Birding Basterds weekend 15/05 – 17/05 – 500000 waders!

Last weekend we had our annual Birding Bastards spring weekend on Vlieland. Previous weekends produced such mouthwatering species as: Calandra Lark (Kalanderleeuwerik), White-throated Wagtail (Witkeelkwikstaart), Greenish Warbler (Grauwe fitis) and Subalpine Warbler (Baardgrasmus) among a host of other (Semi)rarities, so naturally we had high hopes for this years run! Despite the crappy cold weather surely something rare was lurking somewhere on the island….

 

But the island had another scenario in mind for us. The blistering northwestern wind had swept its normally very birdie dunes and forests clean of migrant passerines; not ideal at all! Most of the guys were on the island already since Wednesday and when Camilla and I arrived at Lange Paal campsite, they informed us that, besides their dying efforts, nothing had been found.

 

We got ourselves together and went to the Kroonspolders to look for waders with the upcoming tide. Halfway Wouter pointed out the very late Whooper Swan (Wilde zwaan) lingering around Nieuwe Kooi; little did we know this beautiful bird would be the rarest thing this weekend!

 

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Whooper Swan, by Jorrit Vlot – this guy sure can photograph!

 

The high tide roost at the end of the Kroonspolders-dike didn’t materialize in that desired broad-billed basterd, but this was compensated by the most fantastic flock of summer-plumaged waders I’dd ever seen. Extreme high tide in combination with the northwestern storm caused almost all of the mudflats to disappear. This, in turn, produced a massive congregation of birds; truly a sight to behold. The beautiful pictures below, shot by our most talented photographer, Jorrit, tell it all!

 

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The breathtaking scenery in combination with the spectacle described above, allowed us that rare opportunity to enjoy one of Europe’s finest Wetlands to the fullest!

 

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Holland’s true wilderness; the Waddenzee!

 

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Awsome photo’s by Jorrit!

 

Other highlights were limited to games of pool and darts in Tante Pé and drunk bike rides back to the campsite.

 

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Olmo, Rutger an Pieter having some Birds & Beers…

 

Next time boys, we’ll make ‘m come to Vlieland again!

 

Happy birding!

Arjan Dwarshuis
Arjan Dwarshuis
birding@arjandwarshuis.com