Half day guided birding tour in The Hague area Sunday 3rd of September 2017
Guide: Menno van Duijn

Mist hangs over the water and fields when I drive to The Hague to pick up Vinay for a morning tour in the dunes, fields and a stopover at the beach. Just minutes after sunrise we park the car and are welcomed with the calls of many birds when we step out of the car.

Within a minute we got two lifers, some Marsh Tits are among the flock of Great and Blue Tits accompanied by Willow Warblers and Chiffchafs and a Green Woodpecker flies past us. It’s a good day for migratory birds and the first Grey Wagtail for the season flies overhead as do several White and Yellow Wagtails, Tree and Meadow Pipits and Chaffinches.

The clear skies were good for night migration as we see over a dozen Firecrests, Goldcrests and on many Blackcaps, Song Thrushes and Blackbirds gorge themselves on the ripening berries.

Suddenly we hear the call of an Ortolan Bunting and see the bird flying south towards The Hague followed by a group of Wood Larks. A Sparrowhawk is mobbed by some Jays and when Vinay says he sees another this bird turns out to be a new lifer as it is a juvenile male Northern Goshawk. This bird scares the little ones and we see Stonechats, a Whinchat and Common Whitethroat alarming in a single bush.

We constantly hear and see Greater Spotted Woodpeckers and only I hear a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. When we arrive at the site where it was calling from we can’t find the bird but we find three Spotted Flycatchers and on the lake we see Little Grebes, Red-crested Pochard, Green and Common Sandpiper and a male Kingfisher.

For the coffee stop we park the car where we have good views over the dunes and forest, it’s 10 AM and at this time the larger birds of prey often take flight. We hope to see Honey Buzzard but only get Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel and Common Buzzard.

We head to the beach to look for another lifer, Greater Black-backed Gull. On the sandbank we find a juvenile among Lesser Black-backed, Herring and Black-headed Gulls. This bird is really a giant and towers out over the other gulls. Some Sandwich Terns fly around and shortly sit down on the bank.

The last stop is in the polder where we scan the fields for Grey Partridge. Because it’s a sunny day it’s a bit busy with cyclist what’s probably the main reason why we can’t find the birds. We do spot some nice Golden Plovers in summer plumage, Northern Wheatears and Goldfinches before we head back to the hotel. The total score for this morning is 72 species of birds.

UK NL Latin
Little Grebe Dodaars Tachybaptus ruficollis
Great Crested Grebe Fuut Podiceps cristatus
Great Cormorant Aalscholver Phalacrocorax carbo
Grey Heron Blauwe Reiger Ardea cinerea
Mute Swan Knobbelzwaan Cygnus olor
Greylag Goose Grauwe Gans Anser anser
Canada Goose Canadese Gans Branta canadensis
Mallard Wilde Eend Anas platyrhynchos
Red-crested Pochard Krooneend Netta rufina
Tufted Duck Kuifeend Aythya fuligula
Marsh-Harrier Bruine Kiekendief Circus aeruginosus
Sparrowhawk Sperwer Accipiter nisus
Northern Goshawk Havik Accipiter gentilis
Kestrel Torenvalk Falco tinnunculus
Coot Meerkoet Fulica atra
Oystercatcher Scholekster Haematopus ostralegus
Lapwing Kievit Vanellus vanellus
Golden-Plover Goudplevier Pluvialis apricaria
Snipe Watersnip Gallinago gallinago
Green Sandpiper Witgat Tringa ochropus
Common Sandpiper Oeverloper Actitis hypoleucos
Great Black-backed Gull Grote Mantelmeeuw Larus marinus
Herring Gull Zilvermeeuw Larus argentatus
Lesser Black-backed Gull Kleine Mantelmeeuw Larus graellsii
Black-headed Gull Kokmeeuw Larus ridibundus
Sandwich Tern Grote Stern Sterna sandvicensis
Wood-Pigeon Houtduif Columba palumbus
Turtle-Dove Zomertortel Streptopelia turtur
Kingfisher IJsvogel Alcedo atthis
Greater Spotted Woodpecker Grote Bonte Specht Dendrocopos major
Green Woodpecker Groene Specht Picus viridis
Wood Lark Boomleeuwerik Lullula arborea
Barn Swallow Boerenzwaluw Hirundo rustica
House Martin Huiszwaluw Delichon urbica
White Wagtail Witte Kwikstaart Motacilla alba
Yellow Wagtail Gele Kwikstaart Motacilla flava
Grey Wagtail Grote Gele Kwikstaart Motacilla cinerea
Tree Pipit Boompieper Anthus trivialis
Meadow Pipit Graspieper Anthus pratensis
Goldcrest Goudhaan Regulus regulus
Firecrest Vuurgoudhaan Regulus ignicapillus
Wren Winterkoning Troglodytes troglodytes
Dunnock Heggemus Prunella modularis
Blackbird Merel Turdus merula
Song Thrush Zanglijster Turdus philomelos
Reed-Warbler Kleine Karekiet Acrocephalus scirpaceus
Willow Warbler Fitis Phylloscopus trochilus
Chiffchaff Tjiftjaf Phylloscopus collybita
Blackcap Zwartkop Sylvia atricapilla
Whitethroat Grasmus Sylvia communis
Spotted Flycatcher Grauwe Vliegenvanger Muscicapa striata
Robin Roodborst Erithacus rubecula
Whinchat Paapje Saxicola rubetra
Stonechat Roodborsttapuit Saxicola rubicola
Northern Wheatear Tapuit Oenanthe oenanthe
Marsh Tit Matkop Poecile palustris
Crested Tit Kuifmees Lophophanes cristatus
Great Tit Koolmees Parus major
Blue Tit Pimpelmees Cyanistes caeruleus
Short-toed 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
Chaffinch Vink Fringilla coelebs
Red Crossbill Kruisbek Loxia curvirostra
Greenfinch Groenling Carduelis chloris
Goldfinch Putter Carduelis carduelis
Linnet Kneu Carduelis cannabina
Ortolan Bunting Ortolaan Emberiza hortulana