Amsterdam and bulb fields Bird Photography Tour, Saturday 8 April 2017

Guide: Menno van Duijn

As I walk to the Schiphol airport Meet & Greet, I surprised that I hear a male Black Redstart singing from the control tower. Normally you only see some Starlings, House Sparrows and Jackdaws around the busy airport and an occasional Peregrine flying by. I think it won't be wise to scan the tower with my binoculars (which I keep on so the clients recognize me out of the crowd) in these days. Half an hour later I meet Shea and his wife Carina who arrived from Singapore and are on their way Venezuela with a full day to spare in the Netherlands.

We leave the airport around 9 and half an hour later we're taking pictures of Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwings, Redshanks and Great-crested Grebes north of Amsterdam. Normally one would prefer sunny conditions but for today we have a slightly overcast sky which is even better to photograph meadow birds as the gras reflects sunshine and the colors come out better in these conditions. Sometimes the Black-tailed Godwits are so close to the car they even don't fit in the frame of the photo!

Although it's already springtime there are still some flocks of Barnacle Geese around. While taking photos of the geese suddenly a male Sparrowhawk sits next to us on a pole but quickly heads off again skaring all the Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwings, Redshanks and Oystercatchers. Later when we're at a small lake another female Sparrowhawk takes down a Lapwing and drowns it. After 15 minutes she tries to bring it to the shore and succeeds, too bad for us it's a bit far but we do get nice flight shots of the Avocets because of this action.

In the afternoon we head south to visit the flowering bulb fields. It appears we're not the only ones to do so. We hoped for Yellow Wagtails on the flowering tulips but we only find tourist taking selfies. So we also take some pictures of the fields, minus the wagtails. We drive to a lake near Schiphol and spend some time photographing Great-crested Grebes hunting small perch. By now Sheau and Carina are feeling tired by their night flight so we head to their hotel. We stop by a nesting Peregrine and see the falcon sleeping in front of the nestbox, as it doesn't seem there's going to be any action we drive to the hotel so Sheau and Carina can have some rest and good sleep for their flight tomorrow.

The focus of the tour was on photographing birds, still we recorded 76 species of birds. With highlights: Slavonian Grebe, Spoonbill, Bluethroat, Mediterranen Gull and Peregrine.

Great Crested Grebe Fuut Podiceps cristatus
Slavonian Grebe Kuifduiker Podiceps auritus
Great Cormorant Aalscholver Phalacrocorax carbo
Grey Heron Blauwe Reiger Ardea cinerea
Great Egret Grote Zilverreiger Ardea alba
Spoonbill Lepelaar Platalea leucorodia
Mute Swan Knobbelzwaan Cygnus olor
Greylag Goose Grauwe Gans Anser anser
Canada Goose Canadese Gans Branta canadensis
Barnacle Goose Brandgans Branta leucopsis
Ruddy Shelduck Casarca Tadorna ferruginea
Shelduck Bergeend Tadorna tadorna
Wigeon Smient Anas penelope
Gadwall Krakeend Anas strepera
Teal Wintertaling Anas crecca
Mallard Wilde Eend Anas platyrhynchos
Shoveler Slobeend Anas clypeata
Red-crested Pochard Krooneend Netta rufina
Common Pochard Tafeleend Aythya ferina
Tufted Duck Kuifeend Aythya fuligula
Marsh-Harrier Bruine Kiekendief Circus aeruginosus
Sparrowhawk Sperwer Accipiter nisus
Buzzard Buizerd Buteo buteo
Kestrel Torenvalk Falco tinnunculus
Peregrine Falcon Slechtvalk Falco peregrinus
Moorhen Waterhoen Gallinula chloropus
Coot Meerkoet Fulica atra
Oystercatcher Scholekster Haematopus ostralegus
Avocet Kluut Recurvirostra avosetta
Lapwing Kievit Vanellus vanellus
Little Ringed Plover Kleine Plevier Charadrius dubius
Snipe Watersnip Gallinago gallinago
Black-tailed Godwit Grutto Limosa limosa
Curlew Wulp Numenius arquata
Redshank Tureluur Tringa totanus
Common Gull Stormmeeuw Larus canus
Herring Gull Zilvermeeuw Larus argentatus
Lesser Black-backed Gull Kleine Mantelmeeuw Larus graellsii
Black-headed Gull Kokmeeuw Larus ridibundus
Mediterranean Gull Zwartkopmeeuw Larus melanocephalus
Stock Pigeon Holenduif Columba oenas
Wood-Pigeon Houtduif Columba palumbus
Collared-Dove Turkse Tortel Streptopelia decaocto
Greater Spotted Woodpecker Grote Bonte Specht Dendrocopos major
Sky Lark Veldleeuwerik Alauda arvensis
Barn Swallow Boerenzwaluw Hirundo rustica
White Wagtail Witte Kwikstaart Motacilla alba
Yellow Wagtail Gele Kwikstaart Motacilla flava
Meadow Pipit Graspieper Anthus pratensis
Dunnock Heggemus Prunella modularis
Blackbird Merel Turdus merula
Fieldfare Kramsvogel Turdus pilaris
Song Thrush Zanglijster Turdus philomelos
Sedge Warbler Rietzanger Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Willow Warbler Fitis Phylloscopus trochilus
Chiffchaff Tjiftjaf Phylloscopus collybita
Blackcap Zwartkop Sylvia atricapilla
Robin Roodborst Erithacus rubecula
Bluethroat Blauwborst Luscinia cyanecula
Black Redstart Zwarte Roodstaart Phoenicurus ochruros
Long-tailed Tit Staartmees Aegithalos caudatus
Great Tit Koolmees Parus major
Blue Tit Pimpelmees Cyanistes caeruleus
Treecreeper Boomkruiper Certhia familiaris
Jay Gaai Garrulus glandarius
Magpie Ekster Pica pica
Jackdaw Kauw Corvus monedula
Carrion Crow Zwarte Kraai Corvus corone
Starling Spreeuw Sturnus vulgaris
House Sparrow Huismus Passer domesticus
Tree Sparrow Ringmus Passer montanus
Chaffinch Vink Fringilla coelebs
Greenfinch Groenling Carduelis chloris
Goldfinch Putter Carduelis carduelis
Linnet Kneu Carduelis cannabina
Reed Bunting Rietgors Emberiza schoeniclus