There’s more to Berlin summer fun than the lakes – one of our insiders shares his favourite locations for a perfect holiday away from the tourist traps and wet crowds! Here, artist, author and co-founder of legendary 1980s West Berlin punk band Die Tödliche Doris, Wolfgang Müller, takes us ‘urban birdsploring‘ on the wide expanses of Tempelhofer Feld.
“Have you noticed how many jays there are in Kreuzberg lately? I’m a bit of a bird nerd. One of my favourite summer activities is to grab a blanket and a book and head to Tempelhofer Feld where you can find one of Europe’s largest populations of woodlarks – it’s amazing! They’re a rare species, known for singing only while in flight, not while they’re perched on trees or on the tarmac. As they’re ground-breeding birds, parts of the Feld get sectioned off in spring so people don’t step on their nests, and in summer you can constantly hear their high-pitched warbling as they fly around, very high above. Apart from the woodlarks, you might also spot falcons, hooded crows, and yellow hammers… My favourite thing to do is to lie down under the acacia trees between the northern runway and Columbiadamm, where people have barbecues, and watch the sky. Another ornithologically entertaining place is Engelbecken at Michaelkirchplatz on the border of Kreuzberg and Mitte. There is this one heron that’s there all the time, along with cormorants, swans and moorhens, and you can see them all while having coffee and apple cake at Café am Engelbecken by the water. As a young boy growing up in Wolfsburg in the 1960s, observing the bitterns, black storks and white storks in the marshland was my escape from boredom. At the same time, I discovered art and music, so for me there’s always been a connection between nature and creative work. This year I released a Die Tödliche Doris LP called Reenactment-Das typische Ding, with 31 one-minute tracks of the sounds of 31 vibrator models. It’s just like one of those records of birdsong where you get short clips of all the different species!”