vrijdag 28 februari 2014

Snowy Owls & hundreds of Cranes

Last sunday, the 23rd of February, we went to see the Snowy Owls on Vlieland! Together with my dad and Henri. They've been present there for quite some time now, and we finally had the time to visit them.

We took the ferry at 10.40 from Harlingen and arrived on the island around 11.30. We rented a bike and then headed in the direction of the owls. There was a strong wind blowing so the 6 km drive took us about 45 minutes!

Arriving there we soon found a Snowy Owl perched on a dune, quite distant though, The view through the scope was great, but there was not much activity so we looked for the 2nd bird. I soon saw on waarneming.nl that the second bird had been seen. So we headed there. This bird was much closer - but still not really active. We spend the entire afternoon with the birds, very enjoyable!

Here are some shots:
Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus), first winter female, bird nr. 1
Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus), first winter female, bird nr.2 - much darker and more barred
Location of the 2nd bird

The next day (monday 24th) a huge wave a Cranes passed through NL, I was birding at Radio Kootwijk, looking for parrot crossbills - only finding common -when I got lots of messages reporting groups of Cranes passing by. At that moment, I immediatly left and went to a high point with a good view to look for the Cranes: with succes!
 Common Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra), male
Look-out point from which I saw 320 Cranes, Achterste Steenberg, Hoog Buurlo
Cranes (Grus grus), distant and close-by!

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