dinsdag 3 mei 2011

Schiermonnikoog: my favourite island!

During the Easter weekend I stayed at Schiermonnikoog, with the JNM. The camp was from 21st of April till the 25th of April. This was the first time ever that Easter fell so late in Spring! Most of the times Easter takes place in the beginning of April so we were preparing for a weekend full of good birds, and indeed it was!

At Thursday I had the ferry of 17.30 and we arrived on the island at 18.15. When I was on the island for only five minutes someone yelled that a Hoopoe had been seen near the Herdershut, this was 1km of the ferry. I quickly dropped my backpack at the farm where we stayed. Afterwards I took off and within a few minutes I was at the place. Unfortunately the bird hadn't been relocated yet. We search a bit, resulting in 11 Ring Ouzels and some Redstarts.
So this was a promising start for the weekend. Marijn van Oss and Thijs Fijen had already seen a Wood Warbler and 2 Red Kites in the afternoon, so our expectations were high :)

Friday the 22nd:
We got up early at 5.30 and drove in the direction of Paal 10. This is a high dune located along the north sea shore on the northern part of the island. It is a 3 quarters of an hours drive, because you also need to drive on the beach.. which sucks. Arriving there, there was some good visible migration. Plenty of Meadow pipits passed by. The first rarity of the morning flew past at 7.05 : an adult female Dotterel! Marijn, Thijs and me already heard the bird calling from a large distance but we couldn't recognize it for a moment, soon we saw the bird and were like oh yeah, of course! I was a bit late with the camera but still managed to get a record shot:
The rest of the morning we saw some Merlins, Rough-legged Buzzard, some nice sandpipers, Short-eared Owl, Little Tern, Black Tern, Yellow wagtail 'flavissisma' and the usual birds such as Nightingale etc.
And just when we were about to leave, Frank Wildschut discovers 5 Dotterels from a large distance! Wow, nice birds! We started to approached them to get some decent shots, as we were at 100m distance the birds suddenly flew off and passed us at close range, I was able to take some good shots!
When we drove back to the village Marijn and I discovered a distant Red Kite, it showed well for a short time though. After we stopped at the supermarket we drove to the Westerplas where we soon discovered the  3 long staying Red-breasted geese, boring ;) A photo will follow yay.
At the campsite of Schiermonnikoog we had a singing Wood Warbler that showed very well, as well as 20 Ring ouzels (spreaded all over the island).
In the evening we had a nice Osprey coming from the Westerplas and continueing in a northeasterly direction. Birds of note were also the plenty singing Redpolls on the island.
Saturday the 23rd:
We started at Paal 10 again, resulting in a flyover of Tawny Pipit, Pied Crow, a flyover of Osprey and nice displaying Short-eared Owls!
The osprey remained on the beach for a while, mobbing the gulls!
This day we also had a remarkable number of 12 passing Merlins! High total! Furthermore I had my first Hobby's of the year.

The day ended with the report of a foraging Wryneck in the Westerduinen, discovered by Tjeerd! Marijn and I soon drove towards the exact place and with the whole group we could observe the Wryneck from a close distance, what a stunning bird it is!
Sunday the 24th: the final day!

The morning we counted migration at Paal 10 again, but it sucked so we stopped early with it and decided to check other interesting parts of the island. We had the usual birds, such as the Redbreasted geese, some Whinchats, Ring Ouzels etc. It was quite boring, until we were walking at the Westerstrand and Tjeerd/Jaap discovered a Black Stork! It was circling with a group of buzzards at a large distance but could be seen well. Later on we saw it even closer. At the same moment we discovered 2 migrating Rough-legged Buzzards and some harriers and buzzards were coming in! Later that night we saw 3 hunting Red Kites above the forests, showing well! Raptors keep impressing me.
Around 19.00 we got a call: a Hoopoe near the bunker! As soon as we could we drove to the field of the Hoopoe. With the whole group we relocated the bird and it showed well, sitting in trees as well as flying!

Oh, i almost forgot this photo of the Red-breasted geese, sorry!
End that was the end of a wonderful weekend at my favourite island: Schiermonnikoog.

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