Birds seen in Europe (Part 5)

Where there is the sea, there will be gulls. After all, the sea is what a gull calls home. Looking back, we did spend much of our vacation close to water, so it was natural to have spotted gulls in almost every city that we visited.

Common Gull

Unlike what the name suggests, the Common Gull was not really everywhere. Characterised by a red eye-ring, we first spotted it at Roskilde, Denmark, atop one of the houses. While on the boat from Flam to Gudvangen on Naeroyfjord (one of Norway’s scenic fjords) however, there were many of them following us, looking out for scraps of food. Continue reading

Birds seen in Europe (Part 4)

Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

Eurasian Magpie

While in Bergen, Norway, we decided to make a quick visit to the closest Stave Church in the area, located in Fantoft. As we walked up the hill from the tram station, we saw a colourful bird fly and seat itself on a signpost. It was surely a Magpie, but much larger than what I’d seen in India. It’s blue and green feathers against the dominant black and white looked beautiful. It sat sufficiently long, that I got a good picture.

Eurasian Magpie - Stave Church Fantoft near Bergen Norway
Eurasian Magpie at Fantoft, Norway

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Birds seen in Europe (Part 3)

Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

The most seen bird in Bangalore during our childhood was easily the sparrow.  They’d be all over the backyard, bathing in the open tank, picking at the sun-dried grain and nesting right in our house in-between the roof tiles. It seems that sparrows have vanished from our homes in Bangalore, so whenever I see them in other places, I always stop to watch (though I still have the pleasure of seeing them in Mumbai where I now live).

House Sparrow

The sparrows we saw in Denmark and Norway were much fluffier than the ones we have in India, overweight by our sparrow standards, and better equipped to tackle the low temperatures they encounter.

Sparrow female Tivoli
House Sparrow female, Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Birds spotted in Europe (Part 2)

Read Part 1 here.

The King’s Garden is the oldest park in Copenhagen, established in the 17th century, abutting the Rosenborg Castle of King Christian IV. On our first morning in Copenhagen, we spent some time walking through this 12-hectare park, taking in the sights and smells of the Danish spring.

walk through Kings Garden
King’s Garden, Copenhagen

Hooded Crow

Here and there, strutting around on the green grass of the King’s Garden with authority were these birds that behaved like our Indian House Crows, but they looked different – dominant light grey plumage with glossy black restricted to head, throat, wings and tail. They were bigger but with the same boldness, not hesitating to walk close to humans. We didn’t see many crows during the rest of our trip. Continue reading

Birds spotted in Europe (Part 1)

Where there is food and water, there will be animal life. This is particularly true for birds for whom there are no boundaries… the sky is their limit!

On our recent 15-day trip to Europe, specifically The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, we spotted many birds, a few that we see in our backyards and neighbourhoods in India, but many that I hadn’t seen before. Whenever possible, I tried to capture them on my camera.

Our first stop was the tulip gardens of Keukenhof, The Netherlands. With the millions of flowers, I guess our attention was on them and not on the birds that were possibly around. At one point many were looking way up high to check out a distinctive knocking sound. It was a woodpecker hammering away, scarcely visible among the trees. Before I could focus, it had flown away. We didn’t see a woodpecker again on our trip. Continue reading