Thursday 6 August 2015

Texel - Netherlands - Part I

I've just returned from a week-long birding trip to the island of Texel, off the coast of the Netherlands. The birding there is absolutely amazing! Within 24 hours of arriving on the island I had seen 24 species of shorebird, totalling well over 10 000 individuals! It was a great opportunity to familiarize myself with many of the European shorebirds, and of course the other species too.

I arrived on Saturday August 1, and left Thursday August 6 with 108 species on my Texel island list.

The island is a popular place for tourists for obvious reasons. It has a lot of sandy beaches. Despite all the tourists there was still tons of space to feel alone on the small island (25 by 4 km in size). Not a single person on this huge beach:

A sense of the birding - thousands of shorebirds all over the island!

Another highlight for me were the Eurasian Spoonbills - they were also common throughout the island:

The ferry crossing to the island is a great way to photograph gulls in flight! They approach very closely looking for handouts of bread.

One of the first birds, and the first raptor, I saw on the island was this Griffon Vulture (Eurasian Griffon) - there are very few records for the island (less than 10) - but was already known about before I came across it:

Common Eiders of the nominate mollissima sub-species were easy to spot:

I wasn't expecting the abundance of Yellow Wagtails - it was nice to re-familiarize myself with their flight calls:

Eurasian Kestrels were quite common and surprisingly tame:

Oystercatchers - they are beautiful, but also obnoxious! Worse than Greater Yellowlegs :p

Lots of shorebirds!!

Great Crested Grebe:

Euro Herring Gull.... I still don't know how to reliably tell them apart from their American counterparts...

Bar-tailed Godwits were extremely common! I probably saw over 10 000 of them!

This was my hotel: