Go birding for cranes on the Baltic coast with Rolf Nessing

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Local information

Initial Last Name Area Available Language


  L Seaton Yates Radolfzell am Bodensee, Baden-Wuerttemberg Anytime English, German
  I live close to Lake Constance, a sheet of water that is shared by Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Being a pensioner, I have a lot of spare time - and am greatly interested in birds. We have Eagle-owls and White Storks in our neighbourhood, apart from migrating ducks and small birds from Africa. Not far from here one can see colourful Bee-eaters in the Kaiserstuhl area

If you are in Europe, you must be personally familiar with the reality that birdlife here is rapidly zeroing down to nought. I never thought I would experience such a situation in my lifetime.

Do you REALLY want me to describe this DREADFUL state of affairs in my listing???

Three years ago I drove a strapping American girl all around Lake Constance. We found absolutely nothing avian, although Dr. Bauer, a senior member of the Vogelwarte, had made a few suggestions where we might strike lucky. The poor girl burst into tears…

Even the once ubiquitous barn swallow has vanished. No insects, too few barns to build an inside nest. The outside nests of the house martin are often knocked down by the townspeople. “Diese verdammten Vogel sollen anderswo scheissen!”

Alas, most Germans cannot distinguish a swallow from a swift, or chaffinch from a sparrow. That is a hard fact.

Of course, we do see ducks from the north and far east (Russia) during the winter. However, even their numbers have dwindled spectacularly.

Please advise me on how to react when Americans and others wish to come to Lake Constance to marvel at our gorgeous (no longer existing) birds.

L. Seaton Yates
24th March, 2018
Lake Constance

Area Birds:
A wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria), ducks

Nature: birdwatching, twitching, photography, hiking, butterflies, fishing, sport fishing, boating, skiing, swimming, surfing, snowmobiling, sky diving
Travel: train, bus, car, hitchhiking, biking, long walk, packpack, canoe, portage, dog sled, snow mobile
Visit: tourist site, museum, restaurant, club, vineyard, outdoors, nature spot, beach, lake, ocean, architecture, shop, antique, swap
Attend: concert, horse race, ballet, dance show, theatre, live music, sports event, auction, antique, convention, political rally, protest, competition
Participate: night life, party, dance, club, bar, rock, country, classical, hiphop, rap, swing, wine, beer, liquor, social games, computer games, casino


S Jansen Wittenberge, Prignitz / Brandenburg Anytime (read 'Note' for details) German, English, Espanol (un poco)
I was born in 1965. I studied biology and now i'm working as a self-employed nature conservationist. During my free time i like to be outside too ... this means i have a pretty good knowledge about the region and its birds (and amphibians, reptiles, mammals, dragonflies / damselflies, locusts / grasshoppers, other insects and some plants as well). I'm not strictly what you would call a birder. An interesting or pretty close observation or the chance to take a good picture means more to me than a tick on the list.

On account of my job, which leads me to research areas for birds and other animals, I'm rather short of free time during spring and summer. Autumn and winter are periods with more free time for I love to escape from typing reports in the office by going outside =) Just ask me for company at any time of the year - I should be able to organize some hours outside or at least some useful advice all year round.
Biosphere reserve Floodplains of River Elbe - Brandenburg

Our region is worth a visit during every season. Of course in spring and summer you can expect the most species - some years ago i managed to observe 129 bird species on one day during a 20-hour-trip in early May ! Some sought after species like Ortolan Bunting, Red-Backed Shrike, Great Reed Warbler, Firecrest, Barred Warbler, Penduline Tit, Corncrake, White-tailed Eagle, Great Bittern, Black Stork and others are rather common or at least likely to be seen esp. during spring/summer and you'll have a good chance to observe them if you know where to look for them.

Autumn and winter also offer many exciting opportunities, e.g. waterfowl like thousands of different ducks, Greylag, White-fronted and Bean Geese, and Barnacle or other rare Geese amongst them, Whooper Swans or Cranes at their roost or feeding (Cranes are common during the whole summer season as breeding birds [with chickens, if you're lucky] and non-breeders in flocks of 10 to 50 or more too). There's birds of prey like Hen Harrier or Rough-legged Buzzard, too, or some rarer song birds.
Area Birds:
Ortolan Bunting, Red-Backed Shrike, Great Reed Warbler, Firecrest, Barred Warbler, Penduline Tit, Corncrake, White-tailed Eagle, Great Bittern, Black Stork

White Stork is very common from April to August, the village of R~~dt is German European Stork Village with some 35 pairs breeding on roofs and chimneys. River Warbler occurs every year with a few singing males but always at different places. Short-toed Tree Creeper is abundant at all suitable habitats. Germany's biggest population of Great Bustards with more than 100 birds is just a car trip of 90 minutes away, heading towards Berlin.


