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Very short report Northern Germany 18/4/24 - 19/4/24 (1 Viewer)


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My briefest Vacational Trip Report ever...............in fact I travelled to Deutschland to go to what I believe is the biggest bird park in the world (I stand to be corrected) - Walsrode Vogel Park. The purpose was to see exotic species that personally, I will never be able to see in their native lands (mainly Papua New Guinea), which I totally accept makes me a bit of an anti-Christ and a fake birder :)-. I wonder if anyone else would go to what is effectively a zoo just to see birds? Or is it just me? I don't wish to start a 'morality debate' but they do valuable work and undertake breeding programmes.

Walsrode is not an area associated with good birding, but actually a few wild birds can be seen whilst at the zoo, including Black Woodpecker flyover, Great Spotted Woodpecker, a few nesting White Storks, Grey Herons, Song Thrush, Blackbirds, Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Wood Pigeon, Buzzard, Carrion Crow etc etc. The woods around the park hold these species.

Flights using Ryan Air from Stansted were undertaken to Bremen Airport on the 18th April, with the flight only taking an hour and costing about £30 outward, and £29 on the return leg on 19th, with just a carry-on bag. Avis-Budget gave me an electric car which was surprisingly excellent, and I didn't need to charge it as I was only going around sixty miles south to Walsrode. This cost £75 for two days. And one nights accommodation near Walsrode cost £60. The main N1 motorway linking the Dutch ports and Hamburg is absolutely choc-a-block with container trucks hauling goods. It makes Britain's A14 seem traffic-free!

On the 19th, Walsrode Vogel Park (Bird park) opened at 10am. It was cold and showery and hence I was initially the only one in. I had three hours before having to leave back for the airport.

My primary aim of this trip was to see a 'Bird-of-Paradise' species, as well as Pitta's and Cock-of-the-Rocks listed here on 'zootierliste' in 2019. There is the walkthrough 'Paradise Hall' plus walkthrough 'Pukara' as well as various outside enclosures. I failed to see any pitta's (may no longer be on display), nor Andean Cock-of-the-Rocks which stayed in side their houses due to cold weather. Apparently they too are rarely seen. I did however manage to see a Red Bird-of-Paradise and a pair of Twelve-Wired Birds-of-Paradise. Also Andean Condor, Steller's Sea Eagle, Harpy Eagle, various Hornbills, Toucons, Rollers, Trogons, Doves, and exotic passerines like Swallow Tanager, Turquoise Tanager, Red-Legged Honeycreepers, and Spangled Cotinga. Also a couple of 'hummers' and a nice pair of Egyptian Plovers. Strange to see Bee-eaters, Siberian Rubythroat, and Northern Gannet there. You really need three days to see everything rather than the three hours I had.

Anyway, that was it. Black Woodpecker was the highlight, this isn't a renowned birding area and I saw little from the roads that I couldn't see in Staffordshire, but of you are on the N27 dual-carriageway between Bremen and Hannover, you may find a stop in this area to hold a few good birds.
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