Greifwalder Oie I

December 2008
During October I was at a bird ringing station on a small isle called Greifswalder
Oie. It is situated in the Baltic Sea in Northeastern Germany.

For me, this trip offered a complete new view on bird migration. In the area
around my hometown Leipzig, bird migration was for me, until now, only visible
in the form of large flocks of Cranes and Geese.
On the contrary at this isle I observed mainly songbirds like thrushes, Larks
or Finches. One of the most frequent appearing birds on the island were the
tiny Goldcrests Regulus regulus – their high pitched calls were omnipresent.

081012, Goldcrests Regulus regulus

During the hourly “control-walks” along the mist nets, I noticed a sound,
seemingly of geese, always from the same direction. Once a day, my
companion Marcus mentioned a tree nearby the nets that sounded like
White-Fronted-Geese Anser albifrons. So the mystery sound turned out
as the creaking sounds of a tree.

081022, squeaking tree

The acoustic highlight for me were two days of heavy thrush migration.
One morning I walked a bit around, as I noticed hundreds of ascending
Common Blackbirds Turdus merula, Song Thrushes T. philomelos, Mistle
Thrushes T. viscivorus, Fieldfares T. pilaris, Redwings T. iliacus and
a single Ring Ouzel T. torquatus.

081025, songbird migration with: Song Thrush Turdus philomelos, Redwing T. iliacus, Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis,
Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs, Common Blackbird T. merula, Ring Ouzel T. torquatus in background Rook Corvus

photo credit:
southern meadow, Greifwalder Oie © Marcus Held | After Nature