Monday, March 26, 2012


Driving 2500 kilometers in 3 days and still have time to enjoy friends, a Pygmy Owl, The Office UK, White-backed Woodpecker, the Alps and Armenian Cognac. It is possible!

Birding started at Gurnigel but after a long drive we arrived rather late. A walk at the best spot for Three-toed Woodpecker and Pygmy Owl produced only a calling Nutcracker, and a distant Golden Eagle.

So we decided to have a try further along the road, and one of the first birds was a Pygmy Owl! The bird gave an excellent show but stayed high in the trees so digiscoping was the only option;

Searching Wallcreeper at Beatushohlen and a twitching a Little Crake on a very very small ditch were unsuccesfull.

The next day we had a try on White-backed Woodpecker. This species is very difficult to find in Switserland, mainly because it's preferred breeding habitat is inaccessable steep forests. We tried a location were some birds were observed in the previous years, and were rewarded with good views of both a male and a female!

In the afternoon we tried to see the long-staying summer plumage Great Northern Diver on Bodensee and although the surface of the lake was completely flat we could not find it. But several summer plumaged Arctic Divers and Red-necked Grebes were a nice bonus.

Late afternoon brought us near the Rhine where another Little Crake was seen early in the day. The Crake did not reappear but I never saw a Water Rail this close! It completely ignored us as it was feeding on worms, and it was funny to see how it cleaned the catch in the water before swallowing.

The last morning we did some local birding; Katzensee produced a nice flock of Penduline Tits;

And I reeaaally enjoyed the Red Kites!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Excellent views of White-backed Woodpecker today!
Picture by Jan Bisschop, more later.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

nieuwe lifer?

A short visit to Kaap Hoorn, bad light and cold winds but apparently the bird below is new to my list. This Common Gull was ringed as an adult in Groningen in 2009 and in-hand biometrics would ID it as a heinei ("Russian Common Gull"). Note that the bird is showing it's key identification: EL45.

Furthermore on show at least 2 Caspian Gulls (including the the long-staying, the long-staying Yellow-legged Gull and a 3rd.winter Iceland. The Iceland should also be the usual bird but the bill looked rather contrasting and very dark-tipped.

I promise this will be the last gull-gallery for this spring:-)
Furthermore I need to finish some works before the Swallows return to the barn!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


The pair of White-tailed Eagles enjoying a freshly killed Barnacle Goose;

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kaap Hoorn (Groningen)

Yellow-legged Gull (dutch ringed) and the other Iceland (2nd-w) today!;

Sunday, March 4, 2012


The day started in a dull and cloudy Lauwersmeer but spring migration has begun! The Spoonbills are back and 100's of Black-tailed Godwits have arrived in Ezumakeeg. A Red Kite is always a nice surprise, this birds flew close to Anjum but soon disappeared in the low clouds.

A distant Peregrine was too far for a conventional lens but digiscoping produced an acceptable image. The Stonechat is a digiscope too.

And some images from the Kaap Hoorn (Groningen) gull-roost, including Caspian and Iceland Gull;