Cormorants and black redstart in Germany

Bulrush, 4 October 2016

Still the morning of 4 April 2016 near Kamp village in Germany. After we had seen many cranes, and also many great white-fronted geese, wake up and fly from their sleeping quarters to places for eating, we walked back to Kamp. On both sides of the road, marshy areas with bulrush plants.

A sea eagle flies.

Two roe deer cross the road.

Great cormorants, 4 October 2016

A flock of great cormorants flying.

Four barn swallows fly; passing through on migration to Africa.

Trees, 4 October 2016

Closer to Kamp, more trees grow.

On a roof in the village sits a black redstart.

Black redstart, 4 October 2016

And a great tit as well.

House sparrows.

Eurasian cranes wake up, photos

Sunrise, 4 October 2016

As this blog reported, on 3 October 2016 our ship had arrived in Kamp village in Germany. In the evening, we had seen many Eurasian cranes and geese on autumn migration arrive to sleep in the wetlands. Next morning, we went there again, around sunrise.

Cranes waking up on 4 October 2016

Gradually, the cranes woke up.

Cranes waking up, 4 October 2016

Some of them started to fly in the morning light.

More cranes flying

More and more cranes started flying from their sleeping quarters to places where they might find food …

Yet more cranes

… and yet more cranes …

And yet more cranes

… and yet more cranes.

Cranes flying and standing

Though many cranes flew away, for the moment many stayed as well.

Cranes flying

As the sun rose further, more cranes started flying …

Cranes flying away

… encouraging others to fly as well.

Cranes flying away, 4 October 2016

Stay tuned, as there will be more on this blog about 4 October 2016 near Kamp village!

Cranes in Germany: here.

Baltic sea eagles, cranes and storm

This 2016 German video is about wildlife of the Greifswalder Bodden bay and its islands in the Baltic Sea.

This 2014 video is about sailing on the Rügischer Bodden bay in the German Baltic sea.

On Monday 3 October 2016, after yesterday, our ship was supposed to sail from Wieck to Baabe town on Rügen island, across the Rügischer Bodden bay.

Grey seals live there. So do harbour porpoises.

And various duck species.

There is a ‘ghost net‘ problem in this part of the Baltic. There is a project to get these ghost nets out of the sea.

However, storm warnings prevented us from going north. Instead, we went first, before the storm started, east on the sea; then south, on the quieter waters of the Peene river.

At 7:45, we departed from Wieck harbour, saying goodbye to a black-headed gull on a mooring dolphin.

Baltic sea

About thirty mute swans swimming in the sea.

A greater black-backed gull swims. A great cormorant flies.

A two-years-old sea eagle flies. Then, an adult of that species. Sea eagles (or white-tailed eagles), the biggest birds of central Europe, nest here. But many of the eagles here now are on autumn migration from the north-east to the south-west. Like the smallest birds of Europe, goldcrests; and many other species.

Cormorants on artificial island

We pass an artificial island where scores of great cormorants rest.

Sea eagle flies, 3 October 2016

Then, a sea eagle flies to the island. The cormorants leave. Only a hooded crow stays.

Sea eagle sits, 3 October 2016

After the eagle had landed on the island, some of the cormorants came back.

Along the Peenestrom, three sea eagles sit on a tree. A herring gull swims.

We pass Grosser Wotig island, a nature reserve.

Sea eagles

Two eagles on the bank. Many ducks and grey lag geese behind them. And a common gull. Teal. We hear a bearded reedling sound from the reed bed.

Sea eagle flying, 3 October 2016

Another white-tailed eagle flying.

At 11:55, over 100 northern lapwings fly past. And two red kites.

12:30: we arrive at the bridge in Wolgast town.

Great black-backed gulls

On the mooring dolphins, great black-backed gulls rest.

This video shows two great black-backed gulls in Wolgast along the Peenestrom river.

I see something less attractive as well. On the shipyard of Wolgast, the Peenewerft, a ship is built. The letters on the ship, in English and Arabic, say its name: Jeddah. And: Saudi border guard. A part of the armed forces of the Saudi absolute monarchy. So, some German millionaire is profiting from the bloody war of that absolute monarchy on the people of Yemen.

Black-headed gulls on poles, 3 October 2016

We pass common gulls and black-headed gulls sitting on poles. A herring gull swims in front of them.

A comma butterfly passes the ship.

