Brandenburg Germany 11/14 March 2005

Eight members of the Bristol Ornithological Club arrived at Berlin Schönefeld in the evening and drove west to Semlin for a 3 day birdwatching trip.

12 March. Grey, very cold with a strong west wind. We failed to find any Great Bustards at Buckow. Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier, 100 Cranes here. A lot of Gülper See was frozen, but there were Whooper Swans Smewand huge numbers of geese (20,000+). These were Bean, White-front and Greylag. 4 Smew, a lot of Goosander and many other duck. Two White-tailed Eagle.

13 March Very cold again, but less windy and brighter. It had snowed overnight. Travelled to the south shore of Gülper OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASee. Five more Rough-legged Buzzards and Hen Harriers were added. Geese were everywhere. The tower hide gave good views of Whooper Swans and Bean Geese, and, and a distant Eagle. In the small pine wood were Crested and Willow tit, and superb views of an initially elusive Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. In the afternoon headed south to Belzig and near Baitz we were rewarded by a group of 29 feeding Great Bustards. Also here were three Hen Harriers (2 male). Headed east to Lubben for the night.

14 March
Still very cold but sunny. Waxwings were seen on the pre breakfast walk, and the rest of the team caught up with them in a garden opposite the Toyota Garage. 29 were feeding here. At the fish ponds a Black Woodpecker arrived on cue, and another Lesser Spotted Woodpecker showed briefly. An Eagle appeared overhead as we walked south through the snow, and circled above us. After an excellent morning walk we headed north to Berlin for the 1405 flight to Bristol.

We had recorded 80 species in total.

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