Trip Report: Bingen area (West-Central Germany), May 30 - June 24, 1996

George Harris;

Following is a report of birds observed in Germany, May 30 thru June 24, 1996. Areas covered are within 40 miles of Bingen (Rheinland-Pfalz), except for a day trip to Neuschwanstein in S. Germany. All sites should be easily found on Shell Maps, available at Shell Stations. Maps are sold by districts and are detailed enough for birding (1:200,000; Shell Generalkarte #15 for Bingen area).

Our base of operations was Hotel Enk in the village of Guldental between Bingen and Bad Kreuznach. Excellent new hotel and restaurant with full breakfast and moderate rates. 20 minutes to Bingen for Rhine cruise. Telephone: 011-49-6707-9120, FAX: 011-49-6707-9-1241 (telephone prefixes from the USA).

The easiest birding was simply to walk from the hotel through the vinyards, fields and forest.

NSG = Naturschutzgebiet = Nature Preserve

May 30 - Guldental (Guldentalbach = creek)

Red-backed Shrike, Buzzards, Kestrels, Sparrowhawk, Swifts, Swallows, Gray Heron, Wood Pigeon, House Martins, Yellowhammers, Tree Sparrows, Blackcap and Chiffchaff Warblers.

June 1 - Guldental (Guldentalbach)

Nightingale, Blackcap & Chiffchaff (warblers), Great & Blue Tits, Skylarks, Nuthatch, Wren, Tree Sparrows, Buzzards, Kestrels.

Quarry near Hergenfeld

Lesser Whitethroat, Skylarks, Stonechats, Black Redstarts, Serins, Linnets, Yellowhammers, Sand Martins, Swallows, Swifts, Wren, Mallard, Buzzards, Kestrels, Pheasant, White Wagtail, Lapwing (4).

June 2 - Hergenfeld-Stromberg-Opal

Red-backed Shrike (3), Linnets, Serins, Yellowhammers, Skylarks (50), Mistle Thrush, Fieldfares, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Mallards, Grey Heron, White Wagtail, Treecreepers, Robins, House Sparrows, Stonechat, Blackbirds, Chiffchaff & Blackcap.

June 3 - Oberhausen

Between Bad Kreuznach and Kirn at bridge crossing Nahe River, footpath along river. Focusing primarily on warblers.

Marsh, Reed, Garden, Blackcap, Chiffchaff Warblers; Cuckoo (3), Marsh Tit. Kestrels, Buzzards, etc.

Trubenbach NSG

Near Kirn. Beautiful preserve with waterfalls. Good for Dipper, Gray Wagtail, Black Woodpecker. Also nuthatches, tits, robins, etc. Allow two hours for walk.

June 4 - Bingen-Gaulsheim NSG

Preserve on Rhein River with info center.

Wryneck, Blue & Great Tits, Cuckoo (6), Fieldfares, Spotted Flycatcher, Swallows, House Martins, Swifts, Carrion Crows, Blackbirds, Red Kite, Buzzards, Kestrels, Mallards, Grey Herons, Common Gull, Chaffinchs, Turtle Dove, Wood Pigeons, Sedge, Blackcap, Reed, Chiffchaff Warblers.

June 5 - Kuhkopf NSG

Premier site on old oxbow of Rhein at Riedstadt/Stockstadt. Bird early to avoid bicycles and hikers.

Black Woodpecker, Golden Oriole, Corn Bunting, Great-crested Grebes, Little Grebes, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Cuckoo (8), Cormorants, Coots, Mallards, Lapwings, Grey Herons, Chaffinches, Stonechat, Treesparrows, Red Kite, Black Kite, Buzzards, Kestrels, Goldfinches, Blackbirds, Mistle Thrush, Red-backed Shrikes, Swallows, House Martins, Robins, Serins. Note we arrived about 0830 - try to be there by 0700 to avoid non-birding crowds!

June 7 - Forholz

Forest near Wendelsheim between Bad Kreuznach and Kirchheim-Bolenden.

Hawfinch, Song Thrush, Blackbirds, Chaffinchs, Nuthatchs, Robins, Great & Blue Tits, Sparrowhawk.

June 10 - Neuschwanstein (Bavaria)

Departed Guldental 0430, arrived Neuschwanstein 0930. Climbed steep hill toward castle to bridge over deep ravine. Wallcreepers, Crag Martins.

Drove on to Bodensee (Lake Constance) at Bregenz. Birded while very sick and weak, so missed a lot. Notable birds were Whinchat, Icterine Warblers, Yellow Wagtails, Tree Pipit. Birder doing survey advised that we were a couple of weeks late for singing birds.

Vineyards, fields and woods behind Hotel Enk.

Partridge, Red-backed Shrikes (5), Tawny Pipit, Hawfinch, Yellowhammers, White Wagtails, Nuthatchs, Garden, Wood, Blackcap, Chiffchaff Warblers, Blackbirds, Linnets, Buzzards, Kestrels, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Black Woodpecker, Cuckoo, Firecrests, Mistle Thrushes, Skylarks (c), Carrion Crows, Treecreeper.

Bad-Kreuznach at Michelin Plant

Jackdaws (25).

June 18 - Kuhberg - Near Hackenheim - Bad Kreuznach. Route 428

Golden Oriole (2), Black Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker (6), Treecreepers, Robins, Hawfinch, Wood Warbler, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Yellowhammers, Skylarks, Swifts, Swallows, Chaffinchs, Great & Blue Tits, Buzzards, Kestrels, Sparrowhawk.

June 19 - Guldental (Behind Hotel Enk)

Skylarks, Red-backed Shrikes, Buzzards, Kestrels, Sparrowhawk, Black Redstart, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Wood Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Chaffinches, Yellowhammers, Woodpigeons, Swallows, Long-tailed Tits, Great & Blue Tits, Pheasant, Whitethroat, White Wagtails, Wrens, Golden Oriole, Turtle Doves, Reed Bunting (in vineyard!), Hobby, Cuckoo (2) , Greenfinchs, Stonechat, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Jackdaws, Nuthatchs, Jays, Spotted Flycatcher, and at dusk: Little Owl (3), Tawny Owl (2), Swallows and Swifts.

June 24 - Abschied (Farewell Party)

Short walk on Guldenbach, but no new birds.

Habitat similar to the locations mentioned is widespread. Simply look for NSG (green-hatch) areas on the map, streams, and mountains and the Rhein, and most birds of the area should be observed. Trubenbach NSG at Kirn is memorable for me... locked the keys in my brother-in-law's car and had to knock a window out with a rock! Also look for Soonwald and Bingerwald on the map. I have birded both in early spring with good results. I also birded Bingen/Gaulsheim NSG in February 1999 for Smew and other waterfowl. E-mail me for details.

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This page served with permission of the author by Urs Geiser;; January 20, 2000