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The Saxon Adventures of a Tea-Loving Dave - June 2016

Discussion in 'Germany' started by TeaLovingDave, 23 Apr 2016.

  1. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    In a little over a month, I shall be embarking on my third trip to the continent :) this time, I will be using Hamburg as my base of operations, with trips planned to take me to collections within the surrounding states of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, along with the enclave state of Freie Hansestadt Bremen. As Hamburg itself possesses the rank of a state, this means that I will be visiting a total of four German states during my travels.

    Once again, I will be travelling with my girlfriend Helly, her parents and the old family friend, Claire. However, this time Helly's parents have also convinced her aunt, Marg, to tag along. As with previous trips, however, we will pretty much be going our seperate ways whilst in Germany. My itinerary is roughly decided, but the precise order of events is quite plastic. The current plan is as follows, with fixed points in bold and those events which could be shuffled around in italics:

    June 2: Flight to Hamburg
    June 3: Vogelpark Walsrode

    June 4: Vogelpark Walsrode
    June 5: Tierpark Hagenbeck
    June 6: Wildpark Schwartze-Berg
    June 7: Zoo Hannover
    June 8: Vogelpark Niendorf
    June 9: Zoo am Meer

    June 10: Flight home

    The fixed points within my travels, by the way, are due to having booked advance train fares to Walsrode and Hannover, and having arranged to meet up with Animal at Tierpark Hagenbeck.

    So, I am once again starting this thread to obtain advice and tips on visiting any of the above collections, along with suggestions for alternative collections I could visit instead of any of the above, advice about food I should try in the area, and general advice about spending time in Hamburg and the surrounding area.

    This time, I also intend to do a fair bit of wildlife-watching in the evenings, as I am aware of a few good places to do so in the outskirts of Hamburg. Any tips or advice here would be good too.

    After my trip (and once I'm finished my Bavaria report!) I shall provide a full account of my travels within this thread.
     
  2. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    To kick off the comments (!) - this looks like a potentially great itinerary, with a wonderful combination of history, modernity and brilliant collections.

    The only thing that raises one of my eyebrows is the inclusion of Wildpark Schwartze-Berg. This has a beautiful setting, and is very nicely set up, but is one of those places that is massively frustrating in that with ambition it could be so, so much better, and more impressive. I would also guess that it's a bugger to get to by public transport.

    If you want a Wildpark-type experience in this area, I would recommend Luneburgur Heide, which is on a different scale (animal-wise) - and whilst still by no means perfect, does have a fairly large collection, again in a beautiful setting, with more of a palearctic theme than is the case at SB (where it's mainstream European, plus fruit bats). (I can't imagine LH is easy to reach without a car, either, mind you....).
     
  3. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    There's some great zoos in there, for sure. If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to hear more details about the wildlife sites on the outskirts of Hamburg.
     
  4. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    I am going to trip in Mullhouse zoo and Basel zoo on June 7th & 8th, too, on the second trip in the continent. :p

    Yet I would be most happy, if I was going to trip for visit of Spanish zoos as choice from all Europe, maybe because of the climate.

    Madrid zoo & aqaurium, Faunia Madrid, Barcelona zoo, Bioparc Valencia, Terra natura Benindrom, Selwo adventura, Barcelona aquarium, altough the inventory of animal species in Spanish zoos is about 250 species in species most-rich zoos (Madrid zoo & aquarium, Barcelona zoo), and with no okapis, bonobos or black rhinos in Spain.
     
    Last edited: 23 Apr 2016
  5. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    And here, in the sections I have highlighted in bold, you have inadvertently answered your own question; you are incorrect about SB being a bugger to reach - it's a hop on the S-bahn then a direct bus - but LH is *extremely* tricky, requiring about four bus changes.

    As such, although in an ideal world I would do both, I've elected to visit the one which is simple to reach and will give me time to go wildlife watching in the afternoon, even if the other is a larger collection.
     
  6. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    The sites I plan to visit are Wohldorgfer Wald and, a little further north, Duvenstedter Brook; species which, according to my research, can be seen in these areas include Black Woodpecker, Little Spotted Woodpecker, Hawfinch, Yellowhammer, Red-backed Shrike, Created Tit, Crossbill, Blackcap, Stonechat, Bluethroat, White Stork, Black Stork, Crane, Red-breasted Flycatcher and Eagle Owl. There are also said to be large numbers of Wild Boar, Falliw Deer and Beech Marten.
     
