maandag 30 december 2013

December birding: Pygmy Owl & Parrot Crossbills!

Since the beginning of October there has been an unprecedented invasion of Parrot Crossbills in the Netherlands. Many groups of varying sizes were seen throughout the country. In my region the observations were spread rather thinly - there was a group present on NP de Hoge Veluwe but not anywhere else. I tried to see this group once and had birds, just taking off from a pine tree: not a really satisfying observation. Since you have to pay an entrance fee for the park I didn't visit them more often - I wanted to find them myself!

And thus, almost every weekend in November and December I did a lot of cycling through the forests, surrounding Apeldoorn. It wasn't succesfull until last week. My dad found some Parrot Crossbills early December, but we could not relocate this group.

Last Thursday, the second Christmas day, my dad and I did a search for Crossbills again. After a few hours searching we still hadn't seen any Crossbills. When we were close to Kootwijk there was one more place I wanted to check with my dad for Parrot Crossbills: to me this would be the perfect place for them!

Once we arrived there I noticed a Crossbill perched in a pine tree. One look through my binoculars and I knew enough: Parrots! Full of exitement we started taking photos. A bit later the bird flew off with a second one and started foraging in some pine trees further down the path. So there were two birds, a male and a female!

Finally after so many hours of searching I'd found my own!
 Parrot Crossbill (Loxia pytyopsittacus), male (photo taken by me)
Parrot Crossbill (Loxia pytyopsittacus), male and female (both photos taken by Tammo).
Kootwijk - Regelbergen - the pine forests to the right is where I found the Parrot's

Now time for another story:
Since a couple of weeks a Pygmy Owl has been present not far from my house. It had been really hard to find the last few weeks but since last weekend the bird has been observed continuously. Yesterday I visited the bird with my dad, and indeed: we had fantastic views of the bird! My second observation ever of Pygmy Owl and that only 20min from home!
Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium passerinum), last photo taken by Tammo
The group of birders at the Pygmy Owl

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