This may come as a surprise and it is sure to rock the stocks, yet it is an inevitable consequence of recent developments and a logic step to those familiar with European affairs:

The Germans are preparing to leave the European Union

No seriously. We, the people of Germany, have had enough of this nonsense. The awful mess that’s been going on for the last few years is not getting better in spite of all the predictions and all our efforts. As a matter of fact, it is getting worse by the day. We are therefore leaving the sinking ship before it pulls us under.

So there you go, Europe! Hasta la vista baby, we won’t be back, and auf nimmer wiedersehen.

Leaving the European Union is not an easy task. The problem is that the logistic issues have been underestimated and we’re all just allowed one suitcase per person. These restrictions are harsh but understandable. The transfer of around 80 Million people in buses through the Swiss Alps and the French Rhone valley to ferry ports along the northern coast of the Mediterranean is not even the biggest challenge. The crucial factor limiting the maximum baggage is the transport of the entire German population to their new home in the central Saharan desert regions of southern Algeria, Mali and Niger by camel.

Now, I presume that not all the readers of this blog post will be familiar with the reasons behind the Germans’ leaving Germany for a life in the northern Sahel zone, so I’ll quickly summarize the main events:

  • The winter of 2012/2013 has been the darkest winter ever, since daily sunlight hours were recorded. The months of January and February 2013 were particularly dark and gloomy.
  • March 2013 was the coldest March in more than 100 years.
  • April 2013 was extremely dry and also unusually cold.
  • May 2013 was the wettest May on record, like… ever, with extreme flood events that even killed people.
  • June 2013 was equally wet and cold at first, with a record-breaking heat wave around the middle of the month followed by record-breaking cold and rainy weather. Yes, there was frost on some mornings at the end of June.
  • July 2013 started just as cold and wet as June ended.

We thus see no reason for staying here any longer and have decided to leave for a destination that’s guaranteed to be more sunny and warm. Thankfully, financial aspects were not an issue as the selling of Heligoland to the British birder scene alone allowed us to purchase much of southern Algeria. I can expect a few new species for my year list once I arrive at my new home in the northern Hoggar mountains, which makes the entire process fine with me. However, I will certainly miss old friends from home. If ever I felt sympathy for the American Acclimatization Society’s release of European Starlings to the New World, it is now. Of course we are not officially allowed to take living animals with us (allegedly, Leberwurst is fine). I might still feel tempted though to smuggle an avian souvenir into my backpack for nostalgia’s sake, like this little Eurasian Magpie I recently watched foraging just outside my office window. Judging by the state of its plumage, it probably won’t mind some sunny days at last …

 euro magpie1


euro magpie 2

Written by Jochen
Jochen Roeder was born in Germany and raised to be a birder. He also spent a number of years abroad, just so he could see more birds. One of his most astounding achievements is the comprehension that Yellow-crowned Night-herons do not exist, as he failed to see any despite birding in North America for more than two years. He currently lives near Heidelberg, one of the most boring places for a birder to live, a fact about which he likes to whinge a lot. When he is not birding or trying to convince his teenage son that patiently scanning some fields for migrants is more fun than staring at a smartphone, he enjoys contemplating the reasoning behind the common names of birds. He first became famous in the bird blog world on Bell Tower Birding.