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.