15:50: two Caspian terns pass.

16:00: fifteen cranes pass.

Peene river

We are almost at our destination, the harbour of Kamp village.

Early in the evening, we walk inland from Kamp, to see thousands of geese and cranes arrive to sleep in the wetlands.

There will be more on these birds in later blog posts; so, stay tuned!

Altai mountains book, its author interviewed

This video from the Netherlands says about itself:

Reconnecting with landscape in a globalized world. | Arita Baaijens | TEDxHaarlem

1 June 2015

Contemporary maps leave out the human connection, the sense of awe one feels standing face to face with the mountains, the taste of its water, the messages carried by the wind. To really understand our position and establish a sense of place in a rapidly changing world we need to revise our maps and add the human connection.

Arita Baaijens is an explorer, biologist, author, photographer, and fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, the Explorers Club, the Long Riders Guild, and WINGS Worldquest, who recently selected her for one of their distinguished awards.

The Dutch adventurer has already completed over 25 desert expeditions on camel throughout Egypt and Sudan. She is the first woman to have crossed the Western Desert of Egypt solo on camel and the first Western woman to have travelled the Forty Days Road on camel twice. In Mauritania she photographed the last surviving female caravaneers.

Currently Arita Baaijens travels and works in Siberia and Central Eurasia, to research sacred landscapes and traditional cultures. In 2013 she was the first to circumambulate the Altai Golden Mountains in the heart of Eurasia: 4 countries, 101 days, 1500 km on horseback. March 2015 the Spanish Geographical Society honored Arita Baaijens as Traveler of the year.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

This December 2015 Dutch video is about Ms Baaijens’ new book, about her journey to and in the Altai mountains.

That book, Zoektocht naar het paradijs, was on a shortlist of five books for this year’s Jan Wolkers Prize, the prize for best Dutch natural history book; though it did not win.

Ms Baaijens was the first one of three prize nominated authors to lecture on 16 October 2016 in the Lakenhal museum. Though it was more of an interview than a lecture: with as interviewer Ms Anneke Naafs, of Vroege Vogels radio. Both ladies wore high heels. A bit of a contrast with the subject of the book, an often arduous journey through mountains and valleys of Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia and China. A journey in which Arita Baaijens did not avoid potential dangers; and where, like in an airplane which may crash, high heel shoes should be removed.

The Altai mountains, Ms Baaijens said, are on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Not anywhere else had she seen so many beautiful wild flowers.

Snow leopards live there.

Arita Baaijens talked about the Karakol valley in the Russian part of the Altai.

Some of the local people are Christians; some are Tengrist, an ancient Central Asian religion:

Historically, it was the prevailing religion of the Turks, Mongols, and Hungarians, as well as the Xiongnu and the Huns.

Ms Baaijens told that Altai people were careful about Erlik, the god of the underworld and death.

How can tensions between these ideas of local people, and other ideas, like of scientists, be dealt with? she asked herself.

Arita Baaijens intends to go to Papua New Guinea for her next journey.

Next in the Lakenhal that day came a lecture on crabs, lobsters and other crustaceans. So, stay tuned!

Caspian tern and bearded reedling

Uckermark cattle, 2 October 2016

We arrived on Koos island in Germany on 2 October 2016. We saw these Uckermark cattle there. This cattle breed was originally reared in 1972, the German Democratic Republic time. They are good for stopping marshy areas from over growing.

Uckermark cattle on 2 October 2016

This German video is about Koos island.

Warden Roland Abraham told us about birds which had nested on Koos in 2016. These were the nesting couples numbers:

6-8 corn bunting
4-6 shelduck
12 avocet
1 oystercatcher
1 ringed plover
1 little ringed plover
2 red-breasted merganser
22 northern lapwing
6-8 redshank
10-15 bearded reedling
7-10 water rail
1-2 short-eared owl
2 bluethroat

As for migratory birds, staying there in the fall of 2015, the numbers of individuals were:

3800 Eurasian crane
20,000-40,000 starlings, sleeping in the reed beds
160 Caspian tern
5000 golden plover
5000 northern lapwing
500-800 barnacle geese
50-80 curlews

During spring migration, 20,000 scaups. 50,000 barn swallows used to rest here.

Pomerania, 2 October 2016

We see a wigeon flying. And two shelducks flying.

Ringed plovers and dunlin on the ground.

