vrijdag 5 april 2013

Birding around Wageningen

Last weekend I decided that I should bring a camera with me to Wageningen, in case I see a nice bird or something like that, I can photograph it, who knows when that can be of good use! First I was photographing with a Nikon D70s, but haven't used it since I came to use a D80. So I still had the D70 (thanks dad) at home. Together with a 400 mm Sigma lens it's an excellent and compact combination.

I was rewarded with a gift sooner than I had expected! On Tuesday, it was excellent sunny weather - and since our garden has a nice shelter - and my roommates and me were chilling outside in the sun. I had already put my bins beside my chair, just in case. And just when I let my roommates look through my bins I saw a group of large birds high up in the sky...! I quickly took my bins back and saw that it was a group of 7 Cranes! Very nice to still have a group of Cranes in the beginning of April. My camera was lying in my room, so I took a sprint inside to my room and quickly grabbed my camera. Luckily when I ran outside I could still relocate the Cranes in the blue mess.

Below a recordshot:
Cranes (Grus grus), group of 7 birds migrating over my garden

Now I know what I'll do on afternoons with great weather. I'm waiting for the Kites and Ospreys now :)

On Wednesday I had a pair of Peregrines above my house.

Today, Friday 5th of April, I did a couple of hours birding in the Wageningse Bovenpolder with two of my study friends. We birded from 8:00 to 10:00 (we had college at 10.30).

We started off with a Jack Snipe which we flushed in a wet patch. Quite a few Snipes were around as well. Soon we came across foraging Chiffchaffs , counting 15 orso. No singing birds were heard. We walked through the area seeing a female hunting Marsh Harrier. In the river the Rijn we saw two pairs of Goosanders. Meadow Pipits were singing here and there. Near a farm we had a female Black Redstart, a first of the year for me. We walked on and eventually ended at a creek where I was able to photograph this close Great White Egret:

Great White Egret (Ardea alba)

There were also two close pairs of Great Crested Grebes:
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
Then in a flash I had my first Bluethroat of the year. It flew off from the water edge to the other side of the creek, landing in the reedbed. While it was flying it could see its orange T-shaped tail. Then, just after this observation we had our first Swallows. Walking a bit further along the path, we heard and saw a migrating Green Sandpiper. 
As we walked back to our bikes we had a Grey Wagtail. Then while I was having college, around 11.30 I saw another Grey Wag from the 4th floor of the Uni building, not bad. Then, at 12.50 I had another (or the same Grey Wag ) near the Uni building, showing quite well as it flew off from a pond,  calling loudly.
A pretty good April (if we leave the lack of passerines out) day! 

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