dinsdag 11 februari 2014

Signs of Spring

As a result of the mild weather we're having, lots of birds have the feeling that it's spring already. I visited the Paleispark at Paleis het Loo this morning and had a great morning. Clear skies, with clouds every now and then, together with some slight wind gusts. The birds were in full swing: active Great Spotted Woodpeckers, most species of Tit, singing Chaffinches, Hawfinches, Mistle Thrush, displaying Goshawk and so on. Wonderful. The signs of winter were still conspicious however, with hundreds of Bramblings and Chaffinches. Also, groups of Fieldfares and Redwings were still present in the park.

My visit had a special goal: finding Middle-spotted Woodpeckers. It only took me about half an hour before I found them! I was walking along a lane with old oaks and suddenly I heard and saw two woodpeckers chasing each other. They turned out to be Middle-spotted!

The male showed well for a while, foraging in a oak at close distance. I lost the other bird as soon as I focused on the male, I presume it was a female because it was not really vocal, but I'm not sure. A bit later the male took off and started singing in a patch of oak trees a few 100m away from me. I enjoy the Jay-song of the woodpeckers, very distinctive.

Anyway, I got a couple of decent shots from the bird, if I would have my phone with me a good sound recording would have been collected as well,
 Middle-spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius), male
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla), male adult winter

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