For a few weeks now, a male sparrowhawk has been visiting us in our garden, probably in search of careless songbirds. He comes every few days and stays relatively long on different look-outs. However, the early warning system of the songbirds has worked extremely well until now.
Also in November it was unusually warm and we visited once again the Monbach valley and the wild gorge. The path here leads over narrow paths, fallen tree trunks, past green floodplains, glittering streams, wild rock formations and a waterfall. You cross the Monbach over moss-covered boulders. If you are not careful in some places, you run the risk of getting your feet wet.
October was unusually warm and nature once again experienced an upswing. Indeed, autumn is the ideal time to capture the warm colors in a photo or two.
At the end of September, after almost three years, we flew back to Indonesia to dive in the Lembeh Strait and Bunaken National Park. In Lembeh we were guests at Solitude Resort, where we met our "old" dive guide Enal again to our great joy. We felt very comfortable with Anna and Patrick and can highly recommend this resort. A third week we spent once again on Siladen in the National Park Bunaken. A travel report will be published soon here on our homepage.
In August we were 2 weeks with the MY Independence III in the Red Sea and have experienced or seen a lot of waves, a lot of wind and a lot of "scrap". The Red Sea has always been an important main traffic and trade route, especially since the opening of the Suez Canal. Reef landscapes, shoals and other obstacles have caused countless ships to sink in recent years, mainly in the northern Red Sea. Thus, wreck divers get their money's worth in Egypt. We have also posted a current travel report about this trip.
This year, white storks were seen for the first time in late spring on the roof of St. Barbara's Church in Ellmendingen. The nesting aid was extensively tested and different flight routes tried out. Also in late summer some smaller as well as larger groups of storks were on the move on the meadows around Keltern, Remchingen and Karlsbad. Apparently, the nesting sites around the Rhine are indeed becoming scarce.
In June we had again several bird families visiting in the garden, great tits and blue tits with a total of 21 branchlings, blackcaps, house sparrows and starlings from the second brood. This year again there were special situations, for the first time we had cheeky blue tits in the pond, standing on the water lilies. In addition, the cherry trees are bearing a lot of fruit this year, so many young birds were fed the fruit by their parents here as well. We hope that this vitamin boost will help them have a long life. Currently, the young kestrels in the Barbara Church are about to embark on their flight, so fingers crossed here, too!
We were once again for a week on our favorite island Texel in Noord-Holland. This time again in late spring and it was a good decision. The weather was again mixed, windy and not too warm, but mostly dry. We were thrilled by the flora, the last bluebells in the forest near De Koog we still found and there were many meadows with wild orchids. In addition, many bird children on land and also on the water, the eider ducks were the first and shortly before our departure we could still see small avocets, black-tailed godwits and plovers.
In April we spent a few days in Niendorf at the Bay of Lübeck. The North German dirty weather was unfortunately mostly with us, but we still enjoyed our trips to Lübeck, Fehmarn and Hamburg.
Antje's photo of the ancient harbour of De Cocksdorp (Texel, NL) has been declared the winner of the category 'Light&Shadow' by the jury of the local Newspaper 'Pforzheimer Zeitung'. It now will participate in the nationwide competition of the "Blende 2021".
Our garden birds are apparently ready to start. Despite the temperatures, visits in the nesting-boxes are already made. For several months 2 Great Tits sleep in the boxes "pond" and "balcony". Starlings can be heard daily in the hedge, which also again lay claim to the nesting-box there. Nesting material has not yet been placed.
In January - actually - our long-awaited and because of Corona postponed dream trip to the South Pole should take place. Unfortunately, also this time the pandemic put a spoke in our wheel. After 3 days in Patagonia/Feuerland we were flown to Buenos Aires instead, where we did some sightseeing. We were surprised by a very green, charming city with South American flair, but were of course set to different temperatures.... We hope to repeat the planned trip someday.