Team Helgoland Bird Observatory

IfV_LOGOHelgoland is as migration hotspot as famous as Eilat. Every birder in Germany will visit the island once in a while, especially if he keeps a German list. During migration time, no day is like the other and the numbers of migrants and rarities recorded are impressive. Since ca 170 years bird numbers are recorded and in 1910, the Institute of Avian Research (Helgoland Bird Observatory) was founded and started bird-ringing. All team members are related in some way to the observatory and spend a lot of time birding there. Being interested in the conservation of birds, all team members are happy to join the COTF and to contribute to the protection of vultures in East Africa. May the first vulture visit Helgoland!

Meet the Team:

Jochen Dierschke

Jochen Dierschke is a birder since childhood, birding almost any day since the age of 11. In the 1980s he became addicted to the very special island of Helgoland. Since 2012 he is running the field station of the Institute of Avian Research (Helgoland bird-observatory) there. Most of his free time he spends birding, especially counting the migrants and checking them for rare and scarce migrants. He loves also bird-ringing either during work or in his free time. Beside publishing the annual Helgoland bird-report he also serves in the German Rarities-committee. Back in 1990, Jochen served 2.5 months as a volunteer at IBCE in Eilat, so he is very keen on returning the first time since!

Volker Dierschke

Just as his younger brother, Volker Dierschke started birding only a bit later than walking. His ornithological interest maintained and brought him to the Helgoland Bird Observatory 35 years ago. Subsequent years saw him studying Purple Sandpipers (diploma thesis), Dunlins (PhD, continued at Hiddensee Bird Observatory) and Wheatears (post-doc) on the tiny island. Later, the main interest switched to seabirds, and as a free-lancing biologist he is now mainly working on monitoring of seabirds (including studies at Helgoland) and their conservation (implementing national and EU regulations). He is lucky to combine profession and hobby, and still it holds true for him that every minute spent birding improves quality of life.

Manfred Bögershausen

Manfred Bögershausen started birding on Helgoland in the 1970s. He runs a printing company in Bremen, where he prints eg the annual Helgoland Bird report with enthusiasm. Beside that he also works as a freelance biologist, doing breeding-bird-census and bird activities near planned windfarms. In his freetime he loves to chase rare birds and travels several times a year to Helgoland, either for birding or for helping in ringing projects.

Thomas Klinner

Thomas Klinner is the youngster of the team. He currently writes his Phd thesis on stopover ecology of passerines on Helgoland. He worked before in ornithological projects in various countries like Malta, Ecuador and South Africa. His work for his Phd infested him with the Helgoland-virus and so he spent a lot of time birding – either while doing fieldwork or in his freetime.