20190517 easy birding

20190517 easy birding

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.

UK NL Latin
Great Crested Grebe Fuut Podiceps cristatus
Great Cormorant Aalscholver Phalacrocorax carbo
Grey Heron Blauwe Reiger Ardea cinerea
White Stork Ooievaar Ciconia ciconia
Spoonbill Lepelaar Platalea leucorodia
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
Gadwall Krakeend Anas strepera
Mallard Wilde Eend Anas platyrhynchos
Shoveler Slobeend Anas clypeata
Tufted Duck Kuifeend Aythya fuligula
Eider Eider Somateria mollissima
Marsh-Harrier Bruine Kiekendief Circus aeruginosus
Buzzard Buizerd Buteo buteo
Kestrel Torenvalk Falco tinnunculus
Moorhen Waterhoen Gallinula chloropus
Coot Meerkoet Fulica atra
Oystercatcher Scholekster Haematopus ostralegus
Avocet Kluut Recurvirostra avosetta
Lapwing Kievit Vanellus vanellus
Grey Plover Zilverplevier Pluvialis squatarola
Ringed Plover Bontbekplevier Charadrius hiaticula
Black-tailed Godwit Grutto Limosa limosa
Bar-tailed Godwit Rosse Grutto Limosa lapponica
Curlew Wulp Numenius arquata
Redshank Tureluur Tringa totanus
Greenshank Groenpootruiter Tringa nebularia
Ruddy Turnstone Steenloper Arenaria interpres
Sanderling Drieteenstrandloper Calidris alba
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
Wood-Pigeon Houtduif Columba palumbus
Collared-Dove Turkse Tortel Streptopelia decaocto
Swift Gierzwaluw Apus apus
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
Dunnock Heggemus Prunella modularis
Blackbird Merel Turdus merula
Sedge Warbler Rietzanger Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Reed-Warbler Kleine Karekiet Acrocephalus scirpaceus
Willow Warbler Fitis Phylloscopus trochilus
Chiffchaff Tjiftjaf Phylloscopus collybita
Blackcap Zwartkop Sylvia atricapilla
Whitethroat Grasmus Sylvia communis
Robin Roodborst Erithacus rubecula
Nightingale Nachtegaal Luscinia megarhynchos
Northern Wheatear Tapuit Oenanthe oenanthe
Great Tit Koolmees Parus major
Jay Gaai Garrulus glandarius
Magpie Ekster Pica pica
Jackdaw Kauw Corvus monedula
Carrion Crow Zwarte Kraai Corvus corone
Starling Spreeuw Sturnus vulgaris
House Sparrow Huismus Passer domesticus
Greenfinch Groenling Carduelis chloris
Goldfinch Putter Carduelis carduelis
Linnet Kneu Carduelis cannabina

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