A Caspian tern flies past.

As we walk back, a young bearded reedling in a reed bed.

Whitethroat, 2 October 2016

A whitethroat on a bush. Probably, this bird is on migration.

Whitethroat, on 2 October 2016

On the horizon, a church tower.

Church tower, 2 October 2016

Our guides hoped to see corn buntings, but I did not see any.

We have lunch at the home of Hans Joosten, a Dutch ecology professor living here. He tells us about his activities in restoring peat bog biodiversity in various countries.

In the afternoon, we see a sea eagle on a tree.

Pomerania, afternoon 2 October 2016

In a coastal tidal zone, we see an adult and a juvenile Caspian tern.

Then, in Wampen village, 15:55: house sparrows.

This video shows an aerial view of Wampen and Greifswald.

16:10, Greifswald harbour: a black-headed gull.

Then, to Wieck harbour, where our ship had arrived meanwhile.

A great black-backed gull on top of a wind vane.

Mallards, a mute swan and an adult herring gull swimming.

A magpie flying.

German Baltic coastal birds and water buffalo

Greifswald harbour, 2 October 2016

On 2 October 2016, our first full day after our arrival in Germany on 1 October, we woke up on board of our ship in the harbour of Greifswald town.

A great black-backed gull on the top of a ship’s mast. A kestrel flying. A black redstart singing.

An old tower near the harbour, a relic of the now disappeared city wall of Greifswald.

Greifswald, old tower near harbour, 2 October, 2016

A grey heron on the harbour bank.

We went to the coastal area north of Greifswald.

From the car I see hooded crows, and groups of starlings and gray lag geese.

We arrive at the Karrendorfer Wiesen nature reserve.

Karrendorfer Wiesen, 2 October 2016

A dunlin flock.

We walk to a hide.

Hide, 2 October 2016

From the hide: two great egrets flying. Three years ago, in Pomerania, was the first ever nest in Germany of that species.

Pintail ducks. Teal. A goshawk tries to catch ducks.

Far away, a sea eagle.

A great cormorant flies.

We pass a place where during this autumn migration season some 50-70 meadow pipits spend the night.

Bearded reedling sounds from the reed beds.

A marsh harrier flies.

Karrendorfer Wiesen on 2 October 2016

The weather is cloudy, but dry.

Karrendorfer Wiesen on 2 October-2016

Some water buffalo graze here, to prevent the area from becoming overgrown.

Water buffalo, 2 October 2016

We approach Koos island, linked to the continent by a causeway.

Stay tuned!

Little dinosaur, belemnites, dukes in Pomeranian State Museum

This March 2016 video is about the Pommersches Landesmuseum, the Pomeranian State Museum in Greifswald town in Germany.

This 2015 video is about the Pommersches Landesmuseum as well.

As this blog has mentioned, we arrived there on 1 October 2016.

Not far from the museum entrance was the paleontology room.

There, the fossil, discovered in 1963, of Emausaurus ernstii. An ornithischian young dinosaur … well, by now about 190 million years old, so from the early Jurassic. The name refers to the Ernst Moritz Arndt University. This ornithischian, herbivorous dinosaur was about one meter in size.

Later in the Jurassic, the land of what is now Pomerania became sea; and remained so during the Cretaceous.

In the museum were fossils of Cretaceous cephalopods, belemnites, of the Belemnella genus.

Belemnella lanceolata

This picture shows a Belemnella lanceolata.

A bit further in the museum, amber, about forty million years old.

Still further, humans in the prehistory and history of Pomerania.

In the early Middle Ages, its inhabitants were Slavic tribes, practicing a polytheist religion. However, the Christian German empire attacked them. In the twelfth century, the Slavic dukes of Pomerania could only keep their dukedom by converting to Christianity, recognizing the German emperors as their overlords, and destroying the pagan temples.

In the sixteenth century, another conversion for the dukes and people of Pomerania: from Roman Catholicism to Protestantism. This is documented by an important item in the museum: the Croy Tapestry from 1544.

Croy Tapestry

In the seventeenth century, the ducal dynasty became extinct, and the kings of Sweden became the rulers. The harsh serfdom for the peasants in Pomerania became a model for the oppression of the peasantry in Sweden proper.

Stay tuned! As soon as the photos will be sorted out, there will be more blog posts here on the German Baltic Sea region, especially its birdlife.