Birdwatching - The Basics



What is hidden in the grass?




The Basics of Birdwatching


Like many things in life, either you like it or you don't. As simple as that. Some start birdwatching very early in life others come to it at various stages in their life. When you go out birdwatching you will find it calms you down. In our hectic times this is very good news for stressed people.


However, you are also urged to start looking at things from nature's point of view. What equipment is necessary? Of course you will need a field guide. I believe that Collins Bird Guide by Lars Svensson, Dan Zetterström and Peter J. Grant, is still a very good field guide to take out. For German readers I recommend "Der Kosmos Vogelfuehrer", Author Lars Svensson.


Both books have brilliant drawings of all species, also maps show regular breeding, wintering or migration. Both books are still pocket size and have extensive information for field recognition of birds.


A good pair of binoculars is required with magnification 8 X 56 for use even in twilight; also possible is a glass with magnification 10 X 42. What suits you and your eyes best, please find out for yourself.


As for clothing, you should not go out wearing strong Colours such as yellow or red. Outdoor clothing is fully suitable and the cloth should not make a rustling noise. Have you got it all? Then start birdwatching.


Look at the above pic. Where are they? There are three common snipes hidden in the gras. They do their best to hide them from us humans. With patience you can spot them anyway. The rest is going out and look what there is to see for you.


Make notes, maybe mark maps with your findings. It makes sense to join a club. In the UK the first choice is the RSPC in Germany it would the Nabu or Naturschutzbund. 



Rehdener Geestmoor
Observation tower Rehdener Geestmoor Diepholzer Moorniederung
Rehdener Geestmoor
Rehdener Geestmoor Diepholzer Moorniederung
Common Crane
Common Cranes feeding on a harvested field


Birdwatching - Observing Cranes



Some Rules for Observing Cranes


You should arrive at least one hour bevor sunset. Please allow for sufficient time for your walk from the car park to the observation post.


  1. Use the observation post in the region in order to watch cranes flying in at their resting and sleeping areas.
  2. Keep calm and be silent.
  3. You should use light intense binoculars magnifying 8x56 or 10x42 maybe even 15x42. A spotting scope at 30x80 is also much to be advised, please consider using a tripod for more stability.
  4. Bird photography only with light intense fixed focal length, but only as long as available light allows for taking shots at all. No flash photography. Over ISO 1600 the shots are rendered useless. At that point it is better to just watch and enjoy the wonderful cranes.
  5. Always keep your distance. The flight distance is rather high, on average between 200 m to 300 m.
  6. All cranes heads up in the air means the birds feel quite significantly be disturbed. Expect the entire group to fly away immediately.
  7. During daylight observe the cranes from your car when the birds are on the fields feeding.


Watching Cranes
How to best watch cranes as pdf download
Common Crane Observation Rules.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 526.3 KB
Common Crane
Cranes flying in to their resting places
Crane observation
Observation post at Oppenweher Moor
Common Crane
Cranes fyling in to their resting places

Oppenweher Moor Diepholzer Moorniederung
Oppenweher Moor with rainbow at the horizon
Oppenweher Moor Diepholzer Moorniederung
Oppenweher Moor Observation post