Tuesday 14 July 2015

More photos from Germany

As promised, here are some more photos from my first 2 weeks in Germany.

Red-backed Shrikes are scarce breeders throughout the country so I was excited when I ran into a birder who told me about one he had just seen. I went straight to the spot and was thrilled to see not one but eventually 6 Red-backed Shrikes!!

There were 2 adults and 4 fresh juveniles still growing in their first set of flight feathers:

The adults were actively hunting a grassy field to bring back food for their youngsters. The juveniles were also testing out some berries from the trees, not sure if they ate them though.

Here you can see 3 of the 4 young ones: 

Common Buzzards are quite similar to Rough-legged Hawks - they also hover regularly.

A key feature to separate Common Buzzard from Rough-legged Buzzard/Hawk is the tail pattern. The Common Buzzard has a pale band across the lower breast that separates the dark upper breast from the belly. Also, the Rough-legged Hawk has a white inner tail above and below. The Common Buzzard has more grey in this area.

Red-backed Shrikes are called "Neuntöters" in German - directly translated, this means "killer of nine"...

Sky Larks are, surprisingly, increasing in population in the region. I'm not sure if or what the explanation for that pattern may be.

Eurasian Oystercatcher:

Yellow-legged Gull - one of 4 I have seen so far.
This is a different sub-species from the one we see in Newfoundland. It is noticeably paler than the YL Gulls I am familiar with back home:

And a beluga: