West Havelland, Brandenburg 21 to 24 October 2012

Roger White and Stephen Daly

This was a ‘fam’ (Familiarisation visit) in preparation for the tours by Limosa and Travelling Naturalist starting in 2013.

22 October Semlin. At the lake were Great Egrets, Black-headed, Common and Herring Gull. Tree Sparrows. At the lake near Ferchesar there was not  much on the water, but Goldcrest and Marsh Tit in the pines, and Redpolls flew over. On to Buckow, via Nennhausen. A short stop in the side road just after crossing the railway bridge, where there were 6 Buzzards and scattered Lapwings. At the main tower hide Great-Bustard-flock-Germany_4496[1]were 3 Hen Harriers. Common Buzzards +, some very pale, but surprisingly, no Rough-legged Buzzards. No Great Bustards seen from the hide. but there were 36 (33 females) were feeding in a rape field near Buschow. Near Haage  was a flock of ca 2000 Lapwings and 200 Golden Plover, and 12 male Common-Cranes_4525[1]Great Bustards.  Lot of Cranes in the fields around here.

A walk in the woodland near Nennhausen failed to produce either Black or Middle Spotted Woodpecker – just Great Spotted and Marsh Tits.  Next stop Linum ponds for the Crane roost, At 1700 Geese and Cranes were already arriving in large numbers. Amazing noise. 60,000 Cranes had been counted the previous day. 50 Great Egrets had already arrived.

23 October
Left at 0900 through Parey to Gülpe See via Große Graben Niederung.  Mainly Greylags in the fields. Yellow Hammers, Reed and Corn Buntings. On the approach to Gülpe  there was a Rough-legged Buzzard at last. Misty view of the lake  from the main hide. Variety of duck here including a Redhead Smew. A Goshawk flew in. nearby. There were two White-Sea-Eaglr_4619[1]tailed Eagles on the left in trees. One gave great views as it flew past us in front of the hide. Lot of small birds in the woodland here (as usual) They included Crested Tit, Marsh Tit, Willow Tit, Brambling. Went round to north bank of the lake. 3 Rough-legged Buzzard, flock of Fieldfare. Stopped at the Pump house for lunch.  2 more Rough-legged Buzzard, and a large flock of Corn Bunting. Crossed the river towards Havelberg. Hen Harrier and two Great Grey Shrikes on the way, seen from the car.

24 October
Strengsee. Good views of Bean Geese in the stubble and great BeardBean-Geese-juvs_4737[1]ed Tit views. Whooper Swans, Great Egrets, Wigeon, Shoveler.
On the way back to the airport a Black Woodpecker flew across in front  of the car. We stopped at the south shore Großer Müggelsee, south Berlin. However the birds were too far away to identify, since they were all on the north side of the lake. On the previous day Red-necked, Slavonian and Black-necked Grebe had been seen as well as a Black-throated Diver.

Species List October 2012
Whooper Swan – 4 Strengsee
Geese. Large numbers everywhere, mostly Bean Geese, feeding in the fields, on the water at the lakes and ponds or flying over. The roost at Linum must have contained over 10,000.
White-fronted Goose.
Bean Goose
Greylag Goose
Tufted Duck
Goldeneye – few at Gülper See
Smew – 1 Gülper See
Common Crane – flocks of varying sizes were common in the fields and huge numbers came to the Linum Roost
Great Egret – commonly seen. 50 at Linum roost
Red Kite – ca 10
Hen Harrier – ca 10
Sparrow Hawk – 4
Goshawk – One Gülper See
Merlin – 1
Kestrel -5
Common Buzzard – very common
Rough-legged Buzzard – 7
White-tailed Eagle – 7
Great Bustard – 48 seen. In two flocks in the Buckow area
Golden Plover – 2 flocks, with Lapwings
Lapwing – flocks of up to 2,000
Kingfisher – 1 on the canal near Liepe
Black Woodpecker – 1
Swallow – 1
Black Redstart – 1
Great Grey Shrike – 4
Bearded Tit – 3 groups at Strengsee
Willow Tit 2
Marsh Tit – 6
Crested Tit – 2
Tree Sparrow – common
Brambling – 2 flocks
Siskin – surprisingly, only 1
Redpoll – small numbers
Corn Bunting – several flocks of 50+

Also seen: Mute Swan, Mallard, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Moorhen, Coot, BH, Common and Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon Collared Dove, Green, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Goldcrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Nuthatch, Tree Creeper sp, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Hooded Crow, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Yellow Hammer.
Total Species – 83

Surprising Omissions: White Wagtail, Coal Tit, Dunnock

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