Here is an update with a few common birds of which I managed to take better pictures from my apartment (Blackbird=Merel, Wood Pigeon=Houtduif and Collared Dove=Turkse Tortel), some old pictures I searched out (great tits on my hand in 1983! and a baby bat, on the Extra's page), and one new bird I managed to find at the Valkenburgse Meer (Bluethroat = Blauwborst).
This afternoon I went to the Valkenburgse meer again, and although I didn't find new species, I did make a few nice pictures. The only one that made it to the regular page is a flying Canada Goose (Canadese Gans), but I added a Egyptian Goose chick (Nijlgans kuiken) and a Eurasian Coot chick (Meerkoet kuiken) on the extra's page too.
I also found the time to add the other pictures to the Extra's page: a juvenile buzzard (Buizerd), a juvenile Black-headed Gull (Kokmeeuw), a White (!) Jackdaw (Kauw), a Winter Wren (Winterkoning) and a Great Spotted Woodpecker (Grote Bonte Specht).
It's been a while, since I started a new assignment, so there's way less time to take and process photo's. And the weather has been so good that I spent most of my available time outside.
On Friday (May, 2nd) I went to two bordering parks in Leiderdorp (de Houtkamp and Heemtuin), and Saturday (May, 3rd) I made a big trip to the Valkenburgse Meer, Lentevreugd in Wassenaar and the Zuidduinen in Katwijk (came back with 186 photo's). So it took a while to sort them all out and identify the birds. I also met a bird watcher who corrected a few of my idetifications on the pages.
So the changes are:
Removed: Yellowhammer (Geelgors) - apparently was a Greenfinch (Groenling) after all.
Renamed: Black-winged Stilt (Steltkluut) to Common Greenshank (Groenpootruiter).
Replaced photo's: Common Tern (Visdief), Winter Wren (Winterkoning), Ring-necked Pheasant (Fazant), Gadwall (Krakeend), Sedge Warbler (Rietzanger), Northern Wheatear (Tapuit), Lesser Black-backed Gull (Kleine Mantelmeeuw), Common Shelduck (Bergeend).
New species: Greater Whitethroat (Grasmus), Marsh Warbler (Bosrietzanger), Reed Bunting (Rietgors), White Wagtail (Witte Kwikstaart), Eurasian Curlew (Wulp), Common Sandpiper (Oeverloper), Eurasian Skylark (Veldleeuwerik), (Little Ringed Plover Kleine Plevier), Nightingale (Nachtegaal), African Stonechat (Roodborsttapuit).
That makes a total of 92 species, of which 10 domestic.
I also have some photo's for the Extra's section, but haven't gotten around to updating that page too. (And the weather is too good again to stay home.)
This morning I went to the 'Bos of Bosman' once more in the hope of spotting the Kingfishers (IJsvogel) or the Green Woodpecker (Groene Specht) again, or get a glimpse of the reported Garden Warbler (Tuinfluiter) or Tawny Owls (Bosuil). For 2 hours I spotted nothing interesting, and mostly made some pictures to practice more with my new lens. Then just as I was about to leave, I checked the treetrunk over a ditch once more, where a lady I talked to a few days ago told me the Kingfishers were sometimes sitting still, and I saw a bright blue flash, more like the wrapper of an ice cream, than something natural. But it was a Kingfisher! So I took a few shots, and then sprinted to the other end of the ditch to get a view from it's front. Luckily it was still there, so I got some more pictures. Still I couldn't get closer than some 30m, so the pictures are small and somewhat fuzzy, but very recognisable nonetheless.
On my way there I passed a petting zoo where I got a clearer picture of a (tame) Guineafowl (Parelhoen) for the domestic section. There were also a few geese that I haven't identified yet.
At the moment it's uncommon to take four days for a new update, but the weather has been cloudy, so fewer photo opportunities. Apart from that I've gotten pictures from most of the common birds around here by now, so it get's harder to find new ones or better pictures than the current.
On the other hand I bought a second hand zoom lens on April, 28th - a Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 D. This gives me more tele without getting too heavy and bulky to carry around. Apart from that this lens is of higher quality, so the images should be better. But for now I need to get used to it, and without sun the shutter speeds are too low to prevent hand motion at 300mm. (Which compares to 450mm on an analog camera.)
Of course I did go out with my new lens, even without sun, and I saw my first (common) Kingfishers, although I didn't get a shot at them. I did get a nice picture of a Gray Heron (Blauwe Reiger) that I've added to the Extra's page. A while later, I saw two pigeons huddling together in a willow tree, so I took a few shots. When looking back at the pictures, I realised they were missing the characteristic white spots of the Wood-Pigeons (Houtduif), and I did seem to remember they were a bit smaller too. So they must be Stock Pigeons (Holenduif). In the evening there was a bit of sun, and I got pretty close to a Song Thrush (zanglijster) singing in a tree.