D Poley Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg Weekend German, English
M Schade Larrach, Baden-Wuerttemberg Anytime German, Spanish, English
Birdwatching with focus on Southwestern Germany. Larrach, Black Forrest, Natural Reserve, Petite Camargue Alsacienne (FR), Natural Reserve Taubergieaen, Kaiserstuhl Area (close to Freiburg), Natural Reserve "Altrhein" ("old Rhine river track close to Grenzach) and Southern Black Forrest.
N Koch Mallsch, Baden-Wuerttemberg(summer) Anytime German, English, French, Turkish
Blackforest and the river Rhine planes between Freiburg and Heidelberg.
V Schmidt Mannheim, Baden-Wuerttemberg Weekend English
M Feuersenger Mannheim, Baden-Wuerttemberg Weekend German, English
Born 1969. Interested in wildlife since early childhood I became particularly interested in birding at about 15 years old. I started recording bird sounds around 2006. Since 1995 I am living and working as a professional taxidermist in Mannheim. Mannheim is about 80 km south of Frankfurt and about 20 km northwest of Heidelberg. It is a medium sized industrial city in one of the most densely populated parts of Germany. There are a few birding localities in the close vicinity that can easily be reached with a bicycle, including some remnants of old riverine forest. A well known birding spot (good in spring summer and autumn), the Wagbachniederung at Waghäusel, can conveniently be reached by train from Mannheim. I do all birding by bicycle or public transport (or a combination of both). I might have a spare bike around, so if you feel like biking - just ask (although I can't promise anything).
T Marko Colmberg, Bavaria Anytime English, basic German
I'm a 62 year old retiree who, since November 2012, resides in the small village of Colmberg. Colmberg is located about halfway between Ansbach and Rothenburg ob der Tauber in the Franconia district of Bavaria. The surrounding area is comprised of habitat that includes woodland, fields, meadows, small ponds and streams. Two large lakes with wetland habitat, Altmühlsee and Brombachsee, are located within a one hour drive to the south of Colmberg. Waterfowl are abundant in the winter months at these locations. Species common to northern Europe are found in the area to include: buzzards, kestrels and kites; herons and storks; woodpeckers; crows and magpies, a variety of finches, titmice and buntings; and nuthatches and treecreepers.
W Nezadal Erlangen, Bavaria Anytime English
L Lambert Kemnath, Bavaria Anytime English
I live in Kemnath, about 2.5 hours north of Munich and 25 minutes from Weiden. Since I have only been in Germany since July 2008, there are quite a few birds here that are new to me.
N Model Ingolstadt, Bavaria Anytime German, English, Spanish
A Nepali Munich, Bavaria Weekend Nepali, German, English, Hindi
Hi all birder! I am Abinash Nepali from Himalaya, Nepal and living here since 2001 parmanently. I,ve keen interest for birding in Bavarian alps and if someone like to join me to observe the alpine species, let me know. I would be very glad to help finding birds in Munich.
S Bode Berlin Weekend German, English
P Brueckner Potsdam, Brandenburg Weekend German, English
Round Potsdam, mainly NSG Rietzer See/Streng, Doeberitzer Heide, Linumer fish ponds and Nuthe Nieplitz.
W Merkle Frankfurt, Hessen Weekend German, English, French
Hessen has a lot of nice birding place near the Nidda the Nied Wald, the green zone around Frankfurt and the city forest of Frankfurt.
M Schleuning North Hessen Weekend German, English
R Grass Offenbach, Hessen Weekend German, English
Ringing (Banding) Songbirds. Visit my web site

M Baumgarten Greifswald, Mecklenburg Vorpommern Just ask me if you know when you will be visiting German, English, Spanish
I can offer a nice birding trip in the area and show you around, I also have a spotting scope Area:
Rügen, Usedom, Karrendorfer Wiesen, Peenetal

Area Birds:
Waders, Waterfowl, Birds of Prey
Nature: birdwatching, twitching, photography, butterflies, fishing, skiing, swimming, beach, surfing, snowmobiling, sky diving
Travel: stroll, walking, hiking, climbing, train, bus, car, hitchhiking, biking, long walk, backpack, portage, canoe, ship, cruise, pilot, dog sled, snow mobile
Visit: tourist site, museum, restaurant, club, vineyard, ski run/trail, monument, arboretum, architecture appreciation, shop, antique, fashion, tech
Attend: concert, horse race, ballet, dance show, theatre, live music, sports event, auction, antique, convention, political rally, protest, competition, swap
Participate: night life, party, dance, club, bar, rock, country, classical, hiphop, rap, swing, wine, beer, liquor, social games, computer games, casino

