Monday 13 July 2015

Yellow-legged Gull & Little Ringed Plover!!!

.... AND Eurasian Blackbird & Eurasian Oystercatcher!

It's been a good couple weeks, in Germany ;)

I'm here for a total of 6 weeks. Four for a medical elective, the other 2 for travelling time, visiting relatives, and of course, birding!

One of the highlights has been the opportunity to start learning some of the songs of European species. My previous trips to the continent have been outside of the breeding season.

A common singer is the European Greenfinch:

This headless raptor is a Common Buzzard - easily the most common raptor in my area of Germany (Düsseldorf):

Common Wood-Pigeons are extremely common - and quite distinctive in flight. Good to know in case one ends up somewhere it shouldn't ;)

One species I really wanted to get good looks at is the White Wagtail. They are uncommon here, but widespread so I often see a handful during a morning of birding. This one was not aware of my presence when it landed nearby: 
They really are quite distinctive in flight with their long tails, stream-lined body, bounding flight, and prototypical flight calls - really worth learning the flight calls if you don't already know it!

When that wagtail landed close-by, I was crouched down low sitting still hoping these guys would make their way closer to me:
Little Ringed Plovers - these shorebirds are very shy, more so than the other similar plover species I have observed in Canada.

But one was more than just shy, it was so scared it couldn't walk anymore and decided to crouch down low in hopes that I wouldn't see it: 

This European Goldfinch got in the way while I was trying to photograph one of the plovers:

Fieldfares are declining big time in Germany. In Düsseldorf they've dropped 90% in the past 15 years!! And there is only an estimated 4-7 pairs breeding in the area. So I was surprised to come across this Fieldfare, let alone the rest of its family (which I unfortunately didn't get photos of):
Not a good stat, especially considering I haven't seen one on the other side of the pond!

Ruddy Shelducks are common in the right habitat:

More photos tomorrow!

This weekend I'm headed to Poland - judging by Google maps it looks like a good spot for birding so stay tuned ;)