20190107 Happy Birders

Nieuwkoopse Plassen last minute half day tour
Guide: Joost Bouwmeester
Date: 07 January 2019

A last minute birding trip for Laura and Erica from Virginia USA.

Sunday evening they decided to use half a day for birding on Monday morning. BNL managed to organize it, so I picked them up in the centre of Amsterdam and took off to the Groene Jonker in the surroundings of Nieuwkoop.

The weather did not offer the best circumstances for birders but if one focuses on waterfowl there’s still a lot to be observed. And so it was. The Groene Jonker showed us all she got.

Huge flocks of Northern Lapwings and ducks in the air. We carefully checked the sky for the Peregrine that hunts here but the chaos of birds made it too difficult the find its silhouette. As a birder one always hopes for a Peregrine or other bird of prey but that means a lot of disturbance and birds tend to leave the place.

On the water we still spotted lots of ducks and geese. One needs a very good scope here to pick out the beautiful males of the Northern pintails, Northern shovelers, Eurasian Teals, Tufted Ducks, Gadwalls, Common Pochards and a few Common Shelducks among thousands of European wigeon. Greylag- and Greater White-fronted Geese flew in all the time to find a resting place.

This time of year there are not a lot of species in the Groene Jonker but the amount of birds is enormous. We spotted Common Buzzard and Eurasian Kestrel. The Hen Harrier and Peregrine did not show up this morning.

There was a little surprise for Laura and Erica at the end of the path. They had never been birding in Europe so a colourful Stonechat was a bonus. In spite of the weather we had lots of fun and when I dropped them of at the train station I saw smiling faces. I know, half a day is too short for a long birding list but I reckon we have again two Happy Birders!

Great Crested Grebe Fuut Podiceps cristatus
Great Cormorant Aalscholver Phalacrocorax carbo
Grey Heron Blauwe Reiger Ardea cinerea
Great Egret Grote Zilverreiger Ardea alba
Mute Swan Knobbelzwaan Cygnus olor
White-fronted Goose Kolgans Anser albifrons
Greylag Goose Grauwe Gans Anser anser
Canada Goose Canadese Gans Branta canadensis
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
Shoveler Slobeend Anas clypeata
Common Pochard Tafeleend Aythya ferina
Tufted Duck Kuifeend Aythya fuligula
Buzzard Buizerd Buteo buteo
Kestrel Torenvalk Falco tinnunculus
Moorhen Waterhoen Gallinula chloropus
Coot Meerkoet Fulica atra
Lapwing Kievit Vanellus vanellus
Mew Gull Stormmeeuw Larus canus
Black-headed Gull Kokmeeuw Larus ridibundus
Robin Roodborst Erithacus rubecula
Stonechat Roodborsttapuit Saxicola rubicola
Jay Gaai Garrulus glandarius
Magpie Ekster Pica pica
Jackdaw Kauw Corvus monedula
Carrion Crow Zwarte Kraai Corvus corone
Starling Spreeuw Sturnus vulgaris
Chaffinch Vink Fringilla coelebs

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