M Usedom Ostseebad Boltenhagen, Mecklenburg, Pomerania Anytime German, English
I live in this area since 7 years. As a birder it is a wonderfull area to watch migrating birds and we have the most popular area of migrating cranes a 2 hour drive away.
R Wynands Hannover, Niedersachsen Weekend German, English, French, Italian
Within an hour's driving distance in and around Hannover, a number of different habitats with their respective bird faunas can be found. Natural and artificial freshwater lakes and marshes, deciduous and pine forests, mixed grasslands, dry and moist heathland. Elevation range: 50...400 m above sea level.
G Rotzoll Hannover, Niedersachsen Anytime German, English
In the vicinity of Hannover there are several good birding areas that can be reached within 1 hour. To mention two of the best: "Steinhuder Meer" and "Meissendorfer Teiche", both wetland areas with well structured surroundings. For shorebird enthusiasts, even a visit to the coast (ca. 2 hour drive) is possible. Many other smaller sites closer to Hannover can be good as well. If I am in town I can offer to go birdwatching with visiting birders anytime.
D Gruber Hildesheim/Hannover, Niedersachsen Anytime German, English
U Mohr Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia Weekend German, English, Swedish, some French,Spanish, Slovene
J Beninde Bielefeld, North Rhine-Westfalia Weekend English
D Beckmann Duisburg on Rhine, North Rhine-Westphalia Anytime German, English, some Dutch
I am a non-professional birder, actively birding in the Natura-2000 sanctuaries on the Rhine and on the Ruhr.
T Hafen Munich, Bavaria Weekend German, English
I was born in 1965 and started birding as a teenager. Apart from birding, I am interested in nature photography, hiking, kayaking and computer stuff (as long as a Mac is involved). I like to travel and love especially the North. My favourite spots are Canada (B.C., Yukon), Alaska and Scandinavia. You can find some pictures from these places on my website
A Nadirk Münster, North Rhine-Westfalia Anytime German, English, Dutch
J Kriegs Münster, Nord Rhein-Westfalen Weekend German, English, little French, Russian
Münster is in the middle of an agricultural area. North of the city there is a large reserve for water birds. Waders roost during migration and many ducks are present throughout the year. Breeding birds include Little Owl and Bluethroat. Some recent observations can be found on our website:
K Wolanska Münster, Nord Rhein-Westfalen Anytime German, Englisch, some Lithuanian
Hi birders! I am studying landscape ecology in the university of Münster and due to this I am birding. Near to Münster the "Rieselfelder" are located, a EU protected area for birds. I am also offering bird watching tours every semester for exchange students, so I would be happy if I could show you arround also! Hope to cu around, Kolja.
J Azzopardi Odenthal, North Rhine-Westphalia Weekend German, English
I am doing research on 2 reserves in Germany for a univeristy project. Anyone from Germany visiting these locations please report observations. The site is in English and operational, but still need some enhancements. Please feel free to visit
W Steiger Zülpich (Kreis Euskirchen), North Rhine-Westphalia Weekend English
B Belknap Bad Kreuznach, Rheinland-Pfalz Anytime German, English
I go to Bad Kreuznach which offers birding in typical German/northern European woodland, maquis, field, and meadow. I have seen rarities around Bad Kreuznach, including a Hoopoe, and once, a few years ago in January, a Snowy Owl! Common birds in both Ansbach and Bad Kreuznach are Great Spotted Woodpeckers, several species of finches and titmice, kites, nuthatches, treecreepers, occasional Hen Harriers, cormorants (Kreuznach only), sawbills (Kreuznach only), Gray Herons, and numerous others. I am American, but can speak enough German to get by.
E Gloede-Solbach Betzdorf, Rheinland-Pfalz Weekend English
D Shirley Bitburg, Rheinland-Pfalz Weekend English
A Klein Kaiserslautern, Rheinland-Pfalz Anytime German, English
Changing area with fields, meadows and little wetlands, Eastern France and southwest Germany between the French border and the River Rhine. Typical German birds and in spring and autumn migrants.
F Clayton Landstuhl, Rheinland-Pfalz Anytime English, Danish, French, Spanish, German
Mature woods, overgrown fields, and marshy areas: Black Woodpecker, Grasshopper Warbler etc.
B Thomascall Weilerbach, Rheinland-Pfalz Anytime English
Birder, lived here in Germany for only a year, so not completely familiar with local birds, but happy to help. I am part of the large American population in the Kaiserslautern area. The area is farmland, forests and fields, with small wetlands dotting the area, so lots of habitats. I do not have a job at this time, so my availability is fairly open.
M Steinmann Braunschweig, Lower Saxony Weekends English, German
I love watching birds and other free animals. Especially Picidae is my favourite. Braunschweig has old oak forests with middle spotted woodpecker. In the north and east are areas with lakes for wetland birds and important rest areas for migrating birds. I'm member of a local birding organisation and we do have a mail network with daily updates of rare birds spotted in the area. Unfortunately I'm still working and therefore I can not always go out and watch myself. But I enjoy sharing the ideas and I would find it wonderful to contact people who look for our birds in winter season. Hope migration birds and also conect people and there interests.
C Lange Bremen, Saxony Anytime German, English
O Nuessen Bremen, Lower Saxony Weekend German, English, Spanish
T Schreiter Chemnitz, Saxony Anytime German, English
Leisure time birder and traveller.
M Schuck Goettingen, Lower Saxony Anytime German, Spanish, English, some French
F Mühlberger Göttingen, Lower Saxony Anytime German, Spanish, English, some French
I study biodiversity, ecology and evolution and will get my masters degree in 2014. I also am a qualified field guide for South Africa. I got interested in birding 2009 and have been birding in many countries since. In my area are a couple of interesting birding places. My favourite is a big wetland which is espeacially interesting for migratory birds in Spring, autumn (fall) and Winter. If it is your first time birding in Germany there are also many good places to see the "standard" Birds, like many species of warbler,tits, thrushes and finches and we even got all the 6 species of Woodpecker occuring in Germany in a Forest bordering Göttingen.
D Orn Dresden, Sachsen Weekend German, English, French
The lakes to the north of Dresden together with the hills to the south make for good and varied birding and hiking.
M Neumann Wiefelstede, Lower Saxony Anytime German, English

