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Easy birding in the Netherland for two days
Guide: Joost Bouwmeester
Date: 15 and 17 April 2019
Kathleen is a birder from the USA. She is close to eighty and not into chasing rarities or scoring a long bird list. It’s the birds in their environment that makes her birding trip to a success. And I fully agree with that. So we were birding the ‘English’ way: nicely, slowly and intense.
The agriculture landscape and swamps with their ducks, geese, waders and herons have her special interest. So we choose a trip to Zeeland and Texel. After an early rise we started off near Goedereede; an agriculture area with stretches of nature and close to the estuary of the Grevelingen. A male marsh harrier hoovered close by above the reeds. Now that’s a good start.
We had a nice view at a pair of avocets in the creek and lots of birds in the fields. Groups of barnacle geese and brent geese, a curlew, a pair of colourful shelducks, a lapwing on the nest and the sound of black tailed godwit, skylark and sedge warbler in a windless ‘polder’ is exactly the best atmosphere to bird , according to Kathleen.
Next location was the Brouwersdam. On a Saturday morning with a sunny forecast the camper vans were already all over the place. Only a collection of gulls can coop with that, so we were off as fast as possible.
Straight to Serooskerke for the Prunjepolder was the best option. We spotted lots of small families of barnacle- and greylag geese in the polder. Goslings and their caring parents steel everybody’s hart. The Brent geese were without chicks. They can leave for the Arctic any day now.
On one of the little island we found a pair of Mediterranean gulls side by side on the nest in a colony of common terns, black headed gulls and avocets. We really took our time watching all these ordinary birds as well. We reached restaurant De Heerenkeet exactly at noon for a lovely lunch with the speciality of Zeeland; mussel and oyster.
Every time I visit this place my guests are very impressed with the food and the ambiance. After lunch we road over the dike and checked out the flocks of birds to our left and right. We had a good look at spoonbills, dunlins, redshanks, ruddy turnstones in their summer plumage and avocets. And all along the dike several pairs of barnacle geesw were grazing with their just born goslings. We ended a lovely sunny day of birding rather early for the next day we were to hit Texel early in the morning. So when your 80 you better take a rest to prepare.
Another early rise for Kathleen to be in Texel in time. First we took the ferry to reach the island. When you are waiting in line to go aboard the ship , gulls and jackdaws check you out for some food. One can make some nice portraits of them. The “ birding island “ was a bit foggy but no worries. The birds are so close, you can’t miss them. Driving along the dike at the Wadden sea side we checked out al the wetlands.
They are all man made and teaming with birds. Colonies with common terns, sandwich terns, avocets and black headed gulls breed some 30 to 40 meters away on little islands, which is very impressive.
We took our time and observed their behaviour and made some pictures. There were still waders foraging which have to migrate to the Arctic. They are in breeding plumage and some had beautiful colours like the grey plover and the bar tailed godwit.
The eggs of avocets and common ringed plover were hedged. Cute chicks of only a few days old ran around the mud and found shelter under the wings of their mother. Now that’s birding the way Kathleen likes it.
Up north at De Cocksdorp we parked the car next to a little beach at the North sea. The high tide was turning and the waders flew in to be the first one to pick up food. Only at a few meters distance we observed foraging bar-tailed godwits, sanderlings, grey plovers and ruddy turnstones. Beautiful male eiders and our second little tern flew by.
The fog was getting thicker so a last quick look around the lighthouse before going back to the boot. We could only find a male wheatear. After a tour around the forests and heather covered dunes on the North sea side of Texel we decided to go back to Amsterdam in time.
I had to drop Kathleen off in the afternoon in the centre. Which is a pity for she is very good company and there is so much more to be seen and enjoy. So again a Happy Birder I hopefully will meet again.
|Great Crested Grebe||Fuut||Podiceps cristatus|
|Great Cormorant||Aalscholver||Phalacrocorax carbo|
|Grey Heron||Blauwe Reiger||Ardea cinerea|
|White Stork||Ooievaar||Ciconia ciconia|
|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|
|Mallard||Wilde Eend||Anas platyrhynchos|
|Tufted Duck||Kuifeend||Aythya fuligula|
|Marsh-Harrier||Bruine Kiekendief||Circus aeruginosus|
|Grey Plover||Zilverplevier||Pluvialis squatarola|
|Ringed Plover||Bontbekplevier||Charadrius hiaticula|
|Black-tailed Godwit||Grutto||Limosa limosa|
|Bar-tailed Godwit||Rosse Grutto||Limosa lapponica|
|Ruddy Turnstone||Steenloper||Arenaria interpres|
|Dunlin||Bonte Strandloper||Calidris alpina|
|Common Gull||Stormmeeuw||Larus canus|
|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|
|Mediterranean Gull||Zwartkopmeeuw||Larus melanocephalus|
|Sandwich Tern||Grote Stern||Sterna sandvicensis|
|Common Tern||Visdief||Sterna hirundo|
|Little Tern||Dwergstern||Sterna albifrons|
|Stock Pigeon||Holenduif||Columba oenas|
|Collared-Dove||Turkse Tortel||Streptopelia decaocto|
|Sky Lark||Veldleeuwerik||Alauda arvensis|
|Sand Martin||Oeverzwaluw||Riparia riparia|
|Barn Swallow||Boerenzwaluw||Hirundo rustica|
|House Martin||Huiszwaluw||Delichon urbica|
|White Wagtail||Witte Kwikstaart||Motacilla alba|
|Yellow Wagtail||Gele Kwikstaart||Motacilla flava|
|Sedge Warbler||Rietzanger||Acrocephalus schoenobaenus|
|Reed-Warbler||Kleine Karekiet||Acrocephalus scirpaceus|
|Willow Warbler||Fitis||Phylloscopus trochilus|
|Northern Wheatear||Tapuit||Oenanthe oenanthe|
|Great Tit||Koolmees||Parus major|
|Carrion Crow||Zwarte Kraai||Corvus corone|
|House Sparrow||Huismus||Passer domesticus|