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Vilm in the course of the year

Snow in spring…

European Tree Frog (04.14.2013)
European Tree Frog (04.14.2013)

The last remaining patches of snow are quickly melting away. Swallows and House Martins have arrived and the morning chorus of the songbirds is beautiful. Spring has come late this year and the island was still covered in piles of snow up to the end of March.

Now nature tries to catch up and everything seems to be in a hurry: Spring flowers in the forest start to flower and amphibians are on their way to the different small ponds and swamps on the island.


Spring flowers on Isle of Vilm (04.14.2013): Anemone nemorosa, Hepathicum nobilis, Ranunculus ficaria, Corydalis cava
Spring flowers on Isle of Vilm (04.14.2013): Anemone nemorosa, Hepathicum nobilis, Ranunculus ficaria, Corydalis cava

Thousands of marine and diving ducks and mergansers are taking a rest on the Greifswald Lagoon around Isle of Vilm. It will not be for long and they also will continue their journey up north to their breeding sites.

Waterfowl (Golden eyes, Tufted Ducks, Mergansers and Goosanders in the waters around Isle of Vilm (04.14.2013)
Waterfowl (Golden eyes, Tufted Ducks, Mergansers and Goosanders in the waters around Isle of Vilm (04.14.2013)

Nature is more than a bar code…

In the more sheltered areas of the Greifswald Lagoon the first ice has formed and freezing temperatures dominate the weather forecast. The Isle of Vilm is covered with 10 cm of snow and the silent landscape looks peaceful and at rest; however, numerous footprints from various animals tell a different story: Life is continuing and the struggle for survival is ongoing - despite of the silent scenery.

In the forest one can already hear the mating calls from the White Tailed Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla), who apparently already start preparing for the next breeding season (which starts already in January for White Tailed Eagles). According to the nature conservation law of the Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the strict rules on how to behave around the nesting sites of eagles during their breeding season already enter into force on the 1st of January.


White Tailed Eagle at the Kochufer-Cliff (11.12.2012)
White Tailed Eagle at the Kochufer-Cliff (11.12.2012)

Bar code: Ice on Beech trees(11.12.2012)
Bar code: Ice on Beech trees(11.12.2012)

Next breeding season? Looking at the low temperatures, this comes as a small surprise. Besides the many wintering ducks that hang out on the open waters of the Greifswald Lagoon, the Great Shrike (Lanius excubitor) has arrived again (like last winter) and even one or two Dippers (Cinclus cinclus) were observed along the cliff coast. Following the cold and icy winds and the snowfall, many trees have been partly covered by ice and snow. Some on the slender trunks of middle age Beech stands look like the cool and technocratic bar code on a sales label.

Nevertheless a simple scanning of nature luckily is not possible. Instead, nature continues to surprise us with new astounding insights, its diversity and simple beauty - and makes us lean back and relax for a moment.

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