4 days of Guided Birding (Amsterdam, Texel, Zeeland & Oostvaardersplassen)

Friday 15 untill Monday 18 September 2017

Guide: Menno van Duijn and Rein Genuit

Friday 15/09/2017 Schiphol Pick-up (MvD)

Sadly Pieter had a four hour delay so we missed quite some time on the first day. For the remaining time we stopped over at some interesting birding spots between Schiphol and Leiden. First we stopped at a flooded bulb field near Hillegom. Due to the rain of the previous days there weren't any mudflats but still we saw a nice juvenile Little Stint and Spotted Redshank among many White and Yellow Wagtails.

On the opposite field we spotted a Peregrine feeding on a recently caught prey and in the treetops we saw some Goldfinches and Linnets. A flock of Stock and Wood Pigeons were foraging on the fields as did many Jackdaws. Sadly the other bulb where less productive.

In the polder close to Leiden we had great views on large flocks of Northern Lapwings and Golden Plovers and in the stream we saw Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Northern Shoveler.

After the storm of the previous days the smaller migrants clearly were on the move again with several Northern Wheatears, Stonechats and 5 Whinchats.

Saturday 16/09/2017 Texel (RG)

Saturday morning at six I met Pieter in his hotel in Oegstgeest and we drove to Den Helder for the ferry to Texel. During the drive it was raining cats and dogs, but most of the times when I visit Texel the sun is shining on the island when it's raining on the mainland. So I hoped for the best.

The first site we visit on the island was the Mokbaai, always an interesting spot for waders. Some Red Knots, Black tailed Godwitt, Common Redshank, Dunlin, Avocet, Rudy Turnstone and Curlews were present there.

After that we make a stop at the Wagejot where a Eurasian Spoonbill was foraging. At the IJzeren Kaap on the Waddensee we saw a couple of hundred Common Eider and some Eared Grebe. It was still dry...

When we arrived at Utopia, also a very good spot for waders normally, it began to rain, but we decided the make the short walk anyway. What a pity, totally no birds! The water level was high and also low tide, not a very good combination to see waders on Texel.

At the Volharding near the village the Cocksdorp where some Common Ringed Plovers on the shore together with Common Redshank, Curlew and Bar tailed Godwitt. And the rain was pouring down on us.

Time for a good cup of coffee with a real dutch stroopwafel. And than the sky cleared and it stopped raining, at the Tuintjes it was very quiet, only some Meadow Pipits, Blackcaps, a Wren, Eurasian Krestel, Winchat and some Northern Wheatears were present there.

It started to rain again and after a short visit at the Slufter we decided to leaf the island and do some birding on the mainland, the Weather app said it must be dry by the time we arrive there.

Near Den Helder we visit some inundated land, the bulb growers inundate their fields for killing Nematode without using chemicals. These fields are really attractive for waders and ducks. We saw a couple of Ruff, Common Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Common Sandpiper and a juvenile Black Tern.

Sunday 17/09/2017 Zeeland (MvD)

This was a completely different day compared to the day before. No wind, sun, a clear sky and mist over the fields when we drove south to the province of Zeeland.

We first stopped at Stellendam and as we passed the top of the dike we were welcomed by the sound of thousands of birds. Blackcaps, Chaffinches, Chiffchaffs in the bushes, Meadow Pipits, Reed Buntings and Northern Wheatears on the dike and thousands of Dunlin, Redshanks and Red Knots on the mudflats.We carefully scanned the mudflats and tidal streams. A Red-breasted Merganser was a surprise and a large flock of Eurasian Spoonbills prepared themselves for their journey to Africa.

The next stop was a very productive one. We directly spotted three Cattle Egrets typically walking the the grazing cows looking for prey (one caught a large Green Frog). And on the sandbank I found an adult Caspian Tern resting in a flock of circa 1000 Black-headed and Common Gulls. Two Flamingos were standing in the open water and we could see their knees being pink so they were positively Europeans and not Chilean (grey knees). Here we also saw both Little and Great Egret. Pieter was also very happy with the large number of Barnacle Geese, a rarity in the USA.

