Wagbachniederung & Saalbachniederung – 10,000 Birds

For some time I used to be contemplating along with Jacob, whom I met on Helgoland throughout my month of volunteering on the chook observatory there, to fulfill up for a brief birding outing on a weekend. Jacob instructed the Wagbachniederung, a widely known wetland that’s notably widespread amongst photographers for being one of many few places in Germany the place Purple Herons breed. Though a pretty chook, this species was not of explicit curiosity to me as I’ve seen it numerous occasions after I lived in South Africa (and isn’t current there right now of yr anyway), however the space has way more on supply. Particularly throughout spring, a lot of specials will be recorded within the wetland, and we had been hoping for some early passage migrants.

We strolled round fairly casually as we additionally loved merely updating one another about what we’ve been as much as provided that we hadn’t seen one another for 5 months. We nonetheless targeted on the birds after all and noticed fairly a very good variety of species, though few had been surprising. The assorted waterbodies held Northern Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Widespread Pochard, Gadwall, European Teal, Nice Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, and numerous different waterbirds. We had been hoping for Bearded Reedling within the expansive reedbeds, however to no avail. We did nonetheless see a number of Widespread Reed Buntings, that are all the time pleasant birds. The spotlight nonetheless was a Black-necked Grebe in full breeding plumage at quick distance – simply my finest sighting of this very enticing chook. Eurasian Greenfinch, Widespread Chaffinch, Brambling, Marsh Tit, Willow Tit, and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk had been current within the extra wooded verges of the wetland. A Gray Heron appeared fairly comical because it appeared misplaced proper in the midst of one of many ponds.

Tufted Duck
Gray Heron

We determined to go to the Saalbachniederung as nicely, a close-by expanse of open meadow and wetland and a brief prepare experience away. Arriving on the Saalbachniederung after a scenic bike experience from the station of Graben-Neudorf, we had been greeted by displaying Eurasian Skylarks and White Storks in courtship. Meadow Pipits had been additionally round in good numbers, and a European Stonechat was utilizing a tree as a vantage level to scan the environment. A male Hen Harrier was a lovely sight because it quartered low over the grassland, and a Widespread Raven additionally flew previous. Just about all the identical waterbirds had been current within the small lake, however we additionally had Northern Lapwing and Widespread Snipe. A Gray-headed Woodpecker referred to as from a clump of bushes that additionally held a Mistle Thrush.

White Wagtail

Because it began to get darkish we cycled again to the station from the place I took the prepare to close by Heidelberg the place I stayed for the evening. Earlier than taking the prepare again to Bonn the following morning, I watched a Purple Squirrel that someway ended up on a ledge on a constructing wall and was misplaced for fairly some time till it managed to steadiness over a cable to get again right into a tree.

Purple Squirrel

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