Late May sightings in eastern Germany

News extracted from Websites: In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Caspian Terns have been seen on the coast, and some Avocets are breeding. A pair of Bee Eaters has been recorded. At the Anklam polders there are good numbers of breeding Black-necked Grebes and Whiskered terns. Summer visitors have now all arrived with widespread reports, for example, of Red-backed Shrike, Barred Warbler, River Warbler and Rosefinch.

At Guelper See and Pareyer Luch, in Brandenburg, migrants have included Avocet, and Little Stint, but few other waders.  3 Caspian tern passed through.

At the old Gatow airfield  in Berlin there have been good numbers of Whinchat and Red-backed Shrike plus a Wryneck.

Early May Summer visitors and migrants

Recent arrivals in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern include Honey Buzzard, Hobby, Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Thrush Nightingale, Icterine and River Warbler. Small groups of Wood Sandpiper are pausing on their way north. At Guelper See, In Brandenburg, White-winged Black Terns have been seen and waders include Temminck’s Stint.

Great Bustards

The remaining population of Great Bustards in northern Europe is situated quite close to Berlin at 3 sites in the State of Brandenburg. In 1996 only 55 birds remained and extinction seemed likely. However, with a combination of habitat protection and restoration and a re-introduction programme, the numbers have increased to 150. As well as habitat loss and human disturbance, threats include predation by foxes, Goshawks,

Great Bustards Brandenburg

Great Bustards Brandenburg

Ravens and eagles. In recent years the increase in White-tailed Eagles has had a significant effect. There is now a new hazard. At Pessin, which is close to the main West Havelland site, the construction of a Biogas plant is planned. This will mean the cultivation of large areas of maize.  At present, much of this is feeding territory for Bustards and its loss will represent further reduction of suitable habitat. For further information see Bustard news.

Full information on seeing Great Bustards in Germany can be found in the Guide to Brandenburg and Berlin. (see information page)

Spring Migrants

During the second and third week of April there have been records of many spring arrivals in Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. These have included Wryneck, Nightingale, Whinchat, Bluethroat and Ortolan. A lot of the warblers are arriving. Wood Warbler and River Warbler amongst them. Spotted Crake and the first Lesser Spotted Eagle have been seen. Small flocks of Little Gulls have been on the inland waters, and a wide variety of waders are passing through.

Berlin April 2015

During a brief visitP1010318 to Berlin on 8 and 9 April, a walk through the Tiergarten (main park in the centre of the city) was rewarded by a pair of Hawfinches feeding on the ground and a Goshawk that flew through at canopy height. Nuthatches were everywhere. At the old Templehof Airfield, numerous Skylarks were singing and an obliging Kestrel posed for a photo