German, Austrian and Swiss Roadtrip – May/June 2017. Part two

Last year I sent two fantastic weeks driving around Austria, Switzerland and Germany researching locations for great urban birding within some of the cities within these countries. It was all research for my new book #Urban Birding which is being published in April 2018 by Germany’s largest natural history publisher, Kosmos. It is essentially a German language translation of my earlier title, Tales from Concrete Jungles, but with additional cities. Plus, it contains amazing artwork by the fantastically talented Paschalis Dougalis and the front cover Robin illustration by the venerable Lars Jonsson.

After spending a couple of days wandering around the more wilder parts of Stuttgart it was time to journey on. My next port of call was Wetzlar. It is a pretty little town that many people outside of Germany have never heard off. It is also the base for Leica Cameras for whom I am an ambassador. There were plentiful Fieldfares to be seen as well as a pair Red-backed Shrike. However, I dipped on singing Collared Flycatcher.

Next stop was Frankfurt. Despite the big buildings there were some good birds to be found. Black Redstarts abounded and there were even Spotted Flycatchers to be found with the city centre. My best Frankfurt moment, however, was my visit to a ringing station just outside the city. The ringers caught and processed a multitude of birds that were mostly Common Chiffchaffs plus Blue and Great Tits. But we also had some other good birds including Common Nightingale, Common Redstart and Icterine Warbler.

I ended my stay in Frankfurt by visiting Schwanheimer Düne. The landscape here is suburban with areas of arable land. It is also a great spot for Little Owl. I joined local ringer Ingo Rösler and watched while he extracted some owlets from a nestbox sited on a tree.

They were the cutest things ever!

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