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Written by
Keith Allsop
Keith Allsop

Wildlife on the King Ludwig Way

Keith-king-ludwigThe landscape along the King Ludwig Way is mostly a mixture of coniferous forest and meadow. This is ideal country for Buzzards and Kites; nesting sites in the trees and open meadow for scavenging. Buzzards are frequently seen spiralling upwards in currents of warm air but they are ground feeders and as you emerge from forest tracks you will often disturb a Buzzard feeding in the meadow. Once disturbed, it will fly off, fast and low, beating it's wings with long powerful strokes until it gains enough height to perch in a nearby tree.

Buzzard

Buzzard in Flight

Kites behave slightly differently. They use their distinctive forked tail like a rudder keeping themselves steady as they scour the ground for carrion. Strangely you never see them do anything else except fly around. You rarely see them perching or swooping down to eat. The only time I've seen a Kite eat is at a red Kite feeding station. The other common woodland bird that you will see is the Jay. British Jays are sleek, colourful birds, bright pink with a flash of Kingfisher blue and a very distinctive snow white rump that is clearly visible as it flies away. Bavarian Jays are fatter and duller. They look as if they have been rolling around in a dust bath and not had a wash before they came out. Mammals are a thinner on the ground but still present. A few roe deer and a couple of squirrels. The squirrels are almost black and the two I saw were almost urban, one near the tourist information office in Steingarden and one near Hohenschwangau. In March the Ammerschluct was full of frogs, tumbling down the steep gorge heading for the water. The rest of the aquatic wildlife was on the lakes and the ducks on display were fairly standard; coots, great crested grebes, cormorants are all common. And finally there are fish in the lakes. One that features on menus quite frequently is the pike-perch. I am not quite sure what this is. Is it a Pike that has gone veggie or a perch with blood lust? Either way, it tasted good at the Klosterhaus in Andechs.
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