Saturday 6 December 2014

Bremen, Germany.

The second Christmas market of the trip and a Carol service in the city Cathedral.

Around the Market.
We picked Alan up from Belsen and the weaved our way through the minor roads to the motorway to the city, we arrived and parked near the centre. We soon found the market and had a very nice couple of hours walking around the stalls before going in to the Cathedral where we listened to a small Choir singing carols for several hundred people.
Art in the town.
Later we again went around the market had some food and drinks before making our way back to Belsen by a slightly round about way as we went up the motorway in totally the wrong way and eventually reaching the North sea coast before turning back. During the day I saw Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Common (Gaviota Cana /Larus canus) and Herring Gull (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus).

Christmas Decorations.

Town Center.

Stained glass window.
Church Door.
The Cathedral.

Friday 5 December 2014

Bergen / Munster area in Germany.

A run around the local area and another meal with Alan.
Day Two.

War Cemetery.
Alan was working so Jayne and I headed in to Bergen the nearest town and did the shops and as we walked around we visited Church, War Memorial and the War Cemetery. In the cemetery I saw a single Treecreeper (Agateador Norteño / Certhia familiaris), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus).
Local Church and War Mermorial.
During the afternoon we went for a drive out and about and ended up in Munster, not the big Munster but a smaller town to the North of Bergen. During the drive I saw a single female Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus), Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulg aris), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major).
Entrance post at Cemetery.
Later we met Alan and we drove down to a small town called Celle and experienced our first German Christmas market and a great experience it was. Jayne and Alan had a Gluhwein and later we all went and had a very nice Indian meal before heading back.

Jayne and Alan in Celle.
Jayne with a glass of Gluhwein.
Stall in the Market.

Thursday 4 December 2014

Travelling from Home to Bergen/ Belsen in Germany.

Travelling out to see Alan in Germany.
Day One.


We made a 02:15 silly O'clock start down to Malaga airport and caught a flight out to Cologne in Germany which all went well until we arrived and had to rely on instructions given by EASYCAR.COM. From the start things went totally wrong, directions said wait in arrivals for their representative. Half an hour later we moved to step two and called the phone number and got a does not exists message, we thought this may have been our Spanish phones not working in Germany but a very kind German gentleman rang the number three times with the same response so by now we were wondering if we had been stitched by some scam. I next tried to find an information desk but before I managed that I asked for direction at an airlines desk and was told that the company I was looking for actually have a desk in the airport. So armed with new direction I found the car hire company and was told by the guy there that they have told EASYCAR dozens of times that all the information they give out is a load of garbage. Any way then came the second shock, the car was ready and the chap agreed that I had paid in full and had taken out the extra insurance to cover my excesses but would still have to pay them a €1000 deposit for excesses as the insurance was with EASYCAR and nothing to do with them and if I lost the €1000 to them I would have to try and claim it back from EASYCAR when we get home. I did not have the time or will to argue so I paid and went on our way. OK the car was very nice and served us well for the week but we were both well stressed and had waisted over two hours sorting it out. All in all booking through EASYCAR was a nightmare and I would not recommend any one to use this bunch of incompetent pillocks.

The Hotel.
Once we were on the way the printed direction we had down loaded from Google earth worked a treat and we were soon out of the airport and on the motorways heading for our hotel in Offen near to where Alan is working. On the way I recorded a few species from the car including Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Rook (Graja /  Corvus frugilegus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Herring Gull (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) and two Great White Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba).
The back entrance from our room.

Mid afternoon and we arrived at our hotel which was on the edge of a very small village called Offen, we checked into the Michaelishoff and sorted out out stuff as we were going to be here for five nights. Later we met up with Alan and went for a nice Greek meal in Bergen.

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Above Rosario, Malaga Province.

A few hours at a cracking new site.

Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia).
I dropped Jayne and Bev off at their Christmas meal with the rest of the Crafty ladies on the out skirts of Villanueva del Rosario and then I headed up in to the hills near by on a track Bev had shown us earlier on the way to the meal. I drove for a few KM and then parked and checked out an area of Hawthorn Bushes and soon had Redwing (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus illacus), Mistle (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Song Thrushes (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla). 
Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
I continued on up the hill and parked at the upper view point and checked an area of rocks and scree where I added Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
I dropped back down to a track off to the left of the main track where I was checking some high sheer cliffs very optomistic checking them for a wintering Wallcreeper but I only managed a nice Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and a Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) on a small stream.
Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis).
From here I dropped back down the hill and went to the hotel where I was picking Jayne up from, in the parking area I added Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).