Presentation about ‘nature photography in Siberia’ in Münster, Germany

Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) in the russian Taiga

On Saturday, there is the annual meeting of the Amur Bird Project (ABP) in Münster. There will be some interesting talks about birds in the eastern Palearctic. See the programme here.

I am delighted that I have the opportunity to show photos from Russia at the end of the day. See you there!

 

Presentation about ‘nature photography in Siberia’ in Münster, Germany

‘Nature photography in southern Siberia’

Just returned from a presentation about Siberia in Konstanz. Thank you very much for the invitation and the feedback =)

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Searching for insects

During my stay on Scharhörn I wondered which insects made the jump to this island. It’ s only 15 km to the mainland – but this is a distance that many insects cannot cover without help.

One of the first insects I found on Scharhörn: Eristalinus aeneus (Glänzende Faulschlammschwebfliege). Flies can reach the island without any help.

For sure, many insects were transported by chance from the mainland. But even if they made the jump to Scharhörn, it is not easy to survive: Salt everywhere, only a very small number of plant species grow and storm surges can flood most of the island at any time of the year. A species of sawflies made the jump and reproduced in the European Searocket (Cakile maritima – Europäische Meersenf) were i found some larvae.

Turnip sawfly (Athalia rosae – Rübsen-Blattwespe) feeding on Tripleurospermum maritimum. Scharhörn, September 2019
European Searocket (Cakile maritima -Europäische Meersenf) in the dunes – the presumed food of the sawflies

There are also few species of bugs which occurs on Scharhörn:

Lygus maritimus, Scharhörn, September 2019

Lygus maritimus is adapted to feed in various plants of the salt marshes and I found individuals on Sea Wormwood (Artemisia maritima – Strand-Beifuß) and Tripleurospermum maritimum (Echte Strandkamille). Of course there is a parasite which larvae lives in these bugs – Phania funesta.

Phania funesta – Erdwanzenfliege, Germany (Hamburg), imago, feeding on Tripleurospermum maritimum

There’s always a parasite in nature….. For example, owl moths (Noctuidae) have also made it to the island, as have parasites of them – Ophion obscuratus as well as Netelius sp. which probably live in the caterpillars of moths as well.

Netelius sp. – a species of the Ichneumonidae. Few is known about these insects. Scharhörn, 2019

Surprisingly, I found no spiders and very few beetles. The most interesting of these was Broscus cephalotes (Kopfkäfer) – a nocturnal, predatory ground beetle.

Broscus cephalotes (Kopfkäfer) in front of its burrow. Scharhörn, 2019

In sum, I found just little more than 30 species of insects on the isle. Well, it was very stormy and by far to late in the season for many species. Maybe, there will be a next time to have a closer look earlier in the season.

Searching for insects

Just a normal friday

Now that I have shown so many beautiful sides of Scharhörn, I want to point to the less beautiful ones. Scharhörn lies in the North Sea – an industrially very heavily used water. As national park ‘Hamburgisches Wattenmeer’ the area itself is well protected and the disturbances are low on Scharhörn and Nigehörn.
However, even there one is constantly reminded that mankind is changing its entire environment. Already at sunrise this cannot be denied.

Oil drilling platform, cargo ship and 65 wind turbines in view of Scharhörn at sunrise

Scharhörn lies next to the Elbe fairway – which means that many container ships, fishing boats and more pass it every day.

Map showing the current position of ships (coloured arrows) around Scharhörn (red dot in the centre) and the routes of the ships within a year (blue = individual voyages, red = many voyages). Copyright: www.marinetraffic.com

This means, among other things, that you can hear the ship’s engines – no tragedy. What is worse is that much of what is thrown overboard arrives. Also the currents carry what gets into the sea at the East Frisian islands to Nigehörn. The garbage is counted and collected regularly on a defined route. Last Friday I collected the garbage on a distance of 120 meters.

Here is the result:

Garbage which I collected on 120 m length at the beach of Scharhörn.

113 glass bottles, 9 light bulbs, 2 wheelbarrows full of plastic waste (plastic bottles, canisters, crashed balloons, cords, ropes, shoes, shoe soles, etc.), spray cans, cleaning agents as well as two wheelbarrows fishing waste (nets and the like) and 80-100 kg heavy oil. This rubbish did not collect there for years, but was the result of the spring tide of the 18th September. To emphasize this again: All in all seven wheelbarrows filled with garbage as result of a single spring tide on a 120 m long distance at the beach. So – just a normal Friday… Do we really want to leave the earth like this?

During this work it occurred to me that it was Friday for future – a work fitting well for this day even though it has nothing to do with climate protection. But the next day was the international coastal cleanup day

 

Just a normal friday