zondag 18 april 2010

Hoog Buurlosche heide: An interesting site during the evening!

Yesterday I had a good ringing day, I came home around 4 a.m. I was tired (I had to get up at 4.30!) and did not feel like birdwatching anymore. So we had dinner and then my dad said he would go for a check on Hoog Buurlo. I did not feel like going, but in the end I figured that it would be smart to go with him! It has been proven that Hoog Buurlo can be fun at night. Tim de Boer, for example had 8 Cranes two weeks ago, dropping in and (trying) to stay overnight at the Gerritsflesch. (This did not happen however, because of some agressive Greylag Geese!)
So I went with my dad. We arrived there around 18.45. It was a beautiful evening with a clear sky! Nowhere, one could find airplanes in the sky, wonderful. Eventually we did see one airplane however, but this was a Testflight from KLM, making a trip above the Netherlands, to see if the ashclouds had dissapeared. And to check if there was any ash in the motors. Very funny to hear afterwards, the plane you saw was for a testflight. Nevertheless, back to the birds. We went to the old sheep-fold. This was the former sheep-fold on the Heide, but they moved it elswhere. Fortunately there a lot of Rabbits taking care of the grass, so that the meadows will be maintained (for birds' sake ofcourse!) We had 5 Ring Ouzels, all five of them were males, and even some of them were singing quietly. I had never heard a singing Ring Ouzel before, so this was a scoop for me. Furthermore the meadows held 15 Songthrushes, about 10 Mistle Thrushes and some White wagtails. 3 Swallows were flying around as well.

And then suddenly, from out of nowhere, a male Merlin rushed us, chasing the Swallows! A very nice sighting, it was short, but very satisfying.
It is a recordshot.. but you can still identify it as a male Merlin(i cannot say that from my Ospreyshot..) : a small falco, short tail, pointed wings and orange underparts combined with grey upperparts and on black on the outer parts of the wing.
We decided to walk on towards the Braamberg(''blackberry mountain'') to see if we could come across the hunting Merlin again, we didn't but did see another raptor. An Osprey. The bird came from the south and was following the edge of the forests towards the Northeast. This was at 19.33. We can conclude that seeing a migrating Osprey is also possible in the evening!
This is probably the worst shot of an Osprey I ever made..
In addition we had (I presume) a pair of Cuckoos and 4 Snipes.
A succesful evening!

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