The title of the blog post should be – finding time to find birds in Magdeburg! Yea. Really. I came to Magdeburg last October and I was not so quick to realize that it is not going to be anything like studying in India. So whatever little time I had, I decided to invest in my cooking! That apart, if you like to be spoon fed, the Google results of “Birding in Germany” or with similar keywords would not satisfy you. I’ve always been spoon-fed by Souranil and Swarnava when it came to birding! So even before I start telling how I tried finding birds in Magdeburg – I should thank Souranil and Swarnava for always helping me figure which bird I’ve photographed! Click on their names and you’ll land on their awesome blogs!
So yea. In India – the lens for my birding experiments was given by Tamron India because they are awesome and I did not know that I will continue with this new found “passion” for more than one year. But in Magdeburg, I had no lens.
The first photograph of the bird I shot in Magdeburg is shot by a 50mm lens; European Robin. The next set of attempts were by using my 18-105mm lens at 105mm focal length. If you’ve ever tried birding, you’d know it was frustrating. One evening I was frustrated and I bought the Tamron lens for myself. Tamron SP 160-600 G2 lens. What followed next was some time to understand where the birds are. Then finding time to find the birds. Given the cold weather and the lazy ass that I have made myself to become, all I photographed were birds in my backyard; albeit the birds you’ll always see and can relate to.
Or perhaps inside the college campus when no one was around, especially on the first day it snowed.
Sooner than I had expected, I got an apartment (read: flat) for myself and I chose one which has trees in the backyard, the top of which I can view properly from my balcony. The expectation was – the birds would come and I would photograph them from the comfort of my bed. So far, I couldn’t spot any bird except for a couple of blue tits who come and they disappear within moments.
Now during the peak of the summer, the birds chirp at four thirty in the morning. I get up, listen to them chirp and go back to sleep!
But during the Spring, I tried photographing a couple of my friends in Holzweg (link) where I discovered a lake and ducks, Eurasian Coot and a Common Moorhen in it. I did not know anything about Moorhen; I thought someone had colored the beak of the Eurasian coot with German colors. #dumb #iKnow.
Also in Spring, during one idle morning, while sipping my regular cup of tea, I noticed how leaves form. That feeling or perhaps the realization of it was special. With it came a small little blue tit which jumped over the branches while I photographed it.
The Nord Park should be an exciting destination to photograph birds. The day I was invited to a picnic by my friend to integrate into the German culture, I spotted woodpeckers in the park. I did not have my camera with me and had to let it go. After recovering from the shock the data mining exam gave me [send me condolenses], I decided to drag myself out of my home and go to Nord Park. I wish I knew enough words to explain how beautiful the park feels during early mornings.I noticed that there were birds chirping in one of the areas (read: graveyards) in the park. I sat on the ground sun basking. A pigeon sat on a tombstone near me quietly keeping a watch on my activities. It stayed as long as I stayed.
That’s the time people take their dogs out for a walk in the park. A lot of people found a brown boy with a long lens sitting right on a grave, pretty amusing. One of the kindest old men tried helping me to the best of his knowledge but in German. But the repeated hand gestures and familiar words made me understand that I should go right and left and then right where there are “zweite Baum” (second tree) where I could possibly “fotographie vogel” (photograph birds). I used all my German skills to thank him. It is then he realized I understood no German that he spoke.
Well, I did not find the two trees but I am sure I’ll probably find some time this week to go and figure things out! Let me know what you think of this blog post. If you are interested in the birds, I’ve given links to the birds beside the photographs, please read about them and share this blog post!
…and now for absolutely no reason, I will share another photograph of a great tit!
Footnote: This world is beautiful. Given a new city, country, culture and the demanding study modules, it is hard exploring the place, photographing and making blog posts related to them. I thank you for keeping the faith and interacting with me on Instagram and on my Facebook Page. It means a lot. Thank you.
Update: I photographed this from my balcony, after writing the post-draft and before publishing it! They sit on the top of the roof, two buildings away from my Balcony. They sit high up and they fly even higher; both beyond the range of 600mm.