The next morning I got a shot at a Greenfinch (Groenling) from my house, and even though the picture is of slightly inferior quality, I've added it since it's closer by (which is a target of this site). Later in the day, during a few sunny spells, I went to Cronesteyn, where the Black-tailed Godwits (Grutto) appeared very territorial, and I got a series of good shots of them. One in flight I've added to the Extra's page, and on that same page I've replaced the picture of a Mallard chick with a new one, in higher resolution, of 4 chicks.
Today I got my first Green Woodpecker (Groene Specht). I've seen quite a few Great Spotted Woodpeckers (Grote Bonte Specht) by now, but these are not as common and shyer. I did encounter the other variety as well, and got a nice picture of a Great Spotted Woodpecker while landing (after 'arguing' with another one. again!) I also got a slightly better picture of a pair of swimming Gadwalls (Krakeenden).
In EXTRAs I added a picture of the Eurasian Blackbird (Merel), which was posing so nicely.
Apart from that I slightly reorganized the categories in which I order the birds on the left, creating a new category Wading Birds, moving herons and stork there from water birds and most birds from Meadow Birds. I eliminated fowls and moved the pheasant to Other, since I don't expect that I can add other Fowl. I'm still not totally happy with the groups though.
No new photo's this time, but I decided to generate a listing of the birds in Dutch as well. (I already had the Dutch names anyhow, so it was a fairly minor change in the script I use to generate these pages from my Excel sheet.) This means that only the bird names on the left will change to Dutch, and not the rest of the text: I'm too lazy to keep two versions of every text on these pages up to date.
Today I tried to find a Kingfisher (IJsvogel) at a few parks on the other end of Leiden, but no luck for now. I did find out that there are (white) Storks nesting in the petting zoo of the park 'de Leidsche Hout', so I changed one of the pictures on the main site and added one to the extra's. In that section I also added a picture of Jackdaws picking hair from deer. And I photographed a Guineafowl in the petting zoo, and added it to the Domestic section.
Another big update. Yesterday I went on a trip all day (10 hours) and returned with over 100 photo's. Most of the day was spent near the coast: on the beach (no sandpipers though) and in the dunes. But since I passed by the Valkenburgse Meer, I walked around there as well.
The birds I added/changed pictures of: Willow Warbler, Eurasian Oystercatcher (in flight) and Great Crested Grebe (with young).
New species: Black Swan (actually I moved it from the domestic section to water birds, since I got some pictures of them in the wild, with young), Sedge Warbler, Black-winged Stilt (possibly), Tree Pipit, Eurasian Kestrel (at last), Northern Wheatear and Eurasian Linnet (possibly).
Renamed: with the extra information of my new book, I decided the common treecreeper probably is a short-toed treecreeper.
Total count now: 79 species (of which 9 not wild) in 13 categories.
New images on the Extra's page: Eurasian Magpie, Egyptian Goose with Northern Lapwing.
I also changed the latin names to only the first part (Genus) capitalized, and to italics; thanks to a biologist's suggestion.
A few days ago I suddenly saw a Treecreeper (Boomkruiper) in the trees on the side of my building, but unluckily I didn't have my camera with me. I thought it might be a fluke appearance, but today I wanted a brief walk anyhow, so I checked the trees out again with my camera, and it was there again. They are not that easy to spot, since they have effective camouflage, and they have a tendency to hide behind the treetrunk as well (similar to woodpeckers). To my surprise the little bird didn't only walk up the trees, but also up the walls of the buildings around.
I've added an 'Extras' page with additional photo's that wouldn't fit on the main page.
Yesterday I only took a short trip to Ter Wadding, and though I got a few nice pictures, there was nothing for the site. (Well, I got better pictures of a male Finch, but since I give preference to those I took from my home, I decided not to replace them. Perhaps I'll soon open an extras page with a number of pictures that won't fit on these primary pages.) I did get a clearer picture of the Lesser Black-backed Gull (Kleine Mantelmeeuw) from my home though.
Today I was close to Cronesteyn again, so spent another few hours there. There's an bordering park called 'de Bult' that I usually combine with Cronesteyn, and I got some nice pictures of the Blackcap (Zwartkop) there. Heard a pheasant (fazant) but haven't seen it. (It was in a dense bramble area.) I did saw 3 different couples of Gadwall (Krakeend), and got a better picture of one couple. Also got my first pictures of the Common Tern (Visdief) which was hovering and diving.
This afternoon I took a trip to Cronesteyn, and got a few nice shots of a buzzard with harassing crows, and the very first swallows of this year. (Added Barn swallow, Boerenzwaluw.)
On the 13th I photographed a cormorant which seems to like the view from a lamp pole of the
tennis court I can see from my apartment, since I often find him there in the afternoon.
I also got some more close-ups from the tits pecking at my peanuts.
Yesterday I went out again, planning on about two hours, but finally coming back only after 7 hours. I first went to Ter Wadding, then followed the greenery along the railroad tracks south, and since by then I was getting fairly close to the Vlietlanden, and the weather stayed better than expected, I went there too, and since the Starre Vaart is bordering it, I just went straight through. There wasn't much to be found at the lake though; I only took a few pictures of Black-headed Gulls (Kokmeeuw), Oystercatchers (Scholekster), a Tufted Duck (Kuifeend) (hey, the female's belly is white) and a flying Common Pochard (Tafeleend).
