East Germany 14 to 19 May 2006

Robin Prytherch and Roger White

Based on Hotel Am Seetor, Angermunde

14 May. Afternnon flight Bristol to Berlin Schoenfeld, then on to Angermunde. Black Kite and 2 Montague’s Harriers en route.

15 May 2006. Brodowin. Birds in the village included Serin and Black Redstart and White Stork at its nest. Then circular walk around Brodowinsee through woodland and open fields, and birds seen included Cranes in the field, Golden Orioles, Woodlark, Hen Harrier and very close Lesser Spotted Woodpecker views. Also Whinchat and Corn Bunting and a Red-backed Shrike, Garden Warbler, Lesser and Common Whitethroat but no Barred Warbler. From a hill on the esat side of the lake there were no lake views because of trees, but looking south west there was a distant displaying Honey Buzzard.

A walk back through the beech woods towards Chorin revealed Wood Warbler, Pied and Spotted Flycatchers, Black Woodpecker, GS and Green Woodpecker but no Middle Spotted Woodpecker.

16 May 2006. A day in the Lower Oder National park. Hired bicycles at the Wildnischule near Gartz. Good views here of Black and Middle Spotted Woodpecker. The stretch of path north from the Teerofen bridge was alive with birds. A lot of bird song in the bushes and swampy areas on the left from Thrush Nightingales and Garden Warblers. Also Red-backed Shrike, and white headed Long-tailed tits here. In the open areas of polder on our right the number of birds was quite disappointing considering the ideal terrain. Duck includedGarganey22mar06Frome Garganey and Gadwall. Lapwing was the only wader. Grasshopper Warbler singing.

Continuing north there was a fine Rosefinch singing from the top of a bush. Around the corner on the return circuit heading south east the terrain was different – a bit dryer, and we found Blue-headed Wagtail, Whinchat and calling Corncrakes. We cut back right along a rougher track to the bridge, north west. The round trip was about 8 km. The whole circuit on this polder is more than 20km. Raptors included Black Kites and Buzzard.

At Criewen during a walk through the polder were Serin and Black Woodpecker again. a Hobby flew over, and there was a Goosander on the canal. Black Kite again and 7 Cranes flew by. Across the river Oder over Poland was a pair of flying Lesser Spotted Eagle.

17 May 2006. Felchow see. at the small lake were singing Savi’s Warbler, and some new duck – including Shoveler and Pochard. Red-necked Grebe 3 Marsh Harriers, 4 Bearded Tit, Blue headed Wagtail and Woodlark. Cranes were calling from the woods on the hill. A short walk in the woods – more Golden Orioles (they seemed to be in every wood we visited) and elusive song birds among which were Marsh Tits and Spotted Flycatcher. On the main lake were 20+ Black-necked Grebes.
Headed then to the Blumberg wood for the Lesser Spotted Eagle site. On the way we stopped for a view and were diverted by a singing Icterine Warbler. After some patient watching a Lesser Spotted Eagle was watched drifting over the trees. Other raptors here were Black and Red Kites and 2 Honey Buzzards. On return to Angermunde a short stop at a muddy field pond was very rewarding: We stopped to view a White Stork but also found 2 Temminck’s Stints, and a Wood Sandpiper as well as a Little Ringed Plover sitting on its nest. (a visit here 2 years later was disappointing because it was overgrown with reeds).

Near Biesenbrow was a ring tail Montague’s Harrier and at the Hintenteiche (ponds) at Biesenbrow were breeding Common Terns and Little Ringed Plover on muddy islands and a Marsh Warbler. which provided telescope views as it sang on the edge of a reed bed in the middle of a ploughed field. Finally that day a stop at the fishponds near the Blumberger Muhle Naturschutz station provided a flypast by a couple of White-tailed eagles.

18 May Back to Brodowin to have another search for Barred Warbler and were rewarded with a singing male. It was elusive as it flew from bush to bush and sometimes to the top of a tree during its song flight. It gave brief views showing only a little barring and so was probably a first year bird. The white tail tips showed well in flight. Mosquitoes ++ here – even though it was quite cold. Left for the airport after this but the journey was slow because the Autobahn blocked by of an overturned oil tanker. Threaded our way through the suburbs of Berlin to arrive just in time for the 1.45 flight to Bristol.

Total species: 114.

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