Griffon Vulture over Amsterdam city center!

I still can’t believe my luck yesterday. I was having a hangover breakfast with my roommates on our rooftop terrace at the Vijzelstraat when suddenly I saw a distant raptor heading our way. Even  without my bins it struck me as being very large. My hart started pumping, I raced inside, grabbed my bins and raced back to the terrace. It took me 5 seconds to re-find the bird and when I finally got my bins on it I almost made a backflip! GRIFFON VULTURE (VALE GIER)!!!!! Holy shit!! Panic took over as I tried to digibin (Making a photograph with your phone through your bins) the bird, this of course failed, much to the hilarity of my roommates. As soon as the bird had disappeared behind a rooftop I started texting like a maniac; hopefully some other birder south of my position was able to pick up this literally and figuratively huge bird. 5 Minutes later I received a liberating text-message from Laurens Steijn; he had the bird in the scope! It got crazier: the one bird got company by another Griffon and Laurens was able to make some distant photographs of the two together, mental!



Griffon Vulture!!!! by Laurens Steijn



frantic texting….


Later both birds were seen first near Weesp and 15 minutes later near Lopik, Utrecht.


To finish of this amazing day I also had a beautiful Black Kite (Zwarte Wouw) over the Vondelpark, also a very good bird especially if you consider that this all happened right in the middle of Amsterdam!


Happy Birding!

Arjan Dwarshuis
Arjan Dwarshuis