Goose flies with avocets, photo


Barnacle goose flies with avocets

This photo shows a barnacle goose flying with avocets.

The photo is by duyfje from the Netherlands.

Dunlin and short-eared owl in Germany


Dunlin, 7 October 2016

Still 7 October 2016. After the journey by ship across the Baltic sea, with its goldcrests, had ended, we went to Freesendorfer Wiesen nature reserve. Where this dunlin on autumn migration was. With a few black spots left from its summer plumage black belly.

Near the entrance, a sea eagle sits on a pole.

About thirty barnacle geese. Hundreds of wigeon.

Two little gulls. A northern lapwing.

Dunlin, 7 October 2016

A small dunlin flock along the shore. Sometimes, cleaning their feathers.

Four cranes flying.

Then, a short-eared owl flying.

A northern wheatear on a wire.

A parasol mushroom.

Goldcrests and eagle of the Baltic Sea


This video is about ducks, herring gulls and black-headed gulls of the German Baltic Sea.

After 6 October, 7 October 2016 was our last full day of birdwatching in the German Baltic sea region.

We sailed from Peenemünde to Freest, near the Struck peninsula.

Ship on Baltic Sea, 7 October 2016

Our ship started at 8am. The storm had stopped, but it was still rainy.

Great black-backed gulls. Great cormorants. The sea eagle still sitting on the same pole as yesterday.

Two coots swimming.

A velvet scoter swims and flies away.

A robin passes the ship.

Still smaller birds are on migration.

Goldcrest, 7 October 2016

The smallest birds of Europe: goldcrests.

Goldcrest on 7 October 2016

They rest on the ship, tired of flying over the sea.

Goldcrest on ship on 7 October 2016

Their feathers are wet because of the rain.

Goldcrest on sail, 7 October 2016

They try to get shelter from the rain in the sails.

Goldcrest on a sail on 7 October 2016

Goldcrest on a sail, 7 October 2016

When the ship came closer to the shore, the goldcrests left to continue their migration.

Stay tuned, as we still saw more birds on that day.

Goldcrests and sea eagles in Germany


Goldcrest, 6 October 2016

As I wrote, on 6 October 2016 we arrived in the harbour of Peenemünde in east Germany. We walked to a park not so far away. There, we saw in the bushes various goldcrests, like the one on this photo; looking for insects to feed on. October is autumn migration time for goldcrests. Many arrive then in Germany from northern or eastern Europe.

Peenemünde was notorious in World War II for its base of V1 and V2 nazi weapons. We had passed the big military building; now a museum.

Great cormorants, Peenemünde, 6 October 2016

Past the park, we walked to the shore. Great cormorants resting along the water. Behind us, mainly coniferous trees; with, again, goldcrests.

A birch tree; with proof on it of a beaver gnawing.

Fly agaric, 6 October 2016

On the way back, a fly agaric mushroom.

Sea eagle sits among cormorants, 6 October 2016

The great cormorants were still there. But by then, a white-tailed eagle kept them company. Just like October is migration time for Europe’s smallest birds, goldcrests; it is also migration time for these sea eagles, the biggest birds of northern Europe.

Sea eagle flying, 6 October 2016

A bit later, the eagle flew away.

Great cormorants on 6 October 2016

But the cormorants stayed.

We went back to the ship. Tomorrow, on 7 October, we would sail the Baltic Sea. So, stay tuned!

Swans, cormorants, and storm in Germany


Stormy weather in Germany, 6 October 2016

After 5 October 2016, on 6 October, we sailed from Kamp village on the Stettiner Haff lagoon in Germany. As there was storm, we did not sail further than the estuary, not continuing on the rough Baltic Sea. Already inland, there were white waves.

At 7:45, our ship departed. Great cormorants flying.

In October, migrating cranes arrive here; as we had already seen. This morning, again flying cranes.

Great cormorants, 6 October 2016

At a bridge, great cormorants resting.

Herring gull, 6 October 2016

Also great black-backed gulls. And this herring gull.

Two scaup ducks swimming.

Mute swans, 6 October 2016

And many more mute swans.

Grosser Wotig island, 6 October 2016

We pass Grosser Wotig island. When we passed it north to south a few days ago, this wetland island was mainly land. Now, however, when we pass the island from the south to the north, the storm means that many reed beds and the lower parts of fences are under water. Cormorants and other birds can still use the upper parts for resting.

A little gull flies.

Mute swans flying 6 October 2016

A flock of flying mute swans passes.

