The "Song of a Blackbird – as it is poetically called in a song title – is present everywhere in Fortschwind. Because the blackbird is still very common in the Hochstadt district. A barn swallow also sails high up through the air, but is reluctant to be caught on camera. Yes, the village and its surroundings are a bird paradise. The Fortschwinder noticed this as early as 1958 and founded a songbird protection association. Since then, bird walks have taken place every year on Ascension Day, attracting visitors from far and wide.
Stefan Arneth and Gerhard Utzmann, who currently lead the association as chairmen, also see themselves obliged to other tasks. Voluntarily, but for the well-being of their feathered friends they count twice a year to the given dates of the "hour of the winter birds" and the "Hour of the Garden Birds the bird population. In the last days – from 9. until the 12. May – the Landesbund fur Vogelschutz had called for a count of garden birds.
As the name suggests, one hour at a time was to be counted in the garden or around the house.
The Landesbund provides counting aids and information material for easy identification of the bird species. After all, not only trained ornithologists should participate in the count. Stefan Arneth counted 13 different bird species on his own property on Ascension Day. The great tit, blue tit, serin, goldfinch, chaffinch, greenfinch, redstart and barn swallows were among them. The most common species was of course the field and house sparrow.
"The ideal time for a count is early in the morning and when the weather is nice.", says Gerhard Utzmann.
Not for nothing the club has scheduled its bird call hike early at six o’clock. Already at noon, the birds would become quite quiet. The bird count has only existed for a few years. The results can be submitted online, by mail or by fax to the regional association. "A feedback you also get", says Stefan Arneth. The Landesbund evaluates the results and sends them to the association. Based on the numbers, it had been determined last year that the population of blackbirds had declined sharply due to a disease. But the two chairmen can now reassure bird lovers: In their region, the blackbird population is stable.
A new record was set by the association at this year’s bird walk.
A total of 62 different bird species were heard and in some cases even seen during the bird song hike led in two groups by Hochstadt biologist Hans Krautblatter and Konrad Beringer from Burgebrach. Among them are rare species such as the kingfisher, the oriole or the bluethroat. Around 70 participants learned interesting facts about flora and fauna during the hikes.