Friday 3 April 2020

Lockdown Day 11 - White Storks in Germany - October 2019

In October 2019, we had a holiday in Muenster and Dortmund in Germany. Whilst in Muenster we rented some bikes from the hotel we were staying in and headed out of town one day to Rieselfelder Nature Reserve, a few miles north of the city. Muenster is very well suited to cycling, with cycle paths everywhere and it is estimated that 35-40% of trips made each year locally are by bicycle. Bikes are everywhere!

We had just stopped to look at a map of the reserve next to a cafe when a huge bird glided past us into a nearby field! It was one of those moments where you can't really believe your eyes as it was the end of October and I thought that white storks would have migrated south by then! However, in the next field were about a dozen white storks together with half a dozen great white egrets.

Here are two of the storks working their way up the field looking for worms and amphibians and lizards.

The nature reserve is extensive with multiple lakes and reedbeds and other habitat. We cycled round the perimeter and also saw a White Fronted Goose and Middle Spotted Woodpecker. However, we spent a good half an hour looking at the storks and afterwards went in a cafe where in Spring they nest on the roof. Incidentally, whilst in Strasbourg in early March 2020, our eldest daughter was watching white storks build and maintain nests on the rooftops and trees in the city, that region is very densely populated with them after a long running conservation programme which started in the 1970s.

More information on the Rieselfelder Nature Reserve (in German) can be found here

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