Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A Wild Day! (29th March)

I arrived in Germany with my family at about 5am and after an hour and a half's, sleep I was up again and birding by 8am!  Still a little drowsy admittedly, the early start was worth it when I inadvertently spooked a cat species from a pastoral field near the Sport Platz.  It began sprinting away from me incredibly fast but the few seconds that I saw it for got me adequate views of it's back end as it ran across the field.  The chubby and darkly barred tail point towards WILDCAT! as did the size (about 1.5× the size of a normal feral cat).  Other obvious and promising features included the wide black tip to the tail and erect pointed ears.  Unfortunately, the only disadvantage was the fact I saw it from its back end before it dived into a gap in the hedge and was gone.

description of Wildcat (still requiring confirmation)

Moving on, I made my way around the woods hoping to find my target species for the trip, Black Woodpecker.  Unfortunately my search was pointless as the woodland was absolutely empty and dead quiet, only 1 Robin, 2 Chaffinches, and calling Marsh Tits, that was it!

A little disappointed at the initial lack of species I made for the farmland where I was very pleased to find a field filled with no less than 100+ Tree Sparrows (an impressive sight for any British birder!).  Also of note were dozens of Yellowhammers, Bullfinches, 1 Red Kite and a Black Redstart in the village.

Back at my grandma's house, I was gripped off to hear the story of migrating flocks of Cranes that she had seen flying over the house only a couple weeks ago, so I decided to have another stab at some local birding to raise my spirits.

I headed for her garden that had produced some nice goodies in the past including a migrant Redstart.  I was very happy to hear the "tiu tiu tiu" notes of a WILLOW TIT only a little further up the hill!  I got brief scope views of the bird as it hoped around the tree but soon decided to head for the woodland were I lost sight of it.  None the less it still persisted to sing, a pleasing start to the trip.  The woodland also held a female Brambling, Nuthatches and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

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