As we always bring coffee and tea we had a coffee break at a very nice stream with a Garganey, Common- and Wood Sandpiper, Green- and Redshanks. All of them suddenly flew off when a juvenile Marsh Harrier flew by.

Due to the beautiful weather it was very busy with tourist on the Brouwersdam. Sadly we couldn’t find Purple Sandpiper, first arrived earlier that week, but with the hundreds of Eurasian Oystercatchers was a Eurasian Whimbrel. On the dam were several Sanderlings joined by some Common Ringed Plovers. In a flock of Herring Gull we found a adult Yellow-legged Gull which was also a target for Pieter. At the Brouwersdam we also spotted Harbour and Grey Seals.

The report of a Woodchat Shrike closeby made us thinking to change plans but we sticked to our original plan and headed to the Prunjepolder after a fast food stop at Neeltje Jans. This proved that it’s good to stick to the original plan because it delivered us quite some few new birds. On the outer side we saw Greater-crested, Slavonian, Black-necked and Little Grebe. And on the fresh water we had some nice waders like Greenshanks, Ruff, thousands of Curlew and a Curlew Sandpiper. With the hundreds of Barnacle Geese were some Dark-bellied Brent. A great end for the day!

Monday 18/09/2017 Oostvaardersplassen (MvD)

As we would have hit the rush hour when driving to the Oostvaardersplassen, we first did some local birding around Leiden. In the window between the rain we just had some time to roll up some forest species. We started in the Dunes and while it was raining we waited and overlooked the sea from the car. There wasn’t many movement beside a few Sandwich Terns, a Ruff, a couple of Greater and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Ruff, five Eurasian Wigeons and a very distant flock of Black Scoter turned out too far out to even be picked up.

When the rain had passed we parked the car and directly heard and saw two Marsh Tits in a flock of Great-, Blue Tit and Goldcrests. A couple of minutes later we came across another flock where two Crested Tits and some Short-toed Treecreepers were in. On the lake two female Red-crested Pochards were among Common Pochards and Tufted Ducks, accompanied by a few Little Grebes.

As soon as it started to rain bird activity dropped and we drove to a Long-eared Owl roots. We could just see three birds perched in a cherry tree. With these in our pocket we drove to the Oostvaardersplassen.

On the first look-out we scanned the area and found a adult female Northern Goshawk mantling it’s recently caught prey. On the plains where hundreds of Barnacle and Greylag Geese with rutting Red Deer in the background. After 15 minutes we saw a juvenile White-tailed Eagle flying, later we saw the same bird perched in a dead tree. When we stepped into the car a Raven flew overhead. At one of the hides we were very lucky with a male Kingfisher perched right in front of us and allowed us just to take some pictures before it flew of.

For the last stop of the day tried for Bearded Tits but could only hear them, the same goes for Willow Tit but we had some great views of a Redstart, Hobby and Firecrest before we had to drive to Schiphol.

