Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas birding highlights

A good tradition, birding Afsluitdijk between Christmas and newyear. We chose to ignore several new birds for our Dutch lists, bought 3 breads and were aiming for Iceland Gull. The Glaucous Gull was still present in Harlingen but seemed a bit lazy, it preferred swimming instead of flying to the bread. Later on the day it was caught by hand so it may have been in bad condition.

Social pressure resulted in twitching the long-staying Lesser Yellowlegs but it was well worth the visit, an extremely confiding bird!
More birders than birds at Vatrop, actually only 1 bird present!

A Grey Phalarope was displaced by the storm several weeks ago, and was also still present along the IJsselmeer. Simply amazing that these tiny birds prefer to winter on the open ocean.
Of course we did not find any Iceland Gull at Harlingen, Kornwerderzand, Breezanddijk and Den Oever. We did see 10-thousands Greater Scaups, Snow Bunting, several Red-throated Divers and 2 Black Brants.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Grey Phalarope

One of my favorites, this tiny pelagic arctic wader. Full series tomorrow!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Watch your Tits!

Grey-alu left, white-red-yellow right.
This Great Tit was ringed as a juvenile in Vierhuizerbos (Lauwersmeer) in spring 2013 and is now in my garden. Sightings of ringed Great Tits are very welcome at the University of Groningen!

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Finally a true Northwestern! The day after (South-)Western force 10-11 there was still a good force 8-9 at Lauwersoog on friday. The combination with spring-tide caused exceptional waterlevels and the harbour was almost submerged. In fact there was no low tide at all for at least a full day. The waders and ducks must have had a hard time with the tidal area's being unavailable for feeding.

Besides a few Kittiwakes, a Little Gull and a distant Great Skua there were not much seabirds on the move. But the storm was impressive!
Gulls sheltering for the storm, Piereneind in the background.
Wigeon and Teal
The result of spring-tide and NW-storm.
Oude Robbengat in snowstorm.
Horizontal snow at Vlinderbalg

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hawk Owl - Zwolle

Amazing bird, a long way from home but is does not seem to bother at all. It only cares for mice and completely ignores the birding-circus around. It attracts hundreds of admirers a day, for over a week now. I chose for digiscoping to get a better perspective.

Those were the days:-) 25 birders enjoying the first twitchable Hawk Owl. A one-day-stayer @Dwingeloo 2005.