20190227 last minute solution

Last minute solution for a tour group
Guide: Joost Bouwmeester
Date: 27-28 February 2019

On the 26th we got an emergency call, if we could help a guide who fell sick to take over the tour with 8 British birders. After a quick call we arranged the necessities and the next day Joost pick-up the marooned birders at Nunspeet.

First stop is at the raptor reserve not far from the Oostvaardersplassen. At the moment we stop the car we already spot the Rough-legged Buzzard flying by with a fresh caught vole. Next to the buzzard sits a female Hen Harrier preening herself in a setting with 10 Great Egrets, Common Buzzards and Kestrels all profiting from the special developed field to boost the mice and birds preying on them.

At the vantage point we overlook the Oostvaardersplassen were thousands of Barnacle and Greater White-fronted Geese are foraging in this open landscape. Another Rough-legged Buzzard is seen with a Raven and in a flock of Greylag Geese we spot a family of Whooper Swans.

Along the track to the bird hide we see and hear the Willow Tit. We are threatened with the sightings of many Shovelers, Teals, Wigeons, Gadwall and a pair of Smew! From the reed next to the hide a Water Rail is calling out loud and luckily comes out of the dense reed.

After lunch we head to the other visitors center and the first birds we see are three Caspian Gulls. Finally we spot the White-tailed Eagle soaring and so do the thousands of geese who take off as none wants to become lunch.

From the tower we find another White-tailed Eagle perched on a birch accompanied by Carrion Crows. From here we also see some pretty Common Snipes, Avocets, Wigeons, a Raven and a Short-toed Treecreeper in spring conditions, sun and 19 degrees!

On the 28th of February we head Noord-Holland province, north of Amsterdam. We cross the IJsselmeer via the dike from Lelystad to Enkhuizen. Along this dike there are many artificial islands for this recently named National Parc. Half way we stop at the site to observe Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander, Great Crested Grebes and Tufted Ducks.

Luckily the mist disappears at the moment we arrive at the location to look for Lesser White-fronted and Red-breasted Geese. The meadows are loaded with Barnacle and Greater White-fronted Geese so it’s looking for the needle in the haystack.

After some effort we find four LWFG among the GWFG but can’t find the Red-breasted Goose. At the Putten we find one of the first Black-tailed Godwits in a flock of Common Redshanks and Lapwings. Two female Smews are actively fishing and so do some Little Grebes. Other waders we see here are Avocets, Turnstones and Common Ringed Plovers.

Greater White Fronted Goose

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