Wednesday 22 June 2016

Holland - mostly...

13th - 19th June 2014 - Netherlands

Just back from our (getting to be annual) bike trip - a week cycling around (some of) the Netherlands (North and South Holland, Flevoland and Utrecht). A leisurely 300 miles in 6 days plus a 'day off' doing the tourist thing in Amsterdam; not at all a birding trip but inevitably some birds were seen and a few photographed.

Nightingale - 13/6/2016 dune scrub near Katwijk; ludicrously common in bushes all along dunes, rarely seen but easily heard.

Marsh Harrier male - 15/6/2016 near Edam

Marsh Harrier female - 15/6/2016 near Edam; many smallish patches of reeds seemed to hold a pair, plenty of harrier food around.
Great White Egret - 15/6/2016 near Edam

Great White Egret - 17/6/2016 Lepelaarplassen nr. Almere; one or two seen everyday, but not a single Little Egret.
Spoonbill - 17/6/2016 Oostvardersplassen; a handful seen but only this one came close enough to photograph.
White Stork - 19/6/2016 nr. Schoonhoven.
Common Tern 19/6/2016 Maassluis

Common Tern 19/6/2016 Maassluis

Common Tern 19/6/2016 Maassluis; common everywhere there's water it seems, even in the centre of Amsterdam.
Hare - 15/6/2016 near Edam, just as I was thinking it was good Hare country - a tick for Carolyn, a photo-tick for me.

Thursday 9 June 2016

Just what I needed - a nice 3cy Yellow-legged Gull

9th June 2016 - Topsham

June isn't peak month for gull-watching but today was probably my best so far this year in terms of interest. First a brief morning look in at Bowling Green Marsh for a 2cy Little Gull (thanks to Dave Boult for the call), which was promptly joined by a classy 4cy/3rd summer Mediterranean Gull - you know, like a full adult but with just a small black spot or two on an outer primary. Then with low tide about 16.30 and a cloudy sky forecast it looked like Topsham Rec was the place to be in the afternoon. The alarming lack of small gulls continues but a good turnover of Herring Gulls looked promising. Sure enough, there was a nice pair of yellow legs and not attached to a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Yellow-legged Gull 3cy - 9/6/2016 Topsham Recreation Ground
It was only a tiny bit darker than nearby Herring Gulls (which is a little odd, I admit) but the really bright yellow legs are a bit of a giveaway. Another good clue is the relatively advanced (for early June) state of moult. P1 and 2 are new 3rd generation adult-type feathers, p3 and 4 growing.

Yellow-legged Gull 3cy - 9/6/2016 Topsham Recreation Ground

Yellow-legged Gull 3cy - 9/6/2016 Topsham Recreation Ground