zondag 10 februari 2013

American Wigeon!

For a couple of weeks now an American Wigeon has been present amongst European Wigeons near Maurik, in Gelderland. I've seen American Wigeon twice in NL, once a bird in Groningen in 2005 and another one in 2008 in Noord-Holland. We've also seen it in North-America. Therefore, we weren't really tempered to twitch this bird, but since it was still present (and since it's a good Gelderland species) we went there to have a look at this bird.

Yesterday it was only present for a short period of time because someone found it was neccesary to cross the fence and approach the Wigeons and flush them, eventhough you can see them at 25m distance from the road...

We were a bit hesitant if it still would be preshnt today but soon we found out! In some sort of by-pass of the river the Rijn the Wigeons were situated. The Wigeons were foraging in this by-pass on very close range. Together with Henri, me and my dad we arrived at the location around 11.45. On my phone I saw it had been seen at 10.40. As we were the only birdwatchers there we started searching for the bird. We found a group of some inactive Wigeons and soon my dad shouted: I think I got it! The bird was sleeping, some 25m away from the car. It was very inactive but every now and then it got its head out.

Several people with dogs passed by, but the Wigeons didn't care, no movement at all. We could even get out of the car and nothing happened. We've rarely had such encounters with waterfowl. Normally the birds fly off immediatly.

Then an hour later orso, the bird became active, and we were able to take some really great shots of the bird! The sun resulted in a bit harsh light for photographing, but you won't hear us complain about the results!

 American Wigeon (Anas americana), adult male
 Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope), adult male
Look for the bird!
They were quite close as you can see!
The 'floodgates' situated on the Rijn.

After we had great views on this bird we searched for Black-necked Grebe and Long-tailed Duck that had been seen yesterday, We failed to find them though. A little bit further we a fly-over Waterpipit, a hunting female type Hen Harrier and lots of geese.

We wanted to give the Velvet Scoter near Veenendaal a visit. From Rhenen we drove to Veenendaal. On our way there we stopped near Achterberg where we had two Whooper Swans and 22 Bewick's Swans. Near Veenendaal we soon relocated the Velvet Scoter. It was more distant than the previous time but we had a good look at it. It was succesfully fishing on crayfish. We saw it consuming multiple crayfish over the short period of time we spent there.

What an excellent day to end my one week holiday!

Eccentric moult in Greenfinch, a Middle Spotted Woodpecker and more!

Friday, the 8th, I was back home in Apeldoorn and ringing session in the garden. It was quiet, with only 7 birds caught, some Blue and Great Tits and a Greenfinch and Chaffinch. The Greenfinch though, was interesting, as it had done some eccentric moult - as is known to happen with Greenfinches occasionally. It was a 2cy male, the pictures below will illustrate it:
 Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris), 2cy male
 Right wing: P5-P9 moulted (inner to outer)+ what looks like the tertails and one (incidental) secondary
 Left wing: P5,6 and P9 moulted + tertails
Tail: all new adult type tailfeathers

Yesterday, Saturday the 9th, my dad and I headed out to do some birding in the county. First we saw the Velvet Scoters at Zutphen again. This time they were quite close to the shoreline and showed very well. Enabling us to take some better photos than I did last time. 
Again! Velvet Scoters (Melanitta fusca), 1st winter males

On our way back home we stopped at Huis Voorstonden near Brummen where there's a territory of Middle Spotted Woodpeckers. It took 20 mins before we located it. It didn't show really well, high up in the trees, but it was actively calling so I made a recording:

vrijdag 8 februari 2013

Inland Velvet Scoters

The past week I went to see Velvet Scoters inland at two different locations. First ones were near Zutphen. I spend a few days at my grandparents in Ruurlo and on Tuesday we made a quick visit to these birds. They were present on recreactional lake just south of Zutphen. Good observations through the binoculars, though a bit distant. With my camera I managed to get some record shots.
Velvet Scoters (Melanitta fusca), both 1st winters. 

In Veenendaal, about 10km from Wageningen a first winter male Velvet Scoter has been present for a few weeks now. Yesterday I decided it was time to give it a visit since it was great weather. It is present in a creek just in the urbanised area, swimming in between the Coots and Mallards, a weird experience! There are lots of Red Swamp Crayfish in the creek, so enough reason for the bird to reside at such an odd location for a seabird. 
Velvet Scoter (Melanitta fusca), first winter male

On my way back I came across a group of 48 Bewick's Swans, a nice addition to the list.
Bewick's Swans (Cygnus bewickii). The group existed out of 33 adult and 15 immature birds.