Frankfurt Airport Birding : Schwanheimer Dunes

When: Late July 2022. Weather hot: 20C blazing sunshine. Time: 0830 to 1030

Leica SL2S 35mm Apo-Summicron SL

Arriving in Frankfurt airport at 0645am meant I had a few hours to kill till I could check in at my hotel in Kronberg. A friendly german birder called Jonas at Bird Lens had suggested that Schwanheimer Dunen (SD) would be a suitable place but 10-15min from the airport. Getting through immigration was a breeze with nary a restriction in these Covid times but picking up the car took another hour! We landed in Terminal 1. The car rental agency was of course in the Terminal 2. You just need to get our of the airport and there are inter-terminal buses to bring you to T2 just a few minutes away. It took an hour to get through the rental queue and get my car and then off to SD I went. However did we bird in the days before GPS!! You could get a taxi there I guess but getting a taxi back from remote birding locations is not fun.

Driving into the SD area, it was open with fields and trees aplenty and signs were good with many birds flying about….

Formed 10,000 years ago, the grasslands of silvery grass are botanically of note

No sooner had I parked, a lot of these tiger shrike like birds flitted among the trees… South-East Asia we see Tiger Shrikes reasonably easily but I was surprised to see a tiger shrike here in Germany. On checking my European bird guides and looking at other photos….
I reckoned that these were Red Backed Shrikes, a welcome lifer for me. (although the back isn’t very red…)
red backed shrike

nearby church buildings peeked above the tree line
the place is well sign-posted but everything is in German…

If you set Schwanheimer Dunen as your google map destination, it brings you to the red dot on the map. I parked there and walked clockwise along the blue trail, then up and across the yellow track to the right will it met with the brown track which is the boardwalk bringing me back to the red spot. I then went along the blue trail in the anticlockwise direction and looped around the biggest lake on the map before going along the yellow track leading up to where the brown boardwalk track was and brought me back to the car.

Male great tits were everywhere…

another great tit
a female blackcap
then this lovely woodpecker appeared …a female greater spotted woodpecker
common wood pigeon…a large ubiquitous bird
And then a lovely Eurasian Jay took off from the bushes….
board walk across the middle of the reserve…well kept
along the side of the boardwalk is a lake which is very hard to see as it’s very overgrown here…

After a couple of hours it got too hot at about 1030. This was a great way to spend a few hours as nothing is open in Germany on Sundays…no shops, no outlets….nada. Only birding…..


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