dinsdag 21 december 2010

What a coincidence..!

This morning my father and I had made some plans to check some spots in our county again, along the IJssel, because in this time of  year you really want to spend a lot of time near the IJssel, the beautiful scenery, everything covered in snow, and last but not least: most birds have lost their shyness. Today proved to be another good day for photo oppurtunities! Our startingpoint were, as usual in this time of year, the small streams south of Apeldoorn. Arriving there it seemed that there was nothing interesting present there,  I could only find a single resting Snipe along a stream. Afterwards, we drove back, in the opposite direction, then suddenly my father noticed a Jack Snipe sitting next to our car!
Then, after photographing ''Jack'' we headed to the IJssel. Along the way we had a nice Great White egret which we flushed at another small stream, just a few metres away from the car. Also, we encountered a Snipe very closeby:
While driving to Voorst we kept our eyes open for photographing oppurtunities of ''birds in the snow''. The light conditions were excellent, very soft, diffused light. This gave a unique grey/white colouring. For example these starlings in a birch tree:
Around 12 a.m we arrived at Empe. From Empe we drove to the Rammelwaard. We checked the canals for species such as Goosanders, Smews, Great white egrets, or maybe even Bitterns. 
We found 2 Smews and 1 male Goosander:
Near the Rammelwaard we checked a canal where a Bittern had been seen a few days ago. We did not find the Bittern but we did find its footprints in the snow! In the same (luckily  still open) canal we saw a splendid male Kingfisher (it was alive!) together with a Great White Egret. While walking back to the car, my eye was struck by a large raptor, sitting in a tree, at 500 metres distance. I grabbed my bins and checked the raptor. It seemed very big, but at such a distance it was impossible to identify with only my bins. So I grabbed the telescope and checked the bird through the scope.... it appeared to be a immature White-tailed Eagle!! How awesome. And the funny thing was that only 10 minutes before this discovery I was saying to my  father that it would be nice if this winter a White-tailed Eagle would turn up again in our county, because it had been such a long time ago that we had seen one here!! So what a coincidence that only a 10 minutes later I discover a White-tailed eagle. We quickly made a recordshot:
(Tammo Meijer)
We wanted to approach the bird, so that we could take a look from a closer distance, but that did not happen  because the eagle was rushed by a tractor... It flew away in a Southwesterly direction and it was not to be seen again..
We continued our way north seeing a Hen Harrier, 8 Whooper Swans, an odd Nuthatch foraging on the road:
In addition, we checked some canals north of Twello, resulting in 2 Little Grebes.

All in all, a quality day, with good birds and plenty of photo oppurtunities!!

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