zondag 30 januari 2011

Sparrowhawk finds our garden

As I already mentioned in my previous post a lot of birds a currently staying in our garden. This has attracted a raptor now: a superb male Sparrowhawk. I was calmly staring out of my window when I saw this male sitting in our apple tree! I ran downstairs to warn my dad and I grabbed my camera. The sparrowhawk was being mobbed by 3 Jays, what a wonderful sight! The 3 Jays were teasing him a little but this had no influence on thte bird. Moments later the bird flew off towards the next garden and probably got a hold on a House sparrow!
The results:

zaterdag 29 januari 2011

Inland twites!

For over a few days now a group of 24 Twites have been observed near Arnhem, at the Lathumse Broek. This species has become a scarce winter visitor in the Netherlands, certainly inland. This winter however, higher numbers of Twites have been observed along the coast and on the islands. Same goes for the Lapland Bunting which showed some short of invasion with in north-east Groningen more than 500 Lapland Buntings present (in December). A long time ago, in some winters groups of Twites occasionally visited areas inland, along the Rijn or Waal but this was a long time ago. So this means that nowadays, seeing a group of Twites inland is a stroke of luck. Therefore, my father and I decided to visit this group of Twites this morning.
We had to wait for a while but after half an hour the group reappeared and was showing well. The birds were not shy at all and I was able to take of few pics. Below you can see the results:
Afterwards, we continued our way towards a Pied Crow that has been a long stayer near Velp. After 15 minutes I noticed the bird, feeding near a farm. Always nice to see this species! On our way back we also had a group of 80 Tundra Bean Geese on the Albaplas, Klarenbeek, resting on the ice.

Furthermore, the bird life in our garden is at its peak now! Day in day out plenty of Greenfinches are feeding in our garden as well as 4 Bramblings:

zaterdag 22 januari 2011

200th species in the Apeldoorn county!

It's been a while ago since my last post, that was because I just had two very busy weeks with school. Last week I had a testweek and I had to hand in all sorts of things. So it also meant that last two weeks I didn't watch any birds. I watched some birds in our garden though, with yesterday 3 Brambling and 6 Greenfinches present. Yesterday, a Red-necked Grebe had been observed at  Bussloo, a large 'recreation' lake. In the past I've seen 2 Great Northern Divers there, also in May 2008, I saw a Whiskered tern there and now a Red-necked Grebe had been seen, a rarity in our region. Therefore, my father and I went to take a look at Bussloo this morning. We succeeded in finding the Red-necked Grebe. It was not really shy and I could take some photographs. We saw amongst others, 7 Goosanders (2m 5f), 10 Smews (only females) and a second-cy Yellow-legged Gull. Also 35 Tundra Bean Geese were seen, flying overhead. This Red-necked Grebe was my 200th species in my county!

maandag 3 januari 2011

Redpolls again

In the entire December month there was one species which was totally absent/missing: redpoll. This morning I saw them again. While I grabbed my bike (at the garage) I walked behind our back garden and I heard Redpolls, they seemed to be present in the birches. It did not took look before I saw them, and they could clearly be identified as Mealy's. The next thing I saw were two Bullfinches, a male and a female, foraging in a birch tree as well! Yesterday I was still saying: how come that I've never seen Bullfinches near our back garden? And today I saw them, conspiracy.. Anyway, when I got home from school (1st schoolday...) I noticed a Redpoll foraging in the birch tree again. It turned out to be a Lesser Redpoll, see the photos below:

zondag 2 januari 2011

Rough-legged Buzzard!

When the new year starts, the new yearlist starts all over again as well.
My parents planned to go for a walk today but I was hesitating if I should go with them, because I still had some homework to do. In the end I decided to come along, and this was a good decision because there were plenty of birds to be seen along the IJssel. We already saw a Great-grey shrike along our way, perched in a small tree, just a few hundred metres before our destination.We parked our car at the Rammelwaard, near Zuthpen and walked on the dike. I noticed many geese flying by. All probably very happy that they could forage on the unfrozen farmlands again. The first bird I saw was a nice swimming male Goosander. It was not really shy and I could take a few shots.
Then we continued our walk on the dike and we had some wonderful oppertunities to photograph several species of geese:
White-fronted geese
And several Tundra bean Geese
Along with a few Barnacle geese
This was the first time ever, that I saw that many geese passing our heads that closely! Moreover, the bean geese I normally see in our region, are very distant, but these birds today were very close-by!
We also oberved 7 Whooper swans, a 1st winter Goshawk, 2 Great White egrets and the usual winter birds.
When we got back at the car we decided to go to Slot Nijenbeek, because we saw plenty of geese activity there as well. Arriving there, thousands of White-fronts were foraging on some farmland next to the road. I checked the group quickly with my binoculars but could not find anything special, I regretted the fact that we did not bring our telescope. Moments later I suddenly saw a raptor flying at quite a large distance. The first thing I thought was Hen harrier, because of the harrier-like flight. Then I saw a white tail combined with a black terminalband. This could only be one species: Rough-legged buzzard!  It was distant but it was showing quite well. I quickly grabbed my camera to take of few recordshots. The results can be seen below.
This was good start of the new year: