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A Sunday Outing (1 Viewer)

Classick

Member
Germany
Today was a day that seemed to not be a good day (for birding) in the beginning but actually turned out more than o.k. after all.

The weather here in south(west)ern Germany has not been the "best" in recent days (well, rain is of course good for nature, but I am not among those who like to go out during a rain shower), the last (really) sunny, even summery day having been Thursday -- and that was also the day when thunder and rain began. On that day, a holiday over here ("Fronleichnam", or Corpus Christi), I got out around 9:30 am. That might not be the best time to watch songbirds (which, at least here, is generally considered to be just after dawn) -- but it seems that songbirds have gotten quite "quiet" recently after all the mating hoopla of April and May. Most of them now seem busy taking care of their nestlings and slightly older young ones instead of singing to mark their territory and to make themselves attractive to potential mates. Also, the dense foliage makes it very hard to spot songbirds. But I was not out there for blue tits or European robins but for birds of prey. I had a hunch to take a different route that Thursday -- to where I expected Buteo buteo and Milvus milvus to (also) be because I had seen them in that general direction from my usual route. And I was actually successful, spotting several Milvus milvus and also, quite unexpectedly, Milvus migrans (and far fewer Buteo buteo than usual), with some Falco tinnunculus thrown in their as well. It was a real aerial ballet that day!

This morning, though, the weather was rainy and the sky overcast. It had rained during the night and seemed to start again any moment; according to the forecast, more rain was expected during the afternoon. It was not after my girlfriend convinced me to not be as gloomy as the weather and to "go out now before it starts to rain again -- you will regret it if you don't!" that I did go out. And I am happy she nudged me in the right direction. I took my usual route when I want to see birds of prey -- through an industrial park, across very monocultural fields, and next to a multi-lane highway (and not far away from a second one). It might not be the prettiest of places, but it is in the middle of a river valley about 2 kilometers wide, with hillsides and forest left and right and some agricultural fields in the middle. I have successfully spotted common buzzards, red kites (with a ratio of about 10 to 1), an occasional black kite, and frequently common kestrels there, so at least they seem to like it there!

And so it was today: while the sky remained overcast (and my camera at home), I spotted common kestrels hunting with their typical hovering technique (a female one was also successful and ate a mouse atop a lamp post in a hardware store parking lot), at least five common buzzards circling their way toward the sky, at least one red kite -- and also two black kites. I am pretty sure that one of the latter was a black kite I had already seen on Thursday because he looked kind of "plucked" and therefore very "individual"; the aerial distance between the two places is about 2 to 3 kilometers.

Once again, I am very happy that I was convinced to go out -- it was just the right time frame (it began to rain when I had almost reached home again) and I saw the birds of prey I could very likely expect there and which I like very much. It is always super interesting to watch them -- and also very calming.
 
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delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
That's such a lovely tale you've told here Classick. And well done your girlfriend kicking you out the door!!! 😁

It's seems you made the most of it in the end and had a grand time. You're lucky to have such great habitat locally.

Remember the camera next time though.;)
 

Green Sandpiper

Well-known member
Scotland
Today was a day that seemed to not be a good day (for birding) in the beginning but actually turned out more than o.k. after all.

The weather here in south(west)ern Germany has not been the "best" in recent days (well, rain is of course good for nature, but I am not among those who like to go out during a rain shower), the last (really) sunny, even summery day having been Thursday -- and that was also the day when thunder and rain began. On that day, a holiday over here ("Fronleichnam", or Corpus Christi), I got out around 9:30 am. That might not be the best time to watch songbirds (which, at least here, is generally considered to be just after dawn) -- but it seems that songbirds have gotten quite "quiet" recently after all the mating hoopla of April and May. Most of them now seem busy taking care of their nestlings and slightly older young ones instead of singing to mark their territory and to make themselves attractive to potential mates. Also, the dense foliage makes it very hard to spot songbirds. But I was not out there for blue tits or European robins but for birds of prey. I had a hunch to take a different route that Thursday -- to where I expected Buteo buteo and Milvus milvus to (also) be because I had seen them in that general direction from my usual route. And I was actually successful, spotting several Milvus milvus and also, quite unexpectedly, Milvus migrans (and far fewer Buteo buteo than usual), with some Falco tinnunculus thrown in their as well. It was a real aerial ballet that day!

This morning, though, the weather was rainy and the sky overcast. It had rained during the night and seemed to start again any moment; according to the forecast, more rain was expected during the afternoon. It was not after my girlfriend convinced me to not be as gloomy as the weather and to "go out now before it starts to rain again -- you will regret it if you don't!" that I did go out. And I am happy she nudged me in the right direction. I took my usual route when I want to see birds of prey -- through an industrial park, across very monocultural fields, and next to a multi-lane highway (and not far away from a second one). It might not be the prettiest of places, but it is in the middle of a river valley about 2 kilometers wide, with hillsides and forest left and right and some agricultural fields in the middle. I have successfully spotted common buzzards, red kits (with a ratio of about 10 to 1), an occasional black kite, and frequently common kestrels there, so at least they seem to like it there!

And so it was today: while the sky remained overcast (and my camera at home), I spotted common kestrels hunting with their typical hovering technique (a female one was also successful and ate a mouse atop a lamp post in a hardware store parking lot), at least five common buzzards circling their way toward the sky, at least one red kite -- and also two black kites. I am pretty sure that one of the latter was a black kite I had already seen on Thursday because he looked kind of "plucked" and therefore very "individual"; the aerial distance between the two places is about 2 to 3 kilometers.

Once again, I am very happy that I was convinced to go out -- it was just the right time frame (it began to rain when I had almost reached home again) and I saw the birds of prey I could very likely expect there and which I like very much. It is always super interesting to watch them -- and also very calming.

Thats a pretty good day's birding! Well done, its quite reassuring that I'm not the only person who gets shoved out the door to go birding sometimes!!
 

Classick

Member
Germany
That's such a lovely tale you've told here Classick. And well done your girlfriend kicking you out the door!!! 😁

It's seems you made the most of it in the end and had a grand time. You're lucky to have such great habitat locally.

Remember the camera next time though.;)
Dear Delia,

Thank you for your kind words! Here are at least some photos from Thursday's outing. And yes, I feel very lucky to be able to enjoy what nature has to offer almost right at my doorstep!

Thats a pretty good day's birding! Well done, its quite reassuring that I'm not the only person who gets shoved out the door to go birding sometimes!!
And thanks to you too, Green Sandpiper! Yes, sometimes one needs that little push to happiness ...
 

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