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lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

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Saturday, 22 May 2010 21:21

Being birder for two days


I am not a birder neither an expert in birds but I had the chance to try out how it feels to be a birder during my trip to Netherlands. We had planned to visit the Dutch island Texel at the beginning of May this year – meeting with Pali, Evžen and Ondra was planned for Monday so I could spend two days in the northern part of Netherlands in the Fiesland area.




Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus), Friesland



Before departure I searched the internet to find the best places for bird photography and Friesland seemed to be the right place to be! Weather was not very nice as well as it was not in the following days on Texel island...honestly the very first two days spent in northern Holland was so bad weather that I rarely took my camera out from the bag – cloudy, strong wind and often rain was not the best at all!




Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa), Texel



The bad weather was also the reason I became unexpectedly a birder for two days. I cannot say I do not watch birds during my photography trips (it comes together of course) but this time I took it more seriously and did it as properly as I could – by recording all the species I could see or recognize according to their calls.




Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava), Friesland



It might easily happen that I have missed some birds as I am not experienced enough but I was still surprised how many species can be seen during just a few days. Besides several other spots in Friesland I spent most of my time from those two days in the Lauwersmeer National Park and its surrounding – it is one of the best birding spots in Netherlands – strongly recommended!




Brant Geese (Branta bernicla), Texel – the most abundant bird of Texel island during our visit. It is quite interesting that we saw only Brant Geese (Branta bernicla) on Texel island while on the mainland the Barnacle Geese (Branta leucopsis) were prevailing.



Altogether I counted about 80 bird species during those two days spent in Friesland area and we added some ten more on Texel island. The complete lost of all observed species in northern Netherlands is given at the end of this article.




Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) Texel


The greatest advantage of birding over bird photography is the effectiveness – It happens very often (I would guess in ca 50%) that you do not get a single shot when your aim is bird photography during your trips. To take a good picture of bird means to get close enough to the bird, which can be at least some 8 meters in case of small passerines. This is usually far les than the bird likes you to be and it very often flies away.




Common Tern (Sterna hirundo), Texel



For birding (birdwatching) you do not need to take heavy bag with big telelens – small binoculars will do and together with the knowledge of bird songs it is the best equipment for you! If you are not sure about birdsongs, the easiest way is to record all the songs onto the memory card of your cell phone. Instead of taking pictures you just listen, watch and record all the species you are certain about – how simple (relatively :-) ).




Northern Wheatear, samice (Oenanthe oenanthe), Texel



The beauty of birding is that it brings another dimension to the nature. I remember few years ago I knew Blackbird, Sparrow and Tits; today I am able to recognize small flock of Goldfinches flying over my head or Common Grasshopper Warbler and Great Bittern sounding from the reed... it is like having another eye, another sense that one can use to perceive the nature about us.




Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), Texel


There was a time when all the birders and ornithologist seemed rather funny to me; today I understand them and I am slowly becoming one of them. It is so nice to go out, walk quietly, step carefully and to listen to all those sounds around; to stop and get the birds come closer...suddenly the quiet bushes transform into te place full of live (birdlife). It also builds up a respect for the nature. Indisputable advantage of knowing birds for photographer is certainly th simple fact that he knows what is around, where to look and what to look for and what to expect in given environment. I must admit that few years back when I began with bird photography I knew almost nothing – today I know that bird photography without the understanding of the birds life does not have any greater meaning and it would not satisfy (me) completely.




Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), Texel


1D3_6833PSLet me the last note – the arrival from Norwegian Bergen to Denmark and then to Netherlands at the beginning of May was like entering a paradise – I have not heard so many birds altogether for quite long time. I could finally feel the real Spring! Netherlands itself is a paradise for bird-lovers and you don’t feel that only because there is always some other birder or photographer close by. There is always something around to watch – my very first day in Netherlands I watched two Jackdaws driving away Common Kestrel and only a while later the Marsh Harrier and Raven chasing a hare in the field... Every day and every moment there is something interesting happening – just to mention few more I recall the Cuckoo watching small passerines in the bush on the sea coast – undoubtedly getting ready to lay the eggs and then the very last day at Texel island when about 300 Whimbrels and Bar-tailed Godwits flew over my head…




Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus), Texel



The complete list of observed bird species, northern Netherlands, 2. – 8.5. 2010:

    1. Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
    2. Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
    3. Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
    4. Great Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)
    5. Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)
    6. Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
    7. Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)
    8. Greylag Goose (Anser anser)
    9. Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
    10. Brant Goose (Branta bernicla)
    11. Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus)
    12. Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
    13. Gadwall (Anas strepera)
    14. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
    15. Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
    16. Garganey (Anas querquedula)
    17. Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
    18. Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
    19. Common Eider (Somateria mollissima)
    20. Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)
    21. Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
    22. Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
    23. Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
    24. Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
    25. Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
    26. Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)
    27. Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)
    28. Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
    29. Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
    30. Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)
    31. Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)
    32. Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)
    33. Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
    34. Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata)
    35. Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
    36. Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)
    37. Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
    38. Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
    39. Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
    40. Dunlin (Calidris alpina)
    41. Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
    42. Common Gull (Larus canus)
    43. Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)
    44. Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)
    45. Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)
    46. Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)
    47. Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
    48. Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)
    49. Common Swift (Apus apus)
    50. Skylark (Alauda arvensis)
    51. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
    52. White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
    53. Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)
    54. Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)
    55. Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)
    56. Dunnock (Prunella modularis)
    57. Common Blackbird (Turdus merula)
    58. Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
    59. Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)
    60. Common Grasshopper Warbler (Locustella naevia)
    61. Savi´s Warbler (Locustella luscinioides)
    62. Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
    63. Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
    64. Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris)
    65. Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
    66. Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
    67. Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin)
    68. Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)
    69. Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
    70. Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)
    71. Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)
    72. Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)
    73. Great Tit (Parus major)
    74. Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)
    75. Magpie (Pica pica)
    76. Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)
    77. Rook (Corvus frugilegus)
    78. Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)
    79. Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix)
    80. Common Raven (Corvus corax)
    81. Eurasian Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
    82. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
    83. Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
    84. Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
    85. Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)
    86. Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)
    87. Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)


      Last Updated on Thursday, 27 January 2011 09:28
      Comments (32)
      • renka

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