan en hebben de collega's uit Zoetermeer nog op deze Rotsklever gewezen. Andersom werd ons uitgelegd waar we de Turkse Boomklever konden vinden. Deze hebben we inderdaad gevonden, maar fotograferen was er dit jaar niet bij. Op de terugweg bij Mesa troffen we deze Zwarte Ibissen. Zwart? Ik zou denken van niet.Na de lunch in Skala Kallonis hebben we de Tsiknias rivier, nu van de goede kant, afgezocht. Het was een goede dag voor deze plek met een Klein Waterhoen, Woudaapjes en Roodpootvalken in de bomen. Dit Woudaapje kwam zeer ver uit de dekking. Prima te digiscopen, wel uitkijken voor de regendruppels.Het buitje was weer snel over en... toch maar weer even de zoutpannen. Hier waren flink wat Witwangsterns met één Zwarte Stern, Visdieven en Dwergsterns aan het jagen. Frustrerend om met zo weinig scherpstelpunten en een relatief langzame lens door de extender, foto's te moeten maken.
Wat ik erg leuk vond was dat deze Kleine Zilverreiger het prima vond dat ik foto's maakte. De meeste Kleine Zilverreigers zijn vertrokken voordat je maar aan je camera kan denken.
Ook de ralreigers waren hier talrijk aanwezig.
Een een Steltkluut die voor je neus komt zitten, laat je ook niet zonder foto vertrekken (gemaakt met de Canon)
Het hoogtepunt van de avond was de aanwezigheid van twee mannen Roodpootvalk. Ook kwam er hier een Grauwe Kiekendief langsvliegen, die we achteraf aan de hand van de foto's moesten determineren.
Tenslotte werkte in het laatste avondlicht deze Grote Zilverreiger erg goed mee. Digiscopen was er niet bij, daarvoor zat de Zilverreiger te dichtbij. 5 mei
De allerlaatste vogeldag, wilden we het wat rustiger aan doen. Achteraf gezien hadden we beter naar Siri kunnen gaan waar een invasie van Bijeneters plaatsvond. Bij de zoutpannen en langs de Tsiknias rivier was daarentegen niet erg veel nieuws te zien. Deze Kuifleeuwerik wilde wel mooi voor mij poseren.
Ook ben ik blij met deze foto van een Spaanse Mus. Je ziet ze veel, maar zijn meestal weg voordat je ze goed in beeld hebt.
Terwijl ik lekker bezig was met fotograferen, zag ik plotseling een Pelikaan hoog overvliegen. Achteraf bleek ik zo'n beetje de enige op heel Lesbos geweest te zijn, die de vogel heeft ontdekt. Ook was ik in de consternatie vergeten goed te kijken om welke soort het ging. De digiscoopfoto's gaven uitsluitsel: Kroeskoppelikaan. We zijn nog naar de andere kant van de zoutpannen gereden om de vogel te zoeken, maar de vogel was gevlogen.
Voor de allerlaatste keer zijn we de zoutpannen ingereden en deze prachtige Ralreiger in de bloesem was de eerste van een geslaagde serie foto's.
Toen kwam er ook nog een Ralreiger vlak langs vliegen.
En eindelijk lukte het om een Steltkluut fatsoenlijk te digiscopen.
En als toetje voor deze dag kwam de Koereiger, die zeldzaam is op Lesbos, binnen digiscoopafstand.
Via de Napi-vallei en de noordelijke kustweg zijn we naar het hotel bij Eftalou gereden. Voor wie ooit van plan is die kustweg te nemen. Doe het maar niet, tenzij je een 4-wheel drive hebt. We hebben de auto heel bij het hotel gekregen, maar ik kan mij weinig meer van de tocht herinneren.