UK NL Latin
Little Grebe Dodaars Tachybaptus ruficollis
Great Crested Grebe Fuut Podiceps cristatus
Slavonian Grebe Kuifduiker Podiceps auritus
Black-necked Grebe Geoorde Fuut Podiceps nigricollis
Great Cormorant Aalscholver Phalacrocorax carbo
Grey Heron Blauwe Reiger Ardea cinerea
Great Egret Grote Zilverreiger Ardea alba
Little Egret Kleine Zilverreiger Egretta garzetta
Cattle Egret Koereiger Bubulcus ibis
White Stork Ooievaar Ciconia ciconia
Spoonbill Lepelaar Platalea leucorodia
Flamingo Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber
Mute Swan Knobbelzwaan Cygnus olor
Greylag Goose Grauwe Gans Anser anser
Canada Goose Canadese Gans Branta canadensis
Barnacle Goose Brandgans Branta leucopsis
Dark-bellied Brent Rotgans Branta bernicla
Shelduck Bergeend Tadorna tadorna
Wigeon Smient Anas penelope
Gadwall Krakeend Anas strepera
Teal Wintertaling Anas crecca
Mallard Wilde Eend Anas platyrhynchos
Northern Pintail Pijlstaart Anas acuta
Garganey Zomertaling Anas querquedula
Shoveler Slobeend Anas clypeata
Red-crested Pochard Krooneend Netta rufina
Common Pochard Tafeleend Aythya ferina
Tufted Duck Kuifeend Aythya fuligula
Eider Eider Somateria mollissima
Red-breasted Merganser Middelste Zaagbek Mergus serrator
White-tailed Eagle Zeearend Haliaeetus albicilla
Marsh-Harrier Bruine Kiekendief Circus aeruginosus
Sparrowhawk Sperwer Accipiter nisus
Northern Goshawk Havik Accipiter gentilis
Buzzard Buizerd Buteo buteo
Kestrel Torenvalk Falco tinnunculus
Hobby Boomvalk Falco subbuteo
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
Golden-Plover Goudplevier Pluvialis apricaria
Grey Plover Zilverplevier Pluvialis squatarola
Ringed Plover Bontbekplevier Charadrius hiaticula
Snipe Watersnip Gallinago gallinago
Black-tailed Godwit Grutto Limosa limosa
Bar-tailed Godwit Rosse Grutto Limosa lapponica
Whimbrel Regenwulp Numenius phaeopus
Curlew Wulp Numenius arquata
Spotted Redshank Zwarte Ruiter Tringa erythropus
Redshank Tureluur Tringa totanus
Greenshank Groenpootruiter Tringa nebularia
Green Sandpiper Witgat Tringa ochropus
Wood Sandpiper Bosruiter Tringa glareola
Common Sandpiper Oeverloper Actitis hypoleucos
Ruddy Turnstone Steenloper Arenaria interpres
Red Knot Kanoet Calidris canutus
Sanderling Drieteenstrandloper Calidris alba
Little Stint Kleine Strandloper Calidris minuta
Curlew Sandpiper Krombekstrandloper Calidris ferruginea
Dunlin Bonte Strandloper Calidris alpina
Ruff Kemphaan Philomachus pugnax
Common Gull Stormmeeuw Larus canus
Great Black-backed Gull Grote Mantelmeeuw Larus marinus
Herring Gull Zilvermeeuw Larus argentatus
Yellow-legged Gull Geelpootmeeuw Larus michahellis
Lesser Black-backed Gull Kleine Mantelmeeuw Larus graellsii
Black-headed Gull Kokmeeuw Larus ridibundus
Caspian Tern Reuzenstern Sterna caspia
Sandwich Tern Grote Stern Sterna sandvicensis
Common Tern Visdief Sterna hirundo
Black Tern Zwarte Stern Chlidonias niger
Guillemot Zeekoet Uria aalge
Stock Pigeon Holenduif Columba oenas
Wood-Pigeon Houtduif Columba palumbus
Collared-Dove Turkse Tortel Streptopelia decaocto
Long-eared Owl Ransuil Asio otus
Kingfisher IJsvogel Alcedo atthis
Greater Spotted Woodpecker Grote Bonte Specht Dendrocopos major
Green Woodpecker Groene Specht Picus viridis
Sky Lark Veldleeuwerik Alauda arvensis
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
Cetti's Warbler Cetti's Zanger Cettia cetti
Chiffchaff Tjiftjaf Phylloscopus collybita
Blackcap Zwartkop Sylvia atricapilla
Robin Roodborst Erithacus rubecula
Redstart Gekraagde Roodstaart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
Whinchat Paapje Saxicola rubetra
Stonechat Roodborsttapuit Saxicola rubicola
Northern Wheatear Tapuit Oenanthe oenanthe
Bearded Tit Baardman Panurus biarmicus
Marsh Tit Matkop Poecile palustris
Willow Tit Glanskop Poecile montana
Crested Tit Kuifmees Lophophanes cristatus
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
Raven Raaf Corvus corax
Starling Spreeuw Sturnus vulgaris
House Sparrow Huismus Passer domesticus
Chaffinch Vink Fringilla coelebs
Greenfinch Groenling Carduelis chloris
Goldfinch Putter Carduelis carduelis
Linnet Kneu Carduelis cannabina
Reed Bunting Rietgors Emberiza schoeniclus