Village, 6 October 2016

We pass the village north of Grosser Wotig.

We sail on the Peenestrom.

We reach Peenemünde, where this river flows into the Baltic Sea.

Peenemunde, 6 October 2016

Great cormorants rested at the harbour.

This area is well-known for sea eagles.

We will meet them in the next blog post about Peenemünde. So, stay tuned!

Red kites, raven and storm in Germany


This 2013 video shows grey seals off Greifswalder Oie island, in the Baltic Sea off the German coast.

On 5 October 2016, we were supposed to sail from Rügen island to the smaller Greifswalder Oie.

On Greifswalder Oie is a bird ringing station.

However, storm meant we never went to Rügen, let alone Greifswalder Oie.

Even in the inland river harbour of Kamp village, the storm brough many waves and much rain. So, after 4 October, on 5 October the ship stayed at Kamp.

Near the harbour, great cormorants swimming. A grey heron flying.

The storm is from the north-east. That helps most birds on autumn migration now. We saw barn swallows. And a flock of starlings.

A sea eagle flying.

On the ground, a parasol mushroom.

Twice, a red kite flies past.

And just before we arrived back at the harbour, a raven flew.

Great cormorant drying wings, Germany 5 October 2016

Storm or no storm, rain or shine, like yesterday, still many great cormorants around their nesting colony.

Great egrets, Germany, 5 October 2016

Like yesterday, most cranes had left the wetland where they had slept. But there were still plenty of other birds, like great egrets and ducks.

Birch trees, 5 October 2016

Storm or no storm, rain or shine, like yesterday, still many birch trees.

Footpath, 5 October 2016

Storm or no storm, rain or shine, like yesterday, the old railway track, now footpath, was still there.

Beaver traces, 5 October 2016

Storm or no storm, rain or shine, like yesterday, the traces of beavers gnawing on trees were still there.

Beaver traces, on 5 October 2016

Fallen birch trees, 5 October 2016

Finally, beautiful mushrooms. I wish I knew which species. But there are thousands of fungi species …

Mushrooms, 5 October 2016

Birds and dragonflies in Germany


This video shows a sea eagle, and a mute swan, on Rügen island in the Baltic sea in north-east Germany.

On 4 October 2016, we were supposed to be on Rügen.

However, a storm which caused flooding meant we could not sail on the sea, but had to stay in the interior near Kamp village.

After seeing the cranes and the rest of our early morning walk, we started a longer walk.

Songbirds are migrating to the south this month. We see scores of goldfinches.

Kamp, 4 October 2016

We walk on an old railway track. In Adolf Hitler’s days, trains here went to Peenemünde V2 missile base. After the war, the rails were removed, and a footpath remained.

Great cormorants on 4 October 2016

Many great cormorants sitting in leafless trees. And hundreds of them fishing together in the water.

An edible frog jumps.

A meadow pipit flies.

Emperor dragonfly male, Germany, 4 October 2016

In the bushes, various dragonflies rest. Like this male emperor dragonfly.

Sympetrum dragonfly, 4 October 2016

And also smaller species. I think this is a male Sympetrum dragonfly. I am not sure which species, as quite some related species look rather similar.

Dragonfly, 4 October 2016

And of this small dragonfly I am not even sure which genus it is.

We pass some cranes which stayed in this wetland after most others flew away to feed on fields.

Beavers live there, as trees with obvious traces of gnawing show.

Great cormorant nests, Germany, 4 October 2016

We pass great cormorant nests. They are empty now; the young birds have fledged.

Birch trees, 4 October 2016

Birch trees. A great spotted woodpecker flies to one of them.

On another tree, a nuthatch.

A flock of barnacle geese.

Shoveler ducks.

Wetland near Kamp, 4 October 2016

A water vole crosses the footpath.

Wetland near Kamp on 4 October 2016

We arrive back on the road. Not many cars, but still they are dangerous for the many caterpillars crossing. They are pale tussock caterpillars. The Dutch name for this species is meriansborstel, Merian’s brush; named after famous seventeenth century naturalist and painter of insects Maria Sibylla Merian.

We arrive back in Kamp.

At 18:05, to the cranes again. Many arrive for sleeping; including juveniles. Behind them, barnacle geese.

Black-bellied plovers in winter plumage.

Dunlin.

A juvenile Caspian tern cleanses its feathers.

At 18:30, 670 cranes have arrived for sleeping.

Gadwall ducks land on the water.