Germany… again!

Some of you might have guessed from my latest Feathers on Friday that I’m going to be doing some traveling.

I’m headed to Germany in March for a month, accompanying my grandmother to visit family for Easter, since she doesn’t want to travel alone. I volunteered to go along to help out, and selfishly to do some birding and photography too.

I’m bringing my iPad and SD card adapter so I can upload my photos and hopefully write a couple posts about the trip while I’m in Europe. I’m going to post a photo a day to my Instagram account (my user name is (prairiebirder) if you’re interested in following my daily adventures.

Here’s the photo from the FoF post. The bird is a Great Spotted Woodpecker that was outside my aunt’s kitchen window Germany last January,

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Auf wiedersehen!

Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

Here’s a Great Spotted Woodpecker in snowy Germany from January 2015,

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More Feathers on Friday Posts:

Bird Boy

Birds in Your Backyard

The Cats and the Birds

Wolf Song Blog

Kathie’s Birds

The Birds of Bourron-Marlotte, France

I went birding a few times around Bourron-Marlotte (population 3,000) along rue Renoult, where we stayed at a friend’s house; it’s about 90 minutes by car south of Paris. The neighbourhood is very good for birding since it borders the Forest of Fontainebleau, and many yards are well landscaped with mature trees and thick bushes.

A map of the area where we stayed,

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The three eBird lists for the birding walks I took on rue Renoult are here, here, and here. And here are some of my favourite photos from our stay:

It rained every time I went birding in Bourron-Marlotte, so many of my photos have water spots or smudges on them, and of course the sky is overcast,

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I saw two Crested Tits while in France. They’re very pretty little birds, but the ones I saw both stayed high up in the trees, so my photos don’t do them justice,

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In the forest, many fallen logs were covered in moss and fungi,

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Chaffinches were all over the forest floor looking for seeds,

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Down the road from our friend’s house is a thickly treed yard where I saw many good species. This bird is a Firecrest; it was very quick and difficult to see as it flitted about in the bushes,

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Woodpeckers were very common in the woods as there are many mature trees. This is a Great Spotted Woodpecker,

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Common Blackbirds are very common around the countryside in France. Although the species name is “blackbird”, this species is in the thrush family and closely related to the American Robin.

Adult blackbirds have an orange-yellow bill while first winter birds have an all-dark bill,

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Great Tits were one of the most common species I saw in the village,

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While Eurasian Nuthatches look very similar to the Red-brested Nuthatches here at home, they sound very different,

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Blue Tits get their name from the blue cap on their head,

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This woodpecker is a Middle Spotted Woodpecker, which is distinguished from the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker by the amount of white on the back,

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There are two species of treecreepers you can see in France. The one below is a Short-toed Treecreeper which can be identified by white spotting on the wing tips and a long bill, but the songs are probably the best way differentiate the two species.

A Short-toed Treecreeper scaling up a tree,

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Along with birds, I also saw some mammals in France including this Red Squirrel; other mammals I saw included Wild Boar, Red Fox, and lots Roe Deer,

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Stay tuned for more posts about birding in France and Germany!

Birds of France, Photo Essay

Some of the birds I saw and photographed at la Plaine de Sorques (near Fontainebleau), from the west observation platform along the pond:

A Great Spotted Woodpecker,

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Mute Swans,

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A Dunnock eating seeds,

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A beautiful blue Common Kingfisher,

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Stay tuned for more photos from my trip to France and Germany!