My last journal (not counting the DA birthday one) was around 1 Year ago. 2 days before I left my hometown for my volunteer year. I'm back since Sundaynight and I guess it's the right time to write a little review.
In August I started at the northcoast of Germany. I lived in a small house in the middle of nowhere with no internet except my surfstick which had nearly no signal. I learned a lot about birds in the first month.
My main task was to count every second weekend the birds in a certain area. The waddensea is the most important restarea for birds during their migraton from Scandinavia, Taymyr Peninsula and west Greenland to Banc d' Augin in Africa or even South Africa. Here the birds can rest and feed to get enough energy to fly non-stop South or North. Because the birds are all in one place they get counted every second weekend from the Netherlands to Denmark.
Counting a small amount of birds is easy but counting a swarm of several thousands isnt!
This is only a small part of an oystercatcherswarm. Counting everyone would take to much time but guessing is to vague. So you count 10 birds and add the area the take to the whole swarm.
We also checked the dirt line every second weekend for dead birds which the sea washed onshore. You check the birds for oil and rings. It's interesting how you almost after every storm find a fulmar or that you find during August and December a lot of young gulls because they don't survive their first weeks without the parents feeding.
In September I transfered onto the Island Langeoog where I spent the rest of my year!
Sunset at Emshavn (Netherlands)
Upcoming storm at Langeoog
Dunes in December
At the end of march we started to go though terrain and note down most of the breeding birds on maps. You need to start before dawn because most of the birds sing the most a dawn. We most of the time worked for 10hrs a day. It was the most exausting time but also the best.
What you get for staying up at 4:30am:
Now onto the birds:
During birdmigration and with the right wind is nearly everything possible:
A snowgoose. Maybe you know them from documentries and than you remember they actually live in America but not Europe! This is right but you can't be sure if it didn't escape a zoo or similair.
A beared vulture. They still are the rarest raptors in europe. Their wings can nearly be 3m long. This one was a young one who propapbly came from the Austrain or Swiss Alps.
A red-necked phalarope. I hoped for this bird for many months. One day in May it thankfully showed it self.
All in all it was an amazing year and if you ever ask yourself if you should do a volunteeryear: DO IT!
Please note that I'm no longer in any connection with the organisations. Everything I wrote here is my own opinion and doesn't represent the organsiations or people.
If you have any questions about my year or birds ask away!
You are not allowed to use these photos for anything!