Enjoying it while it lasts…

With ‘enjoy it while it lasts’ in mind, I visited the Rietputten again. In the upcoming weeks, months or years — I don’t even know exactly — this area will be used for the construction of a tunnel. Unfortunately this means that — again — a beautiful Dutch ‘polder’, home to equally beautiful Bearded tits, will be sacrificed to a chunk of asphalt that will ‘automagically’ make all traffic jams vanish.

At least it was a special day, because it started off with a 1hr+ private session with a group of Bearded tits. Usually you quickly end up having to share that experience with multiple photographers, but this time it was just me and the birds. Even though they remained quite far away, it was a joy to experience.

A couple hundred photos later I decided to continue exploring the rest of the area. There was supposed to be a European serin, but I did not find it. Instead, what I discovered was at least equally nice: a rare White-headed Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus caudatus). The following picture was the only acceptable one in the short sequence I shot, but discovering this bird totally made my day. :-)

White-headed Long-tailed tit / Aegithalos caudatus caudatus

White-headed Long-tailed tit / Aegithalos caudatus caudatus

And some pictures of the Bearded tits:

Bearded tit / Panurus biarmicus

Bearded tit / Panurus biarmicus

Bearded tit / Panurus biarmicus

Bearded tit / Panurus biarmicus

Later that day. Bearded tit / Panurus biarmicus

Partridge Paradise

Industrial areas are places most nature lovers seem to dislike and stay away from, even though for some species they provide a nice habitat, such as for the Grey partridge. That's why, today, I spent a few hours on an empty lot photographing these little — increasingly rare — fellas.

Grey partridge / Perdix perdix

Grey partridge / Perdix perdix

Grey partridge / Perdix perdix

Grey partridge / Perdix perdix — The effects of heat waves are clearly visible (unfortunately)

Time for the birds of Scheveningen

I regularly stumble across interesting bird observations in the harbor of Scheveningen. Since the harbor is quite easily reached with public transport (I neither own a car nor a bike), I have decided to go there more often. And so I did this past wednesday. The photos are below.

On a sidenote: I do still love to wander long distances (20-25km) through e.g. the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen, but these days are often very — very — tiring. That, luckily, is not the case with going to the Scheveningen harbor, so going there then becomes much more attractive.


Razorbill / Alca torda

This day started off really nice when it turned out a Razorbill was in the harbor. What a beautiful bird! Unfortunately the light came from the wrong direction, so its eye — which is naturally very dark — is almost impossible to see on the photos. I shouldn't complain, though, as the bird was relatively close to me.

Razorbill / Alca torda

After following the bird for around 15 minutes, it decided to leave the harbor and go back to open waters. After just a few dives it already had disappeared from view.

Afterwards, a Great cormorant (carbo carbo), a subspecies of the ‘common’ Cormorant (carbo), finally flew plast me. Most of the time I could see it in a group of other (common) Cormorants, where it is near impossible to photograph in a nice manner. Unfortunately it was already quite dark, so the picture is not as sharp as I woud like, but it perfectly serves as an evidence shot.

Great cormorant / Phalacrocorax carbo carbo

The weather turned really bad afterwards, but that proved to be a nice occasion to photograph the Ruddy turnstones. Usually they already come very close to you, but when the weather is bad they seem to have even less of an issue with being close. One of the birds even started washing less than 30 cm from me and managed to splash water in my face. Those are the priceless moments that totally make up for being soaked and covered in sand. I did not, however, manage to take photos of this particular bird, as a 600mm lens that can focus at such short distances is — unfortunately — still to be invented.

Ruddy turnstone / Arenaria interpres

Ruddy turnstone / Arenaria interpres