Birding Netherlands Texel Bird Photography Tour - guide Menno van Duijn

Rain, strong wind and a cooler front coming in from the Atlantic where the forecast for the day. Ideal if you want to do seabird watching but not if you’re planning a photo tour. Even during the ferry crossing the vessel went up and down on the swell.

We met at the lobby of the hotel Opduin in De Koog which was so kind to hand me a coffee so the clients could finish their breakfast. Some patches of blue sky between the clouds lifted our spirits as it had rained the whole night. Still the radar showed some heavy showers coming our way so we headed to the east side of the Island to the harbour of Oudeschild.

We scanned the harbour but we could only find some Turnstones, several species of gulls and a couple of Cormorants. We headed back to the cars before all hell broke loose. The sluice gates opened from the sky we found some White Wagtails and Wheatears taking shelter under the containers in the harbour.

We slowly headed north stopping over at the recently plowed fields to scan the waders from the car between the showers. The majority where Lapwings and Golden Plovers with some Curlews and Oystercatchers. We hoped to find Dotterel but only could find some Ruff and a Grey Plover in the flocks.

We stopped over at other birding areas along the east site of the island. We planned that we would be there with the high tide when the waders come to rest. There were large flocks of Common Redshank with some Avocets, Dunlins, Common Ringed Plovers, Bar-tailed Godwits and some Ruff. Along the water edge we found Snipe, Yellow Wagtails and Meadow Pipits. We could also observe a nice actively foraging Spoonbill.

On the other side at the Wadden Sea we found a flock of circa 250 Eider, some Great Crested Grebes and a male Grey Seal. Dark clouds came in some we took shelter in the car from where we could see a Kingfisher tucking in the reed to stay dry and preventing to be blown away. A pair of Kestrels used a windmill to shelter and by the looks it was a favorable site covered in droppings.

Between the Tufted Ducks on the canal a juvenile Eared Grebe shook off the raindrops and started preening. After lunch at the lighthouse we headed to the slufter. We had some time to spare while waiting for Jozef and Sarah so tried to add some songbirds to the list. Despite the strong wind we found a Redstart, Chiffchaff and some Robins and Blackbirds.

Loads of bird were taking shelter in the estuary, thousands of Sandwhich Terns, Knots, Dunlins, Common Ringed Plovers and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. There were literally white carpets of birds. We spend some time photographing the waders and focussed on the Sandwhich Terns that flew out to sea to catch fish for their begging young.

After this we walked back to the cars and said farewell to each other. In the end we had recorded 71 species of birds which could be far more if the conditions where softer. We missed many species of songbirds. In the end the weather turned out better then we hoped for today. The mix of clouds and sunshine gave us nice views on the landscape of Texel with windmills, old houses, farms and fabulous dunes.

  1. Great crested Grebe
  2. Eared Grebe
  3. Great Cormorant
  4. Grey Heron
  5. Spoonbill
  6. Mute Swan
  7. Greylag Goose
  8. Barnacle Goose
  9. Wigeon
  10. Gadwall
  11. Shoveler
  12. Mallard
  13. Teal
  14. Tufted Duck
  15. Eider
  16. Marsh Harrier
  17. Buzzard
  18. Hobby
  19. Kestrel
  20. Moorhen
  21. Coot
  22. Oystercatcher
  23. Turnstone
  24. Curlew
  25. Black-tailed Godwit
  26. Bar-tailed Godwit
  27. Ruff
  28. Avocet
  29. Lapwing
  30. Grey Plover
  31. Golden Plover
  32. Common Ringed Plover
  33. Red Knot
  34. Sanderling
  35. Dunlin
  36. Snipe
  37. Common Redshank
  38. Greenshank
  39. Green Sandpiper
  40. Common Sandpiper
  41. Common Gull
  42. Herring Gull
  43. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  44. Greater Black-backed Gull
  45. Black-headed Gull
  46. Common Tern
  47. Sandwich Tern
  48. Stock Dove
  49. Wood Pigeon
  50. Collared Dove
  51. Kingfisher
  52. Barn Swallow
  53. House Martin
  54. Yellow Wagtail
  55. White Wagtail
  56. Meadow Pipit
  57. Blackbird
  58. Chiffchaff
  59. Robin
  60. Wren
  61. Redstart
  62. Wheatear
  63. Blue Tit
  64. Magpie
  65. Jackdaw
  66. Carrion Crow
  67. Starling
  68. House Sparrow
  69. Tree Sparrow
  70. Greenfinch
  71. Goldfinch