This is an abbreviated report of a Bristol Ornithological Club visit
Monday 15 October
A group of 12 flew from Bristol to Berlin, arriving 1615 pm local time. Picked up a 9 seater Ford minibus and 4 seat Citroen estate). After some delays due to roadworks we arrived at Semlin at 1930. 7.30 pm. Supper at the Bauenstübchen restaurant.
Tuesday 16 October
Left at 8.30 am and headed towards Buckow, stopping on the way at a Black and Middle Spotted Woodpecker site near Nennhausen. Were unlucky with these but had Marsh Tits, Goldcrest, Short-toed Treecreeper, and Nuthatches +. At Buckow there was a small group of Great Bustards in a rape field near the road. A ringtail Harrier and a flock of Corn Bunting were seen well on the way to the main hide. From the hide were. A special sighting here was our first White-tailed Eagle flying with 3 Red Kites. East of Buckow was another group of 34 female Bustards, again in a rape field. just north of Barnewitz. 14 males were then found at another site near the village of Haage, Red Kites here and a small flock of Golden Plover flew by.
A lot of Cranes in the fields on the way to Linum. Drove down to the Fischerei and walked around the ponds Great Egrets +, and a variety of duck inc Gadwall, Pochard, and Wigeon and Shoveler. A Black Woodpecker flew over and a Merlin was seen from the first hide. In the distance 2 White-tailed Eagles were sitting in a tree. Chiffchaff, Siskins and a single Redpoll were added. Bearded Tits were both seen and heard and a Penduline tit nest was found and photographed. Also Willow Tit here. At the sluice we watched the arrival of the Cranes, and finally tore ourselves away from this spectacular sight at 1830. Yesterday’s count had been over 90,000 !
Wednesday 17 October
Left hotel at 8.30 am. Tree Sparrows, Siskins and Marsh Tits on a feeder near the hotel. The first geese were near Parey.9.15 am travelled west from here towards Parey – a group of Whitefronts and a single Barnacle. A stop on the road to Gülpe was very rewarding. A flock of Fieldfare and a Yellow Hammer here but best of all were good views of two flying Rough-legged Buzzard. Not much at the hide but a Kingfisher flashed by. From the hide were plenty of duck and geese. During the walk through the trees there was a frustratingly elusive group of small birds which included Tree creeper and Crested Tit. Good views off shore of Bean Geese. Red Squirrel seen.
Moved on across the border into Saxony Anhalt and paused at the hide just north of Jederitz. Great Egrets, White-tailed Eagle and 2 Hen Harriers here. The weather was now poor, and raining by the time we reached Havelberg. A pair of Black Redstarts on the Church completed our visit. On the way back, an Eagle passed across the front of the bus and landed in a field. A flock of mainly Whitefronts near the road included a single Barnacle. The species count had gone up to 80.
Thursday 18 October
Left at 8.30 Stopped at a lake near Netzen on the way to the airport. Bearded Tits heard. On the lake amongst the many Shoveler were a couple of redhead Smew and a Whooper swan. A lot of geese around – Whitefront, Bean andGreylags. Two WT Eagle sightings and a Marsh Harrier did a fly past. Left here at 1.15 pm for the return flight to Bristol.
Total species count was 83.
Ones that we missed
As expected there was no Moorhen or Dunnock. We ought to have seen Goshawk and Great Grey Shrike, and Hawfinch is always a possibility. A bit surprising not to find Bramblings. The high water level at Gülper See meant that waders were in short supply.