Friday, 26 February 2016

Berlin (31th January-22st February)

For most of February I found myself back in Berlin where I had started my trip to Germany back in mid-December.  This time I was back to help my sister renovate her new flat.  Despite being only a few U-bahn stops away from the city centre the flat balcony overlooks a row of small backgardens with the occasional pine tree and shrubbery.  These alone were enough to host regular yet small parties of Hawfinches which would periodically perch at the top of the bare trees alongside Siskins and Greenfinches.  Numerous Great Spotted Woodpeckers, inner city Tree Sparrows and daily Red Squirrels were a delight.

Continental Great Spotted Woodpecker

Intermediate Long-tailed Tit

Hawfinch with Greenfinch


On the 2rd Feb I visited the Grosser Wannsee on the outskirts of SW Berlin.  15+ Goosander and small flocks of Goldeneye represented the wildfowl highlights.  However, there were also 3 Great White Egrets, regular flyover Siskins, Crested Tits, Short-toed Treecreepers, Hawfinches, calling Black Woodpecker and numerous Northern Long-tailed Tits working their way through the surrounding woodland.

A brief visit to a graveyard with my aunt and sister in central Berlin where I came face to face with an adult Goshawk perched in a tree calling was a stunning experience.  I had a similar experience on the 9th Feb when I saw 2 Goshawks at dusk whilst walk through the Tiergarten in central Berlin.

A surprisingly productive day out on the 10th Feb was spent taking a rest as it was becoming rather claustrophobic working and living continuously inside the flat.  The day started at Rathaus Spandau in the NW outskirts with a Short-toed Treecreepers singing from a few brave trees stranded in the middle of a concrete desert.  Nearby, a small reserve (Tiefwerder Wiesen) produced 3 Great White Egrets, a showy Black Woodpecker and thanks to 11 Grey Herons all with their eyes to the skies in fear, directed me to an adult White-tailed Eagle soaring over the reserve!  I then spent a good part of the day walking across town getting lost on several occasions making my way to Alt Tegel and Tegeler See for the gull roost.  In a five minute period walking across town I encountered 3 Goshawks and a flock of 27 Cranes.  On approaching Tegeler See through the woodland I stumbled across a Wild Boar sow and 4 piglets and the gull roost hosted 20+ Caspian Gulls.

The return journey by car produced a few Cranes seen from back window and the occasional Great White Egret stalking prey in ponds near the roadside.  My parents and I stopped at my aunt's for a day and spent an hour walking around The Rieselfelder where we encountered 2 White Storks.

White Stork