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Shrikes near Frankfurt (1 Viewer)

Jeff Hopkins

Just another...observer
United States
Hi all,

I have a 14 hour layover in Frankfurt in early November on the way to S.Africa.
When Cornell split Great Grey Shrike off from the Northern Shrike, Great Grey became a potential lifer for me. I figure I'll take this window to go looking for one.

Can anybody advise a reliable place to find a shrike within an hour or two of the airport? I'll plan to have a car so a reasonable trip of 1-2 hours is possible, especially if there's other good birding to be had.


Great Grey Shrike ( in German Raubwuerger ) is rare near Frankfurt Main.
I found one message from 16. May.

on ornitho.de

Hennethal: Engelgarten [5714_4_47s]

8°06'26.83'' E / 50°13'10.66'' N
Höhe [m ü.M.] : 362 Meter
Gemeinde Hohenstein (HE, RÜD) / Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis

This is 40 miles from airport.
The next town to this area is Bingen and needs 1 h by train or car.
Not much hope for wintering birds, then?

If not, I guess I'll need a trip to Scandinavia. :smoke:
Wintering GGS can be seen semi-reliably in some places in N Germany (but they only stay until April or so). I've also seen at least two in southern Slovakia, not sure if they were residents or on migration.
There seem to be a few places in the former GDR where GGS still breed, mostly Brandenburg, AFAIK. I've only once seen a specimen during the summer in Germany, and that was in Mücheln (Sachsen-Anhalt), near the Geiseltalsee, a famous spot for Bee-eaters (which was the reason I was there in the first place). In Hessen though, it looks pretty grim. Might have some luck on the Rhön, there was a bird reported from there on ornitho.de, but it was only one report. A few others from NRW as well. Don't have the atlas of breeding birds at my disposal at the moment, so not sure whether any of these scattered reports are indicative of an actual local population.
Red-backed Shrikes should be possible near Frankfurt, although they, too, are much more common in E Germany.
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Great Grey Shrike is breeding in federal country Brandenburg near Berlin.
A chance is the Great Bustard area Buckow/ Nennhausen.

Whole federal country Brandenburg has about 575 - 905 ( 2005 - 2008 ) breeding pairs.
Number is inreasing.

Buy the way, flying distance of birds, is in Central Europe much bigger than in US.
So You will get not so close to the birds in Germany like in US.
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Well, I think it depends on the season and region. I've had reasonably "close" views of wintering GGS (~10 m), whereas the Southern Grey Shrikes I've seen in Spain, for example, were much more skittish.
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