Tripreport Noord Holland June/ July 2014

RotschenkelSpending the yearly vacation this time in the Netherlands, it was possible to look for birds as well. While looking for information on birding in Holland, we came across www. http://waarneming.nl/ and www.birdingholland.com, a website for guided birding in the Netherlands. Very helpful is the website http://vogelkijkhut.nl although not all sites – especially the newly created ones – are described.

Target birds

No real target birds in that time of the year. An early returning migrant on the “wrong” side of the Atlantic Ocean would be good. No great expectations.

Weather

The weather was mostly dry with a lot of sun. A bit of rain in the middle of the 2 weeks and a lot of wind on the last days. The temperature ranged from 15º to 25º Centigrade.

Accomodation

During our stay in the Netherlands, we were located in the Bungalow park EUREKAThe bungalows of the Eureka holiday park are not as tightly packed with rather big gardens and space between. Also it is not next to a loud highway or within the centre of roaring tourism as you may find it further to the south. We looked for something near the nice birding places. We booked a rather large house directly from the owner at a reasonable price

Best Birding Sites

Zwanenwater

This reserve is probably one of the most famous sites in Noord Holland with its various bird viewpoints. The lookouts are best reached on a circular route of 4.5 kilometers. There is a floating bird watching hide on western site. From this is a look at the northern lake to the north, east and south. Due to the small holes you can look through with binoculars only. The wooden hut on the other side of the lake provides a glance in the direction of north, west and south. On the water you will be able to see different species of ducks. From a panoramic hill, you can see a spoonbill colony. This is possible from a derelict windscreen – screen for bird watching – too, which is located in a quite remote area reachable only with boots on a muddy path through high reeds and grass. A telescope is advisable for the Zwanenwater anyway.

De Putten

A nice albeit little wetland, visible from the Hondsboscheweg from Petten to Camperduin. A good selection of waders and terns should be observed

Breakwater dam north Camperduin

One oft he few sites nearby where you are close to off-shore feeling. Good for gulls and the only site for whimbrels in the 2 weeks

Dunes at Hargen aan Zee, Schoorlse Duin

excellent dune habitat with a fine selection of passerine birds, flowering and seeding plants attracts mainly finches, the site for the Common Rosefinch

De Flieger, Egmond aan den Hoef

A beautiful located lake in dune habitat. Grazed with big mammals (horses and ancient cattle) will be more productive in spring and late summer. But already quite a fine selection of water birds

Het Wildrijk, Sint Maartensvlotbrug

A speciality in this open countryside. A densely wooded stretch of forest with mainly oak and maples, but also some old beech trees and holly (Ilex sp.). Full with birds of the woods and their youngs

Nollen van Abbestede, Callantsoog

A nice wetland, visible from the Duinweg north of Callantsoog. A newly established extension showed to be very productive with an excellent selection of waders and ducks. The plover site – with many youngs. The site of the Lesser Yellowlegs

Duinreservaat Noordholland, Castricum

Big and excellent Nature Reserve with dune habitat, woods and open watercourses (some for water works). A good and extensive system of trails provides access (by foot and with bicycle) and several hides provide seluded observation opportunities. This is really one of the most beautiful dunes of the Netherlands. A cold beer you get at Johanna’s Hof. The visitor center Hoep is located near Castricum. The observation tower Kruisberg near Heemskerk should be fine for the observation of migrating birds in fall.

Heemskerker Noordbroekpolder, Heemskerk

An extensive wetland with meadows, newly established north of Heemskerk. Best visited from the Noordermaatweg. Again an excellent selection of waders and ducks. The site of the Glossy Ibis.

The birds in taxonomic order:

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

On various ponds in dune reservats, with youngs. Not really common, no ind. in the ditches of the meadows (as are in wintertime)

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

Some on Zwanenwater lakes, 1 Ind. On the sea near Camperduin

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Abundant, big colonies on Zwanenwater and waterworks near Castricum

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

1 ind. In De Putten

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

Abundant and quite “tame”

Great Egret (Casmerodius albus)

Only 1 ind. in Nollen van Abbestede the last day

Great Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)

Heard only, 1st day in Zwanenmater, min. 2 ind.

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

1 ind. Heemskerker Noordbroekpolder, seen on 2nd of July still there on 4th of July

Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

Only few, highest no. on last day when approx. 15 ind. were flying over beach at Callantsoog

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)

common

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

abundant

Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus)

1 ind. On Zwanenwater canal together with Greylag Goose

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Some on Zwanenwater

Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)

3 ind. on Zwanenwater

Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus)

Few pairs on flooded meadows (e.g. De Putten),

Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

Very common on flooded meadows (De Putten), only some on Zwanenwater

Gadwall (Anas strepera)

Some pairs on Zwanenwater

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Very common, mainly Zwanenwater

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

Quite common on flooded meadows (Nollen van Abbestede), with youngs. All in non-breeding plumage; only some on Zwanenwater

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

1 male on flooded field near Callantsoog

Garganey (Anas querquedula)

1 male non-breeding plumage on 2nd lake Zwanenwater

Common Teal (Anas crecca)

common on the last days only, on flooded meadows (Nollen van Abbestede). All in non-breeding plumage; if present, in quite good numbers

Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)

some on Zwanenwater

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

some on ditches between wet meadows, few on Zwanenwater

Common Eider (Somateria mollissima)

Only observations of rows of Eiders over the sea

Western Marsh-Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

Only 1 female on Zwanenwater

Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

Seen every 3rd day circling in the air, 1 female with prey in canopy of Het Wildrijk

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)

1 ind – probably female – hunting low over dunes out of pine forest southern end of Zwanenwater

Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)

Not very common, if seen, then circling in the air

Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

common

Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo)

Hunting over 2 bigger ponds in dune reservats, probably for dragonflies.

Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix)

1 family with at least 6 chicks in remenants of dunes near agric. Fields close to Callantsoog

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

Quite common on fields

Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus)

Heard only, Zwanenwater edge of reeds

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

Few, Zwanenwater often hiding at edge of reeds

Common Coot (Fulica atra)

abundant

Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)

abundant

Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

Abundant, very aggressive with youngs

Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)

Common on inland wetlands, youngs seems to be older

Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)

Common on inland wetlands, quite aggressive with youngs

Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

Very common on inland wetlands, very aggressive with youngs

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

Quite common in De Putten and Nollen van Abbestede, Callantsoog

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)

6 ind. seen on Breakwater dam north Camperduin on 7th day

Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)

abundant

Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)

1 ind. in De Putten the 2nd day

Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes)

The Mega! 1 ind. in Nollen van Abbestede

Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)

Only 1 ind. on flooded field near Callantsoog on 12th day

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)

Several ind. In reserve Nollen van Abbestede, surprisingly rare on seashore

Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)

Some – not more than 3 ind. – in De Putten and Nollen van Abbestede, Callantsoog

Mew Gull (Larus canus)

common

Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)

Some, on inland wetlands

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)

Abundant, by far the most common gul

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)

Several, on inland wetlands

Common Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

Common, mainly inland

Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis)

Quite a few, together with Common Tern on De Putten all days, seen hunting over the sea

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

Abundant, often seen hunting over the sea

Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea)

Few ind. together with Common Tern on De Putten the 2nd day

Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)

1 ind. together with others Terns on De Putten the 5th day

Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)

Quite common on fields with other Pigeons

Stock Pigeon (Columba oenas)

Mostly in pairs, not uncommon on fields mainly with other Pigeons

Common Wood-Pigeon (Columba palumbus)

Common in gardens

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

Common in gardens, almost always heard; the background noise

Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)

In the first days more often heard/ seen than after, best site: Zwanenwater dunes

Common Swift (Apus apus)

common

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

Almost daily in the garden in Bungalow park, young birds

Eurasian Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)

Should be quite numerous, but seen only twice in the Duinreservaat Noordholland near Castricum aan Zee

Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius)

abundant

Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica)

abundant

Eurasian Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

abundant

Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)

Very common

Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis)

Common, but only heard over fields

Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)

Only seen on 1st lake Zwanenwater, mostly young birds fed by adults on wires near floating hide

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Common, best seen on 1st lake Zwanenwater, mostly young birds fed by adults on wires near floating hide with Sand Martins

Northern House-Martin (Delichon urbica)

Occasionally, if seen, numerous

Great Tit (Parus major)

Common in gardens, often young birds fed by adults

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Common in gardens, often young birds fed by adults

Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

Several flocks, often with young birds fed by adults

Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)

Common in gardens, often young birds fed by adults

Common Grasshopper-Warbler (Locustella naevia)

1 ind. showed up near flowering plants in Dunes at Hargen aan Zee, in the parking lot Schoorlse Duin

Savi’s Warbler (Locustella luscinioides)

In reed bed in Zwanenwater, no other records

Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)

Only heard, quite common especially in transition zones reed – willows in Zwanenwater

Eurasian Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)

Common in Zwanenwater

Icterine Warbler (Hippolais icterina)

Only heard, best near Groet Polder bei Bergen

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)

Quite common, seen only in willow/pine thicket in Zwanenwater

Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)

Abundant, mostly heard

Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)

Seen only in Het Wildrijk, should be numerous in gardens, too. But maybe wrong season for good observation

Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)

Common, frequently showed up near flowering plants in Dunes at Hargen aan ZeeLesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca)

Much more often heard, than seen, several ind. showed up near flowering plants in Dunes at Hargen aan Zee, in the parking lot Schoorlse Duin

Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Abundant throughout

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)

Beautiful song heard often in Zwanenwater, seen only in the Duinreservaat Noordholland near Castricum

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Common in gardens of Bungalow park, a bird of dusk and dawn

Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)

Quite commonly heard in De Flieger, Egmond aan den Hoef, only 1 ind. Seen shortly

Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)

1 ind. On trail in Zwanenwater

Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)

2 females near a dune pond in the Duinreservaat Noordholland, Castricum

European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

Several territories throughout, 1 pair showed up frequently near flowering plants in Dunes at Hargen aan Zee, in the parking lot Schoorlse Duin

Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)

1 ind. Male in the parking lot Schoorlse Duin

Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

abundant

Hedge Accentor (Prunella modularis)

Common in garden in Bungalow park

White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)

abundant

Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)

Surprisingly rare, only 1 juvenile in Nollen van Abbestede

Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)

Abundant on meadows

Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

1 male singing in reeds in Zwanenwater, 1st lake

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

European Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

Common, several ind. showed up near flowering plants in Dunes at Hargen aan Zee, in the parking lot Schoorlse Duin

Eurasian Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)

The most common finch, showed up often on flowering plants in Dunes at Hargen aan Zee, in the parking lot Schoorlse Duin

Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus)

1 pair showed up near flowering plants in Dunes at Hargen aan Zee, in the parking lot Schoorlse Duin

Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes)1 pair flying overhead in the garden of Bungalow park at 1st day

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)At the entrance of Nollen van Abbestede

In total 109 species of birds. Not bad for two weeks

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