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Every Sunday afternoon I cycle around in the area between Oegstgeest and Katwijk to visit some birding spots hoping to find something interesting. Last Sunday the 12th I found a Pied Wagtail among 15 White Wagtails that's worth mentioning. As it was the first sunny spring day al lot of people went outside for a walk so it was very busy at some sites. Therefore I decided to head on to pay a visit the Little Buntings in Noordwijk.
I already imagined my picture of the birds perched in this beautiful sunlight but the birds had other ideas. As hard as I tried I couldn't find the birds somehow. Thankfully another birders arrives, before I can say hello my attention is caught by a large bird in the sky. It turns out to be a White-tailed Eagle as we look at the bird we notice another large raptor.
We focus and scream BEARDED VULTURE! The bird is flying away from us but luckily turns around towards us. As he passed overhead I start shooting pictures as a mad man. I forget to change the settings and all the photos are too dark but the birds is in focus and recognisable. We can see it's a 2nd calendar year bird and can't find bleached primaries or rings so it must be a bird born in the wild.
We inform other birders via the local WhatsApp groups and the bird and White-tailed Eagle can be picked up south at Katwijk. Both fly further south towards The Hague only the Lammergier (as we call it in Dutch) takes a left turn and flies over Delft to Rotterdam where it's seen last for this day. The next morning it takes off and is seen south of Rotterdam where it follows the rivers east to Den Bosch and is last seen at Uden heading Southeast towards Germany.
I receive more information (from Hans Pohlman) about this bird and it is confirmed that the bird was not re-introduced but born in the wild. It has stayed in Germany last months as it's easy to recognise due to a broken primary on the left wing.
... nov 2016 the bird was present at the Jura, France
18/01/17 present at Germany near the border with Luxemburg (red)
24/02/17 seen near Koln, Germany (yellow)
02/03/17 feeding on a carcass Brockum, Germany (green)
12/03/17 flying over Noordwijk to Rotterdam
13/03/17 flying from Rotterdam southeast to Den Bosch and the German border (blue)