T Matthies Buesum, Schleswig-Holstein anytime German, english
I love showing people birds in this beautiful area. I'm well connected to other birdwatchers all along the Westcoast.

If you are around, it would be a pleasure to meet you and show you some birding spots. :-)
Westcoast (Hamburg to Denmark), Dithmarscher Speicherkoog, Helgoland

Area Birds:
Spoonbill, Pied Avocet, White-tailed Eagle, Montagu's Harrier
Nature: birdwatching, twitching/wellness-birding, walking with the dog

T Herfurth Luebeck/Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein Anytime German, English, French
If you plan to visit the North of Germany (for example Hamburg, Luebeck, Kiel or Rostock) you should write to me or give me a ring. I would really like to show you around and help you finding the species you would like to see.
C Engelhardt Luebeck, Schleswig-Holstein Anytime German, English
Luebeck is situated close to the Baltic Sea shore and the Eastern Holstein Lake Area. Both hold a great variety of natural landscapes and birdlife. For more information, see my website

Professional Guides

If you contact a professional Birdingpal guide you must be prepared to pay a fee for guiding services.

Initial Last Name Area Available Language
R Nessing Berlin/Mecklenburg-Vorpommern/Brandenburg Anytime German, English
Rolf Nessing, born 1959, grew up in a then rural area near Berlin between tortoises, lizards and snakes of his father, Rolf Nessing senior, and his mother’s domestic animals. In 1973, at the early age of 14 and strongly influenced by his contact with living nature, he became a volunteer conservation helper in the field of nature protection. His main areas of interest were ornithology, entomology, herpetology and botany.
From 1984 to 1992 he was professionally active at several nature protection stations in the federal state of Brandenburg and made a major contribution to the development of these facilities and the environmental education conducted there.
Rolf Nessing has been a voluntary bird ringing assistant in the field of scientific ringing since 1974. From 2000 onwards he has held a ringing licence from the Hiddensee Ringing Centre and has been in involved internationally in ringing in the following countries: 1997 Biological Station Rybachy (formerly Rossitten) near Kaliningrad/Russia; 2000 Israel and Palestine; 2001 the island of Comino off Malta; 2003 Titreyen Göl near Manavgat/Turkey; 2005 Fuentes de Nava, Spain. His naturalist activities have also taken him to Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway), the Balkans (Bulgaria, Romania), Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Poland, Armenia, Georgia), the Mediterranean, Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan) and Australia.
Rolf Nessing has been a freelance environmental educationalist, trainer and environmental lecturer since 1992.
Rolf possesses first class field ornithological knowledge of the bird life of the Western Palaearctic, especially their songs and calls. He has published more than 30 articles in professional ornithological, herpetological and entomological journals.

Local Information
Service Information
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Germany
Local weather Yahoo
Naturschutzbund Deutschland Club
Ornithologische Gesellschaft Baden-Württemberg Club
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Berlin-Brandenburgischer Ornithologen, Brandenburg Club
Hessische Gesellschaft für Ornithologie und Naturschutz Club
Nordrhein-Westfälische Ornithologengesellschaft Club
Arbeitskreis Göttinger Ornithologen, Lower Saxony Club
Ornithologischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft Helgoland, Lower Saxony Club
Avifaunistische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Lüchow-Dannenberg, Lower Saxony Club
Verein Sächsischer Ornithologen, Lower Saxony Club
Schleswig-Holstein Ornithological Society Club
Verein Thüringer Ornithologen Club
Bavarian Birds RBR
Birding Germany Sites
Vogelruf Sites
MSOrni Münster Latest sights
Birding Hotspots around the world Sites