maandag 27 januari 2014

Winter keeps getting better and better: White-billed Diver!!

We've had an unbelievable good winter for rare birds in The Netherlands so far, it's crazy. Today I saw my 4th lifer of the year already... Two-barred Crossbill, Brown Shrike, Caspian Plover (last Saturday) and now White-billed Diver. Incredible!

Just take a look at this list of (really) rare birds present in NL right now:
A printscreen of yesterday's homepage

Yesterday a White-billed Diver (or Yellow-billed Loon) had been found on the Rhederlaag, a recreational lake near Arnhem. It's a good place for seabirds. I've seen Velvet Scoter and Long tailed Duck there for example. And now this place strikes again, but this time with a real badass bird!

The bird was discovered late in the afternoon and we weren't able to twitch it, so we went this morning. Together with my dad and Tommy we arrived there at 9.40. Luckily for us (and lots of other people), the bird was still there and showed really well.

We first saw the bird at quite close range (~150m). Not much later the bird swam towards the sun, bad light, and the bird was swimming further and further away. We tried from the other side of the lake where we had good views, but more distant than before (~500-600m). The light was perfect, so that made up for the distance.

Tammo got a recordshot of the first moments:
White-billed Diver (Gavia adamsii), first winter; what an enormous, massive bill,

As Tommy and I had to go to the uni we took off. Hopefully the bird will stay longer so we can visit it again:)
By the way, here: are already lots of other good pics of the bird. Check it out whilst I'm still enjoying this lifer from behind my laptop!

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