Guided birding in Leiden and The Hague area
Saturday 18th of November 2017
Guide: Menno van Duijn

Just after 09.15 I meet Lindsay at Leiden Central train station where we look over the Jackdaws, Starlings, Herring- and Black-headed Gulls feeding on people's breakfast left overs. From the car we see a migrating flock of about 50 Fieldfares.

At a field where we hoped to see Lapwings we see Eurasian Teal, Gadwall, Mallard and Wigeons in a stream but no Lapwings here, we see the flock later along the way but can’t stop because of the traffic. A sheep is lying on it’s back and we help the poor thing back up her feet. A Grey Heron chases of a Great Egret and scare away all the Black-headed and Common Gulls.

We arrive in the dunes but have to concentrate us to the pine covered area because of the strong wind. As we step out of the car we immediately hear various calls of songbirds that move by in a flock. We see Blue, Great, Marsh and Crested Tits joined by Gold- and Firecrests. We have splendid views on a female Greater Spotted Woodpecker on a dead tree. We hear and see e crossbill flying overhead and by the look and “deeper” call we identify it as a Parrot Crossbill (which are in the area for a couple of weeks).

At the lake we see many Coots, Gadwall, Mute Swans and some Little Grebes but due to the wind and rain the other birds probably looked for more sheltered areas. Another Birding Netherlands guide (Wouter Teunissen) found a Pallas' Leaf Warbler two days earlier and we are lucky to connect with the bird, as do about 25 other birders. Here we also have nice views of a Goldcrest next to the warbler. And just after that we see a Chiffchaff actively chasing Blue Tits and Robins. On a smaller lake we see Tufted Ducks, Common Pochard and a Great Crested Grebe looking for shelter from the strong wind.

Next stop is the harbour of Scheveningen but beside some Turnstones, Oystercatchers and Great Cormorants it’s rather empty. We setup the telescope out of the wind and in a half hour of seawatching manage to see Northern Gannets, many Herring and Greater Black-backed Gulls, a Red- and Black-throated Diver.

After getting all the sand out of our eyes and ears we drive to a “bird lake” and on our we scan the flocks of geese in the fields which all are Greylag, Barnacle and Canada Geese (maxima and minima subsp.) We just talk about that we haven’t seen any birds of prey when we see a Common Buzzard and just after that we see another from the car but that slightly looks different. As we get it in our binocular it turns out to be a Rough-legged Buzzard!

The pond next to the car park is always good for Kingfisher but as soon as we find it, he flies off into the forest before we can get it into the scope. We decide to come back later for another try and first visit the lake. Here we see a flock of 25 Bewick's / Tundra Swans. We walk to the other side and two Snipes fly out of the cover. From the lee side we see thousands of Wigeons, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard and Tufted Ducks hiding for the wind behind the reed. Here we have a better view on the swans that started calling to each other. Just behind this group we see two female Goldeneyes. A flock of Redwings and Fieldfares look for worms on a part of recently cutted reed. As we walk back to the carpark we hear a Water Pipit and we have luck with the Kingfisher which we see flying by and perched to a couple of seconds.

The last stop is at a Long-eared Owl roost and we are just in time to see three birds flying out into the twilight. On our way back to the train station we see the silhouette of a White Stork on the nesting pole going to sleep here being the 68 bird species we've seen today.

UK NL Latin
Red-throated Diver Roodkeelduiker Gavia stellata
Black-throated Diver Parelduiker Gavia arctica
Little Grebe Dodaars Tachybaptus ruficollis
Great Crested Grebe Fuut Podiceps cristatus
Northern Gannet Jan-van-Gent Morus bassanus
Great Cormorant Aalscholver Phalacrocorax carbo
Grey Heron Blauwe Reiger Ardea cinerea
Great Egret Grote Zilverreiger Ardea alba
White Stork Ooievaar Ciconia ciconia
Mute Swan Knobbelzwaan Cygnus olor
Bewick's Swan Kleine Zwaan Cygnus bewickii
Greylag Goose Grauwe Gans Anser anser
Canada Goose Canadese Gans Branta canadensis
Barnacle Goose Brandgans Branta leucopsis
Wigeon Smient Anas penelope
Gadwall Krakeend Anas strepera
Teal Wintertaling Anas crecca
Mallard Wilde Eend Anas platyrhynchos
Shoveler Slobeend Anas clypeata
Common Pochard Tafeleend Aythya ferina
Tufted Duck Kuifeend Aythya fuligula
Goldeneye Brilduiker Bucephala clangula
Buzzard Buizerd Buteo buteo
Rough-legged Buzzard Ruigpootbuizerd Buteo lagopus
Water Rail Waterral Rallus aquaticus
Moorhen Waterhoen Gallinula chloropus
Coot Meerkoet Fulica atra
Oystercatcher Scholekster Haematopus ostralegus
Lapwing Kievit Vanellus vanellus
Snipe Watersnip Gallinago gallinago
Ruddy Turnstone Steenloper Arenaria interpres
Common Gull Stormmeeuw Larus canus
Great Black-backed Gull Grote Mantelmeeuw Larus marinus
Herring Gull Zilvermeeuw Larus argentatus
Black-headed Gull Kokmeeuw Larus ridibundus
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
Rock Pipit Oeverpieper Anthus petrosus
Goldcrest Goudhaan Regulus regulus
Firecrest Vuurgoudhaan Regulus ignicapillus
Wren Winterkoning Troglodytes troglodytes
Blackbird Merel Turdus merula
Fieldfare Kramsvogel Turdus pilaris
Redwing Koperwiek Turdus iliacus
Song Thrush Zanglijster Turdus philomelos
Chiffchaff Tjiftjaf Phylloscopus collybita
Palla's Leaf Warbler Pallas Boszanger Philloscopus proregulus
Robin Roodborst Erithacus rubecula
Long-tailed Tit Staartmees Aegithalos caudatus
Willow Tit Glanskop Poecile montana
Coal Tit Zwarte Mees Periparus ater
Crested Tit Kuifmees Lophophanes cristatus
Great Tit Koolmees Parus major
Blue Tit Pimpelmees Cyanistes caeruleus
Nuthatch Boomklever Sitta europaea
Short-toed Treecreeper Taigaboomkruiper Certhia brachydactyla
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
Goldfinch Putter Carduelis carduelis
Parrot Crossbill Grote Kruisbek