Some “passive” birding in Germany and Austria…

I’m afraid my birding and blog posts have been scarce of late. I’ve recently returned from two weeks in Germany and Austria where I was restricted to “passive” birding, bar the odd walk around a frozen lake or through a quiet wood.

Ratzenburg lake

Mallard, Egyptian Goose and a single Teal roosting on ice!

My itinerary included Frankfurt – Hamburg (Ratzeburg) – Stuttgart (Biberach) – Saltzburg – Zell am See – Frankfurt. From a birding perspective the highlight was Ratzeburg, which is north-east of Hamburg and about an hours drive south of the Baltic Sea. The area apparently offers excellent birding in spring and summer, but in winter you’re restricted to wildfowl on the many (frozen) lakes in the area.

Hamburg ice channel

Hamburg, as far as European cities go, is a fairly attractive one. The city is located on the River Elbe and with all its waterways apparently has more bridges than Venice… The channel above was good spot for Mallard and ice.

Black-headed Gulls

This is what happens when you don’t go birding enough. You start taking cellphone photos of Black-headed Gulls in harbours. As you can see from the list below birding really took a backseat on this trip. It sometimes takes a trip like this to realise how good the birding is in the southern hemisphere…even in winter!

Germany and Austria bird list:

Tufted Duck, Mallard, Nuthatch, Rough-legged Buzzard, Teal, Goldeneye, Red Kite, Coot, Goosander, Blackbird, Mute Swan, Red-necked Grebe, Great-crested Grebe, Wood Dove, Jackdaw, Lapwing, Smew, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Kelp Gull, Goldcrest, Alpine Chough.

David Winter

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