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The lake and forest around Glambecker Mill - Richards Diary part 3

Monday 19th April

Roland and I are up early to sample the delights of the lake and forest around Glambecker Mill. There is something special about the first day at a new place and the birders’ instincts to get out early are impossible to resist. We wander expectantly around Glambecker Lake. A deep croak reminds me of the ravens which pass over our house at home. We spot a pair of goldeneye on the lake and later on the old carp ponds. Goldeneye breed at the mill, giving it a Scandinavian feel. A very loud shrill ‘kree kree kree’ echoes through the forest and we both think “black woodpecker!”, but it isn’t - Roland spots three huge shapes over the tops of the trees and we see our first sea eagles – two adults with their white tails and a young bird, possibly their youngster from last year. All three are huge ‘barn doors’ with long, broad wings, and we can see their heads and pale beaks. They disappear around the corner of the wood leaving Glambecker Lake feeling suddenly empty.

We walk up the forest track through the beech wood, away from the mill. There’s a sound like a road drill coming from the trees in front of us. I spot a dark shape flick through the canopy and land in a dead beech - a big black bird with a pale beady eye, chunky bill and red cap - a male black woodpecker. Roland gets onto it quickly and we watch it for 10 minutes, warming itself in the early sun. It flies off into the woods giving a very loud ‘breh breh breh breh’ call like a hysterical frog. The sound must travel for miles.

Glambecker Mill in the early morning light
Glambecker Mill in the early morning light

View of the lake at Glambecker Mill
Glambecker Mill Lake

Forest sign to the mill
Forest sign to the mill

Record of first black woodpecker
Record shot of our first black woodpecker

We go back for a sausagey breakfast and coffee, and meet Lutz, the mill manager. He’s immediately helpful and friendly, although he speaks only a little English and our German is very basic. We start to unpack the truck in the bright sunshine. What a lovely spot.

Beate, Eberhard and Lutz in one of the core areas
Beate, Eberhard and Lutz in one of the core areas

image of a crate of German beer
The comforting sight of good German beer

Having unloaded and locked the mill, we return to Angermunde with Lutz to buy food. Angermunde is a lovely town with typical German houses and shops. We note the lack of cars on the roads and lack of people. We buy bacon and sausages in the butchers using basic German, although Lutz is keen to help us. The local shops are great and we get a good range of fruit and veg. In the park on the edge of the town there’s a big world war II monument to the fallen soldiers of the former USSR. Local people seem phlegmatic about it.

This is the diary of Richard Archer, RSPB Conservation Officer for Somerset.  In mid April, Richard spent three weeks as part of the RSPB/WWT/Pensthorpe crane team collecting crane eggs in Eastern Germany. These are his personal
reflections on the successful German visit. You can read all of Richards Diary here.

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Richard Archer is RSPB’s Conservation Officer for Somerset, and took his sabbatical in the of Spring 2010 to help with the collection, incubation and transport of the first year’s eggs.