I spent the first three weeks of July 1996 at Rostock and went birding on some evenings and at the weekends.
There are a number of good areas accessible by public transport from Rostock; in particular a nature reserve near (just to the south west of) Warnemuende - accessible by s-bahn or bus - consisting of wet grassland and bushy regions, the reserve "Grosses Moor"- accessible by bus - a few miles further east, and "Schwarzes Moor" (sort of forest swamp) near Graal Mueritz - accessible by bus or train. At the weekends I went to the Peenetal (lowland river moorland) near Anklam, the Ahlbecker Seegrund (failed attempt to drain a lake) near Pasewalk, Hiddensee (little island in the baltic next to Ruegen) and Ruegen itself. I rented bikes for the Peenetal and Ahlbeck excursions. All excursions described here were made by public transportation. I stayed at youth hostels. Bikes can be rented at the station in Rostock but opening times on weekends are very restricted. Typical cost per day for a bike is 8-14 marks (ca 5 squids).
Here are the details of the trip:
Arrived in Berlin, watched the Euro '96 finals on TV and took the train to Rostock the following morning. Saw some OSPREYS from the train.
The day after, went to Warnemuende. in the "garderner's village," there was a large number of relatively confiding LESSER WHITETHROATS as well as some REDSTARTS. In the more bushy regions, there were ICTERINE WARBLER, MARSH WARBLER, REED WARBLER and further on GRASHOPPER WARBLER.
Two visits to the nature reserve Grosses Moor produced SNIPE, RUFF, DUNLIN, REDSHANK, SANDWICH TERN, GREENSHANK, CRANE, GRASHOPPER WARBLER, SAVIS WARBLER, MARSH WARBLER, ICTERINE WARBLER, WOOD WARBLER, RED-BACKED SHRIKE.
In two visits to Schwarzes Moor, one in quite bad weather, I saw CRANE, GREEN SANDPIPER, LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER, BLACK WOODPECKER, RED-BACKED SHRIKE, TREE PIPIT, CRESTED TIT.
Probably the best day was the excursion to the Peenetal. The area is almost impenetrable but also on the few areas where some access is possible, quite a lot can be seen. Right next to the station, there are some ponds where I saw BLACK-NECKED GREBE, LITTLE RINGED PLOVER, BLACK TERN. My first stop just north of Anklam produced WHITE-TAILED EAGLE,many MARSH HARRIERS, GREAT GREY SHRIKE, lots and lots of SAVI'S WARBLER, BEARDED TIT. Next I stopped along the northern edge. On the cycle ride there I saw WRYNECK, REDSTART the ubiquitous RED-BACKED SHRIKES plus some very colourful fields currently not being cultivated. Walking into the area on a poor path, I added CRANES, SNIPE to the list. SAVI'S W. were still plentiful. Then I cycled round to the southern part where there are some (disused) sewage treatment ponds. During several stops I saw MONTAGUE'S HARRIER (nice male), CRANE, QUAIL (heard only, of course), SHOVELER,TEAL, GARGANEY, GREENSHANK, WOOD and GREEN SANDPIPERS, RUFF.
The next day, at Hiddensee, failed to see any of the allegedly very numerous THRUSH NIGHTINGALES, presumably due to the combination of wrong time of year and wrong time of day and ineptitude. The few birds of note were RED-NECKED GREBE on the village pond, many CORMORANTS, LITTLE TERN, SANDWICH TERN, HONEY BUZZARD, sadly only a possible BARRED WARLBER, CORN BUNTING. CRANES from the train on the way back.
Next weekend, I went to the Ahlbecker Seegrund. I rented a bike at Jatznick (bike rental in the Stettiner Strasse, one of the few of its kind in Germany which deserve that name) and cycled along the army area to the nature reserve. My second stop produced two BUZZARDS mobbing an adult LESSER SPOTTED EAGLE. Further on, a MONTAGUE'S HARRIER. From the observation tower at the western side of the reserve, two WHITE-TAILED EAGLES and the usual warbler, including several SAVI'S. WHITE STORKS nested in the village to the south of the reserve. In the grassland further south, where another richly-structured nature reserve is located, a family of CRANES, some WOODLARKS and GREAT REED WARBLER were the highlights. On the way back along the eastern end of the reserve, there was no sign of the observation tower noted on the map. Still, saw some GOLDEN ORIOLES and a family of GREAT GREY SHRIKES.
The next day I spent on Ruegen, walking from Sassnitz along the famous limestone cliffs to the Koenigstuhl. Extremely nice scenery, but no birds. Took an uneventful boat trip from Binz to Kap Arkona in the afternoon.
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