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This is an absolute paradise for birds. Wherever we walk, we see birds, among them many species we have never known before. Whether feeding their young, fishing for their dinner, taking their little ones for a swim, or performing aerial ballets, we could watch them forever.

This notecard consists of several photos which, I hope, will show you why we are so fascinated by the local bird life. We’ll start with a bird familiar to all people who live near a coast, the seagull, but of course this is the local sea gull: Silbermöwe, or Silver Gull:

Silbermöwe

Silbermöwe

Another type of gull is the beautiful Laughing Gull.

Besides laugh, it shrieks!

Besides laughing, it shrieks!

An elegant, graceful bird is the Seeschwalbe, a local tern.

Will I find dinner tonight?

Will I find dinner tonight?

We watched this one fish in a Priel,

Sea Swallow fishing

Seeschwalbe fishing

come up with a little silver fish,

Here comes dinner!

Here comes dinner!

and fly off with it.

One of the ubiquitous, beautiful, but also very noisy, birds is the Oyster Catcher. They are everywhere and breed, like many of these birds, in the open grasslands. They are very protective of their young and try to warn us, by shrieking insistently and flying around us, that a young one may be close and to please get out of there. We have to be fast and non-threatening to take their pictures. Here Mama Oyster Catcher is taking her little one out for a walk.

Mama Oyster Catcher showing the young one the ropes

Mama Oyster Catcher showing the young one the ropes

This is a Rotschenkel, or Red Thigh (the name sounds better in German).

Easy to spot:  the bird with the red legs

Easy to spot: the bird with the red legs

A new-to-us bird is the Säbelschnäbler, so named because its beak resembles a saber. What a joy when we first “met” it, in grasslands near a Priel. It was quite far away, and we didn’t get too close a look at it. But on other occasions we encountered these birds fairly close-up. We were especially enchanted when we saw dozens of them one evening, near the walkway by the coast, performing a seemingly choreographed aerial ballet. We took lots of pictures, but we have only room for a few:

Säbelschnäbler

Säbelschnäbler

elegant and graceful

Elegant and graceful

Coming in for a Landing

Coming in for a Landing

Lots of Priels, lots of ducks. Who isn’t moved by a Mama duck and her brood:

Mama Duck and her Brood

Mama Duck and her Brood

The Ducklings' Nursery School

The Ducklings’ Nursery School

The Eiderente is a very colorful duck which is molting at this time. But we can still see this male duck in his beautiful black and white outfit.

The Male Eider Duck in his best outfit

The Male Eider Duck in his best outfit

The Eider Duck

The Eider Duck

A couple of smaller birds that we see, but not too frequently, are the Alpenstrandläufer and the Steinwälzer.

A small but pretty bird

A small but pretty bird, the Alpenstrandläufer

Still in his breeding plumage

The Steinwälzer still in his breeding plumage

Shells of two bird eggs we found on our walks

Shells of two bird eggs we found on our walks

Our feathered friends left these behind

Our feathered friends left these behind

To live with and near these beautiful birds is a special treat for us.

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