Netherlands Bird Guide

This guide has been published.  It can be obtained from NHBS,  from Birdwatch Magazine and Stanfords in UK, and  from several Netherlands book stores. These include Veldshop, and Architectura and Natuura.  It is also available from Buteo books in USA.

It was updated in 2021 with some corrections and a number of new maps. The new ISBN is 9780957169548

Revision of NE Germany and Baltic coast guide

The first edition has sold out. This new expanded edition includes sites along the Baltic coast of Schleswig-Holstein as well as additional sites along the north coast of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Also there is improved coverage of  the lakeland region around Muritz.

It is expected at the end of March 2018.  Further information from the author

New Cover 3 Dec beach

Fehmarn 1 to 5 September 2017

Fehmarn is a small German island lying in the western end of the Baltic sea. A bridge connects it to the mainland, Its position, just south of Denmark, means that it is well placed to receive autumn migrants coming south. The north coast is especially good for raptors and waders.

Roger White. Ken Hall and Robin Prytherch flew from Bristol to Hamburg and travelled north in a hire car to Burg auf Fehmarn which is the main town on the island.

Over the next 4 days we explored the main sites. These included Gruenebrink and Markelsdorfer Huk on the north coast, Sulsdorfer Wiek in the south and Staberhuk at the south east tip.

                 The point at Staberhuk

Raptor numbers were relatively small with just a few Honey Buzzards, Ospreys and Marsh Harriers. Sparrowhawks were watched coming in across the sea from Denmark but again the numbers were small. Four White-tailed Eagles were    probably local birds. Interestingly the number of raptors passing through the famous migration site of Falsterbo north east of here at the tip of Sweden were unusually low for the time of year, so clearly we had not picked the best weekend.

However, we were more than compensated by the number and variety of waders. One or two were missed but nevertheless  the count of 23 species of wader (“Limi” as the Germans call them) was impressive . We met a number of German Birders and found them invariably friendly and helpful. It was a challenge for some of them to practise their English but more of a challenge for us to practise our German! Fortunately Roger remembered most of the bird names in German so this formed a good basis for conversation!


Gruenebrink was especially productive this year because the water levels in the lagoons were ideal. The other coastal sites were relatively disappointing for shore birds whereas previously they had been very productive.

The main memories were the   huge numbers of Golden Plover, good numbers of Ruff, Spotted Redshank and Wood Sandpiper, and both Little and Temminck’s Stint. A Red-necked Phalarope on

             Protected beach at Gruenebrink

day one was joined by another the following day. The German name for this is Odinshuehnchen (Odin’s  chicken). I have yet to find out the derivation of this name. A Caspian Tern was seen at 2 sites, and there were good numbers of Cranes at Sehlendorfer See on the mainland.

On the sea were Common Scoter, Eider and Red-breasted Merganser, and  a single Arctic Skua strayed into one of the lagoons, chasing a tern.

Passerines were few, but Crossbills and a Red-backed Shrike were nice to see and there

       A few of the thousands of Golden Plover

were a lot of Yellow Wagtails. The inland fields, hedges and woodland were very quiet, and there were remarkably few birds in the villages. At Staberhuk, near the lighthouse there were Spotted and Pied Flycatchers and a lot of Chiffchaffs.

There were some  unexpected  absences, incuding Blackbird! but we counted a total of 100 species over the four days.

Roger White

Full details of the sites mentioned and other sites in northern Germany  will be  in the forthcoming new edition of the book:
“A Birdwatching Guide to North East Germany and its Baltic coast”



North East Germany 29 June to 2 July

This was a very short weekend visit to look at some of the polders, and the Bee-eater sites. The weather was terrible initialy with torrential rain for the first 2 days.

No birdwatching was possible in the Lower Oder National Park. Only a singing Thrush Nightingale at Teerofen bridge was recorded. Further north there was little improvement, but on 1 July it was possible to look at some of the Mecklenburg polders. There were good numbers of Whiskered and Black Terns around at Menzlin and Klotzow polders but all their nests had been washed out.  Black-necked Grebes had suffered similarly.  Great Reed Warblers were singing well and there were the usual Bearded Tits. There were good views of White-tailed Eagles. At Kamp polder there was


Menzlin Polder

a nice collection of waders, with small groups of Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Redshank and Snipe and a large flock of Lapwing.  Also here were some Cranes and several hundred Greylags.

This is the second year that Bee-eaters have bred in this part of Germany.  The main site has been well publicised on German websites, there has been a lot of disturbance from Birders and Photographers, and information is now being witheld. There are several disused sand quarries north of Anklam and these are the places that attract them. At the main site there were at least 6 active holes with birds feeding young.


A brief visit to Galenbecker See on the way back to the airport was rewarded by a Golden Oriole and a singing Marsh Warbler.

Waders in North Germany

It has been a good autumn for wader numbers in the polders. Grosse Rosin polder has low water levels at present and in the last 2 weeks Ruff, Spotted Redshank and Snipe have all been present in double figures, and over 100 Dunlin, several Grey Plover and Curlew Sandpiper have added to the variety. During a brief visit on 28 September I found 3 Greenshank and 2 Green Sandpiper in addition to the above. There were 20+  Bearded Tits and 3 White-tailed Eagles.

Bee-eaters breeding in North Germany

Bee-eaters were first recorded as breeding in Germany about 25 years ago. During the last 10 years there has been a marked increase. The total number of breeding pairs now exceeds 1000, most of which are in the state of Saxony-Anhalt.
In the past there have been records further north of single pairs in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, but this is the first year that there have been multiple breeding pairs. Currently 3 pairs are feeding young in an old sand quarry near Anklam in the north east of the State. There are single pairs at 2 other sites.
(Information given by Eberhard Frundt and from the Germany breeding bird atlas)

Baltic coast of Schleswig Holstein 22 to 25 April 2016

This was a short visit by Roger and Christine White to see some of the sites on and around the Baltic coast that had not been visited in November 2015.

April in North Germany is often not very productive as far as bird numbers and variety are concerned. In April, many of the migrants have yet to arrive, and most of the winter visitors have departed.

 We based ourselves at Großenbrode, a seaside holiday resort on the Baltic coast just south of the island of Fehmarn. Visits made included GP1010753raswarder peninsula at Heiligenhafen,  Sehlendorfer See, Oldenburger Bruch, Barkauer See, Neustadt, the coast near Grömitz, and Rupersdorfer See at Lübeck.

Graswarder is a unique narrow peninsula with a sandy shore on tP1010765he Baltic side and salt marsh on the ‘inland side.’ It is a NABU protected site, where breeding species include Common Gull, Little, Common, Arctic and Sandwich Tern, Avocet, Redshank. A tall hide gives views over the reserve. Sehlendorfer See is a wetland west of Heiligenhafen close to Lütjenburg. Viewing is better than at Graswarder and there is a good observation platform from where breeding Avocets, and a Common Tern platform can be viewed.White-tailed Eagles breed nearby.


Oldenburger Bruch, is a flat, wet valley through which a small waterway, Oldenburger Graben flows into the north sea. In later spring and summer there will be good numbers of birds, including Red-backed Shrike and wetland warblers. Barkauer See, south of Eutin,  was well worth a visit. Bluethroats were singing and there were several warblers, including Reed and Savi’s. Cranes were calling and Marsh Harriers were overhead.

Rupersdorfer See at Lübeck was full of duck, mainly Shoveler and Gadwall. Also Goosander, Egyptian Goose, Black-necked Grebe, Great Egret and a White-tailed Eagle, being chased by a Raven.

All these and other sites will be included in the next book describing bird sites in NW Germany.