About two times per year, I spend a few weeks in Northern Germany – Visselhövede, to be exact. This is not generally a very joyful occasion – daily visits to my mother, whose dementia is progressing, tend to be fairly depressing. Fortunately, there also birds here, and as I only started birding in China, I am not even that familiar with them.

In fact, some common birds here are quite attractive and/or cute. This includes of course the European Robin, the European Greenfinch, the Eurasian Wren and the Eurasian Nuthatch.

European Robin

European Greenfinch

Eurasian Wren

Eurasian Nuthatch

There are also several tits. At the place where I put my photo blind, Eurasian Blue Tit and Great Tit are very easy to observe.

Eurasian Blue Tit

Great Tit

Then there are raptors, birds that are quite rare in Shanghai but common here, so I am quite excited to get some good shots of them, particularly the Common Buzzard. A bit more exciting: a White-tailed Eagle at a Nature Reserve Area (Meissener Teiche/Bannetzer Moor).

Common Buzzard

White-tailed Eagle

Bigger birds around here include the White Storch and the Common Crane. Some of the latter have actually stopped migrating and live in Northern Germany all year round.

White Stork

Common Crane

Finally, there are woodpeckers – both the Great Spotted Woodpecker and the European Green Woodpecker.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

European Green Woodpecker


Sometimes I show some of my photos to my mother. She seems to enjoy them.


Written by Kai Pflug
Kai Pflug has been living in Shanghai for 20 years. He only became interested in birds in China – so he is much more familiar with birds in China than with those in Germany. While he will only ever be an average birder, he aims to be a good bird photographer and has created a website with bird photos as proof. He hopes not too many clients of his consulting company read this blog, as they will doubt his dedication to providing consulting services related to China`s chemical industry. Whenever he wants to shock other birders, he tells them his (indoor) cats can distinguish several warblers by taste.