After the first and the second blog post on birding in Magdeburg, this is my third and maybe the last birding blog post of Magdeburg. This year, I planned to venture out of Magdeburg to different parts of Saxony-Anhalt state and maybe, in different parts of Germany. But it did not happen because there’s a pandemic outbreak in the world and we are all in our homes, leaving the birds at peace with themselves!
So! What’s new? – There are guides like this, and more groups like this, where you could talk about birding in Germany, and websites like birdingplaces.eu where you could contribute your birding place information and photographs; the more the people join in, the richer the website becomes. In case you go to a place, photograph a bird and do not know the bird ID, use an application like Merlin (The Cornell Lab) to find the bird species. Works like a charm! Also, this site gives a broader overview of the birds you can find in Germany!
I realised when I started drafting this blog post, I have photographed 33 species of birds in Magdeburg. Since I need to write at least 300 words and this is the 202nd word, let’s see what I can write about!
There’s Rotehorn Park across the river Elbe, which is really large and even if not for birding, that should be a place everyone should go and spend some lazy time, maybe on a Sunday. For birders, it is an additional treat: there are water bodies, small bridges, trees with low hanging branches and it’s vast. I’ve photographed a Eurasian Nuthatch and the Common Chiffchaff in Rotehorn Park.
I wondered why a “mute swan” is called mute. Later I found out that it’s less vocal than the other swans.
While tits (birds) are cute in general, long-tailed tits are cuter to look at and their call makes them very distinctive. Here’s a little trivia (but without photograph), a special type of long-tailed tits, called “Shima Enaga”, is found only in the Japanese island of Hokkaido. It’s white, fluffy and super cute. You might find some interesting shots of this bird here. Talking about cuteness, let me advertise a website for free! This website creates really adorable bird cartoons for print on mugs, t-shirts etc. The cartoons are super cute and there are free downloadables also, which you might find interesting, especially if you have a kid to take care of. Hahaha.
Nord Park is a really special place. It’s a comparatively small park and is one of the few places I explored when I was just new in Magdeburg. I’ve been to Nord Park at during really odd hours; during sun rise to see birds or with Madhu and a couple of friends at after 2 am to see if there are ghosts! Nord Park during early mornings is a really cozy place. There are the old men and women doing their morning walk, the starlings sitting on the top chirping. Smaller birds hide somewhere behind the bushes but you can spot them once you in front of them for some time. If there is a woodpecker you can distinctly hear them and after a little effort you can spot them as well. But if there are very high up, which often they are, your neck might pain.
Neustadter See is a place where you can hear birds but not see them. Except of course if they are the big ones like the swans and the ducks, or the wagtails who would come right in front of you to check you out. 😀
Now I can identify finches by the shape of their beak and general appearance. The name “Linnet” is new to me; I wasn’t surprised that this is one kind of the finches.
I would like to add two more photographs which I took near Magdeburg. While the photographs are taken near Magdeburg, I have spotted them in Magdeburg as well. One is that of a Blue Jay and the other of a Jackdaw.
Without the Blue Jay and the Jackdaw, I’ve photographed 34 species of birds in Magdeburg. With the two, it sums up to 36. That’s more than 10% of the birds you can find in entire Germany! While it makes me feel good, I should take this opportunity to thank Souranil one more time for introducing me to birding.
Birding calms me down when practically nothing else does. With two seemingly never-ending projects, a state of almost absolute bankruptcy, a residence permit which should come to an end soon, and no visible thesis topic in the near future, everything in my life is what I would colloquially say, “fucked up”. But watching birds always bring a smile on my face, it also helps me get up in the morning and go for a walk. I hardly carry my birding lens because it’s heavy and carrying it for a long time pains my neck, shoulders and my back. So yea 😀
If everything goes well, I should be starting with my thesis soon. And I might not be very adventurous during my thesis phase! I do not expect to see newer species in the usual places that I go to. By the time my thesis ends, it should be a little tough time for birding and maybe I move out of Magdeburg. So in all probability, this is the last blog post on “Birding in Magdeburg”.