  7. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks. Best of luck with the trip.
     
  8. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Sounds brilliant Dave. I'm also a big fan of the aquarium (+reptiles) in Hannover's Lower Saxony State museum. It doesn't need a long visit but is very nicely done. :)
     
  9. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    A species I would love to get to grips with... have only ever seen one once in the 1960's (on a german zoo trip;)) when it flew across an Autobahn between forests on either side, but would love to see them closer to.
     
  10. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    As my eventual review of Innsbruck Alpenzoo will note, said collection has a fantastic exhibit for the taxon in question - so if you want to see them closer to, get there! :)
     
  11. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    NooNoo....That would be poor consolation;) this is one of those species I would only really want to see in the wild... why is it with some species one is less content to see it in captivity and its only the 'real deal' if you see them wild?:confused:
     
  12. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    If you particularly want to see Black Woodpeckers in the wild, I would recommend you visit the Bialowieza Forest in Poland. I've seen the species in a few different places, but no where in such as large numbers as in Balowieza, you can't miss them there.
     
  13. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    A little under a week to go :) I'd be very interested to hear any feedback anyone has on the various collections I plan to visit, including species I should make sure I keep an eye open for which might be easily missed, any notable unlabelled taxa, and suggested routes to follow around collections.

    I would be particularly interested in any advice regarding Walsrode, as I know there is a *lot* of unlabelled stuff there, along with species hidden away in odd little corners.....
     
  14. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    I can help with a few bits of advice from Walsrode based on stuff I was told and found out in person on my visit last year.

    - It goes without saying, but you need to make sure to go in every single building and down every single pathway, there is odd stuff hidden all over the place.

    - Make sure to go inside the restaurant, as both Montezuma and Green Oropendolas are held in there. However with this point I would emphasise that the aviaries are not immediately obvious when entering the restaurant, they are at the back through windows behind some tables so be sure to take a thorough look around - when I first went into the restaurant I looked around a bit and couldn't see them.

    - Look out for unsigned stuff in the free-flight area of the Paradise Hall and especially in the rainforest hall. You will need to devote a lot of time to the Rainforest Hall, there are about a dozen aviaries dotted around with loads of oddities (Storm's Stork, two Cock-of-the-rock species, Umbrellabird, various pigeons and doves, etc.) as well as loads of rarities free-flying including the one Misool Wattled Brush Turkey (which took a long time for me to find and a return visit on my second day), Great Cuckoo Dove, and lots of other stuff - some of which is not signed so just keep your eyes open and look at the feeders especially.

    - Make sure to look at the flight show, it's absolutely spectacular and I usually don't like animal shows at all.

    - The more unusual owl taxa (I know you will be particularly interested in the Javan Brown Wood Owls) are not held in the Owl Castle as you would expect but are actually in a row of aviaries by the penguins.

    - I would recommend you go to the baby bird feeding talk. There were quite a few interesting chicks when I visited including a few different parrots and owls.

    - There is a signposted route around the bird park that I think takes you past everything, when I visited I started by following this but after a few hours I stopped following it due to the need to keep going back to look at things and being side tracked by birds of paradise to make sure that I had been down every path and in every building before leaving.

    - Don't miss the 'behind the scenes aviaries' which are not on the map I believe however should be pretty obvious as a path leading off from the path between the lory house and the parrot house. The horned screamers are the big highlight here but other cool stuff includes some Aracaris, Tinamous, Pigeons and Doves, Couas, etc.

    - I think that's all my advice. I'll post again if I think of anything else. You will need as much time as you possibly can and you will find so many surprises here and there (the amount of awesome stuff in the lory house was a bit of a surprise for me) as for the unsigned stuff, Walsrode moves around so often that I think all you can do is look in each and every aviary to make sure you don't miss anything, the Fasanerie has a lot of cool stuff - signed and unsigned.
     
  15. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    My flight is tomorrow afternoon :) so the time has almost come!
     
  16. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    My two days at Walsrode were both fun and fruitful :) Tierpark Hagenbeck today,
     
  17. BedildaSue

    BedildaSue Well-Known Member

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    Fun!!! Looking very much forward to your review of Walsrode.
     
  18. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Some way off yet :p got to finish my review of Bavarian collections from last year first!

    Returned home to the UK tonight, so I should be going full steam ahead with the above once again in a day or two :)