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Western capercaillie in Germany

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Old Thursday 14th November 2019, 21:23   #1
AntonBE
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Western capercaillie in Germany

Hi! A few Dutch friends and I have a few free days in mid December, and we were looking into the possibility of seeing Western Capercaillie in Germany then.
The first question is of course which of the populations is the most reliable to see, and the second is if it is reliable/possible to see them in the winter, more specifically in December? We were currently mainly interested in the Southern Bavarian population because of the proximity of other nice birds (woodpeckers, other grouse, potentially some Alpine species if we go high enough into the mountains), but more information about the Black Forest population is also welcome, which is of course much easier to get to from Belgium and The Netherlands! Are there any specific spots/trails in either of the regions that provide high chances of seeing capercaillie?

Any help is more than welcome,
Thanks in advance,

Anton

Last edited by AntonBE : Thursday 14th November 2019 at 21:31.
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Old Friday 15th November 2019, 15:34   #2
Sangahyando
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Sounds like a daunting task. It's theoretically possible to see them in and around the Black Forest National Park (where you may also find Nutcracker, Three-toed Woodpecker, and Citril Finch). From the Netherlands, that's the closest location IIRC. I'm sure some of them also occur farther south throughout the Black Forest (there was recently an article linked on this forum about some drunks in that region who received an educational beatdown for killing a Caper). I'd expect these species to be pretty difficult to find, though.
Sorry if that's a bit vague, I don't spend nearly as much time in the southern part of the country as I should.

For the Alps, have you checked the "birdinggermany" site for tips, including possible trails? If not, here it is again:

http://www.birdinggermany.de/Berchtesgaden.htm (key word "Auerhuhn", in case you're struggling with the language)
http://www.birdinggermany.de/allgaeu.htm (dito)
http://www.birdinggermany.de/auerhuhn.htm (this one lists a couple of sites in the Alps)
http://www.birdinggermany.de/bavarianwoodpeckers.htm (this one is in English)
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Old Friday 15th November 2019, 19:19   #3
jurek
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Try Scotland or Scandinavia. In Germany it is very rare, very shy, and any area with a good probability of a sighting is likely closed for access, too.
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Old Sunday 17th November 2019, 20:22   #4
albatross02
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Check Tatzelwurm see
http://www.birdinggermany.de/bavarianwoodpeckers.htm

or

Skitour way of Scheinbergspitze of there is not to much snow
https://www.bergtour-online.de/skito...nberg-skitour/

I am away middle of December.
Otherwise I would follow. I live in Munich.
I saw Capercaillie twice this week.
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Old Tuesday 19th November 2019, 15:21   #5
albatross02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jurek View Post
Try Scotland or Scandinavia. In Germany it is very rare, very shy, and any area with a good probability of a sighting is likely closed for access, too.
Because this I would avoid normal mountain hiking ways or go very early in the morning.
A friend of me go old ways which he find in books. Mostly the ways are difficult to find because nobody use them since many years. He found much more often Capercaillie than me, even though he does not look for it.

Scheinbergspitze skitour way useally not used outside ski saison.
In Skitour season is crowded.

If snow is avaialble check e.g.
https://www.alpenbahnen-spitzingsee.de/webcams/

Spitzingsee is located at 1.100 m. The peaks around about 1.600 m.
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Old Tuesday 19th November 2019, 17:57   #6
AntonBE
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Thanks for all the responses! The Tatzelwurm area definitely seems interesting, so I think we will probably give it a shot! Besides capercaillie, are other 'target birds' (three-toed and white-backed woodpeckers, wallcreepers, hazel and black grouse, rock ptarmigans, alpine accentors, snowfinch, citril finch, perhaps owls, etc) possible in winter as well, or will they be very hard to find because they don't vocalize in December? The links provided already offer a lot of good locations for those species, but more specific information is also always welcome.

About the snow: are the roads accessible when it has snowed recently? Do you think it will be a big problem for walking/climbing the trails while birding? We will probably be there from the 19th until the 23rd of December, so I expect there will be quite a bit more snow than there is currently!

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by AntonBE : Tuesday 19th November 2019 at 18:00.
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Old Wednesday 20th November 2019, 16:35   #7
albatross02
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Tatzelwurm is easy to hike, also with snow.
If is many snow, gaiter is recommended.
Owls have have in Munich in Forstenrieder Park ( start from U-Bahn station Forstenrieder Park ).
For Rock Ptarmigan and Wallcreeper best got in summer with lift to Karwendelspitze.
Same Alpine Accentor and Snow finch.
Hazel Groose is extrem shy. Mittel of April start form Oberau to Roßalm, there is good chance for hearing there wissle.
For Citril Finch go May or later to Moosenalm at Schafreuter.
For Rock Trush look in summer in Allgäu down south from Koblat hut.
Same for Rock Patridge. But low chance in breeding time.


About snow situation:
In this time can be half meter snow or green meadow. There is only schedule 3 days in front.

check
google meteomedia Wallberg
http://wetterstationen.meteomedia.de...ahl=vorhersage

The mountain is 1.700 m.

or

http://wetterstationen.meteomedia.de...ahl=vorhersage

and

google Alpenverein Wetter
https://www.alpenverein.de/DAV-Services/Bergwetter/Alpen/#2019-11-20|weatherLayer
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Old Thursday 21st November 2019, 21:01   #8
AntonBE
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Thanks for all this great help, yet again! We're currently considering moving the trip to February, because it'd mean we'd have a bit more time. Will any of the birds, or the birding in general, be easier then? I imagine the woodpeckers will be drumming and thus be easier to find?
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