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A Birdwatching Guide to Brandenburg and Berlin

Well done Roger!

A Birdwatching Guide to Brandenburg and Berlin by Roger | White Softcover | 2012 | ISBN 9780956149947 | 230 Pages | Colour photos | Colour maps

Publisher (Author) View: This guide details 110 sites in and around Berlin with detailed information on access, habitat and species. It contains colour maps and photographs throughout, and a calendar with seasonal highlights. There are suggested itineraries and recommendations on where to stay in this exciting but under-recognised region, as well as tips on finding sought-after specialities such as lesser spotted eagle, great bustard, little crake, thrush nightingale, river warbler, red-breasted flycatcher and rosefinch, and the best sites for seeing thousands of wintering geese, or the autumn crane migration.

Fatbirder View: No mention is made, so I assume that no support was given the author by national or local tourism authorities in Germany which is sad as the author has done a great job for them. Why on earth isn’t Germany of the radar of British birders? Thanks to Roger White it’s now on mine and I firmly hope that his book takes off and others are encouraged to bird there.

This is a very well written book not only covering the sites, access, species to be seen and so forth but helpfully supplying a signage glossary so anyone who does bird from the English speaking world will know what is where. Germany has long been good at conservation and have a fine history of ornithology so this sort of guide is a natural extension. Well done Roger I hope your hard work and farsightedness are rewarded.

Guest Reviewer View: Roger White started birdwatching tours several years ago in the area of Brandenburg and Berlin in northeastern Germany and became an enthusiastic observer of the rich bird life during breeding and migration seasons. Among the breeding species are the last stronghold of Great Bustard (Otis tarda) in northern Europe, Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina), Hoopoe (Upupa epops), Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva), Barred Warbler (Sylvia nisoria), the nearly extinct Aquatic Warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola), and others. Special migrating visitors are thousands of White-fronted (Anser erythropus) and Bean Geese (Anser fabalis) and Common Cranes (Grus grus). He felt that this abundant birdlife was more or less unknown to foreign birdwatchers and decided to write a book about his experience to guide birdwatchers who want to know more about birdlife of that area. Before he started to gather relevant information about sites and species during his own visits he consulted local birdwatchers to find the best sites. In the end, the book became a fantastic survey of the recent highlights of bird life in Brandenburg and Berlin.

The book starts with a survey of location and description of the area, of how to travel, where to stay, and which maps to buy for helpful orientation. A vocabulary of German words helps overseas birders to find their way. A calendar highlights the bird occurrences during four seasons of the year, and a species summary gives information about the species which might well be seen during a visit. Seven areas of Brandenburg are selected that contain the different sites described in the guide. For each site a local map is presented with the German local names for better understanding of the maps. The text includes details of how to get there, where to leave a car, where to walk to find observation facilities, and also which nearby restaurants are worth a visit. In many cases colour photographs show views of the site or an observation tower. A listing of the main species to be expected completes the description.

For visitors to Berlin 31 sites are selected which show how diverse the bird life of this city is, including a colony of Black Terns Chlidonias niger at Müggelsee, a site with a pair of Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus (Flughafensee), numerous Middle Spotted Woodpeckers Dendrocopos medius in forests mainly of the western part of the city, Red-breasted Flycatchers Ficedula parva found at Tegeler Forst, or numerous Great Reed Warblers Acrocephalus arundinaceus in all larger reed beds.

This book is not only a very good guide for foreign birdwatchers but also for native ones as it is a description of currently known sites and species in Brandenburg and Berlin. The author of this review successfully explored a new site in Brandenburg thanks to this guide. This book is recommended as providing very helpful information for all birdwatchers interested in the area.

Klaus Witt

Buy this book from www.nhbs.com