By chance we came across a group of birders by the roadside,and among them was Birgit Klock a leading member of the Great Bustard breeding programme,she invited us to the visitors centre the next day.
Leaving this group we went to the Bustard fields where a couple of tower hides provide excellent views across the fields and were so fortunate to see 9 birds straight away strutting about in front of us not very close but good views,we then moved to the second hide where we were greeted by a very confiding yellow wagtail and from the tower saw 5 bustards fly in and do a display for us.As I said earlier we were lucky because we went back here everyday but never saw them close again.
After checking in at the hotel we explored the local lake where great reed warblers were making a healthy racket,not many birds on the water ,just half a dozen great crested grebes and single pochard and goldeneye,lots of nightingales singing with blackcap,garden and willow warbler and cuckoo making up the choir.
Next morning a serin was singing outside my room
En route to the next venue we stopped off to walk an avenue of mixed wood along a cycle track where we added nuthatch,tree creeper great spotted woodpecker and eventually found the promised ORTOLAN BUNTING,a pair high up in the canopy.A pair of ravens were also in the area making lots of noise I suspect the young were just fledging.
Next venue gave us views of red necked grebes and a little further on probably the best hide of all,gave a vista of large water meadows and reed beds where there were lots of cranes,shelduck,garganey,black terns more red necked grebes and a white tailed eagle that caused panic amongst the other birds whenever it took to the air.
Next morning started with a woodland walk which was not bearing much fruit until in one small area we saw hawfinch and tree pipit,it was warming up now and a few butterflies were seen including this MAP BUTTERFLY
After looking in on the bustards we went to GULPER SEE a large lake where great egrets were found and a juvenile W.T.EAGLE did a fly past.
JUVENILE WHITE TAILED EAGLE.
A couple of richly coloured swallowtail butterflies also flew past but were in no mood for stopping.
VIOLET COPPER was a small compensation .
In this area we heard golden oriole and wood lark which pete eventually saw,then it was back to the marsh hide again.
THE DARK TOWER .
Whilst on this boardwalk.........
ADULT WHITE TAILED EAGLE.
When we got to the hide two black storks were poking around just nearby ,instead of getting a couple of shots off straight away tried to get a better vantage point up top but they saw us and all we got was the tailend going away.lesson learned?
We settled down to watch what was going on and picked up a distant osprey fishing over the river,eventually patience paid off and two ospreys came past the hide.
It wasn`t all work we ate well and had a few beers every evening and the breakfasts were superb .
Next morning on the way back to Berlin we stopped off at the bustards just 3 distant birds,but garden and marsh warblers were singing outside the hide.
Another marshy area produced booming bittern, singing savis and a pair of hobby which were on the hunt for........
BRILLIANT EMERALD DRAGONFLY.
RED BACKED SHRIKE female
ONE LAST BEER AT TEGEL AIRPORT.