But at the Vlietlanden I got some good pictures of Pheasants (Fazant) and a Sparrowhawk (Sperwer). A private house just outside the Vlietlanden has a fenced-off ditch with several rare species of duck with their wings clipped. Even though most of the species can be found here in the wild too, I decided to add the pictures I took to the Domestic section, since it are not true finds.
I also decided to add some older pictures anyway. The Common Snipe is not so clearly recognisable from the picture, but I photographed them so the picture belongs here. Trying to identify some of the tame ducks, I finally found out the name of a species of duck I photographed a while ago: it is the Gadwall (Krakeend), so I added these too. And getting better pictures of the Greenfinch (Groenling), I decided my previous pictures were not in fact greenfinches. My best guess now is that it is a Yellowhammer (Geelgors). And getting a few more good pictures of the Blackcap, I decided that my earlier identification of the Marsh Tit must be wrong, and it was a Blackcap all along.
The birds I added pictures of: Cormorant, Blue Tit, Greenfinch, Treecreeper, Blackcap,
Winter Wren, Common Pochard, Northern Shoveler (decided to add another picture).
New species: Ring-necked Pheasant, Yellowhammer (with the previous alleged Greenfinch pictures), Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Snipe, Gadwall, and at the domestic section: Eurasian Wigeon, Mandarin Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Pochard, Unknown Duck.
Removed: March Tit.
Total count now: 71 species (of which 10 not wild) in 12 categories.
And I decided that the title bar used up too much space, so I removed it, added the title to the individual bird pages, and a link back to the welcome page in the list on the left.
Added a number of new pictures and several new species from my 'expeditions' on Wednesday
to Cronesteyn and Thursday to the Valkenburgse Meer (passing by Ter Wadding and Stevenshof).
Added/Changed pictures of: Barnacle Goose, Common Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Common Pochard, Eurasian Buzzard, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Northern Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Black-headed Gull, Eurasian Jay, Winter Wren, Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff and House Sparrow.
Added species: Common Redshank, Eurasian Treecreeper, Blackcap and Black Swan.
Corrected: I've reconsidered the picture of the Eurasian Sparrowhawk and decided it must be some sort of falcon.
Today on my way through the town, I got better pictures of the Domestic Pigeon and the Common Wood Pigeon, and got my first pictures of the European Greenfinch.
And finally I split up the location for photo 1 and 2 and added the dates they were taken.
Wow! This morning I went again to 'Ter Wadding', where I was 2 days ago, and I was unsure
if I would find anything new. Well, I did! First, before even entering the park proper, I
saw some bird I didn't immediately recognise, and it turned out to be a Marsh Tit (unless it
is a Willow Tit). Then, deeper into the part (well, it's about 150m x 100m, so not that deep)
I suddenly heard and saw two fighting birds coming towards me. There was white, black and
bright red, but before I had my camera ready they already split up and one landed on a low
branch not 10m from me. It was a Great Spotted Woodpecker! I heard a woodpecker 2 days ago,
so I was hoping to find one, but they are usually quite hard to spot, keeping to the backside
of the trunks, so I didn't have that much hope. So this was very lucky!
Making a few more rounds, I suddenly spotted some sort of beige, roundish spot in the top of a small fir tree. After looking at it for a few moments, I was ready to discard it as an unlikely group of dead leaves, when it turned it's head towards me, and it was an owl! Really the very last thing I expected in a small park between the city and some suburbs. And in the middle of the day! I looked at it for a while, and of course my camera did more looking, and after a while it appeared to have enough of the attention, so it tried to crawl a bit deeper into the tree, and there were no more photo opportunities.
Going back to my bike, I walked with it for the first part, since there was still a lot of shrubbery and large gardens of the fancy houses there, so who knows... And then I saw several birds I didn't even recognise, just in some trees in the gardens. They were not that shy, so I managed to take quite a few pictures, and checking my bird book, they appear to be Bramblings. And then there was one other bird that I photographed that I'm not sure of even after consulting my books. So, what a day! Oh yes, I also managed to get my first picture of a song thrush (not that rare), and a female blackbird (very common). And a made a number of photo's that didn't make the site, like a one-footed Mallard, kissing Rose-ringed Parakeets and a drinking Eurasian Jay. But I limited myself to max. 2 pictures per bird, so sometimes there are hard choices.
Went to a nearby park, 'Cronesteyn' to photograph a number of song- and meadow birds.
On my way there, still very close to my apartment, I finally caught a house sparrow. These
used to be very common, but nowadays you don't see many in town anymore.
At the park itself, which is some 2 km away, I managed to photograph: another Mute Swan, a Chiffchaff and another Willow Warbler (hope I'm not mixing those up), another Cormorant in flight, another lapwing and another Oystercatcher, a Black-tailed Godwit, another Carrion Crow, another Canada Goose (actually I happened upon a couple, and managed to get pretty close), and there was an area which functions as a farm annex petting zoo, where I decided to add a group: domestic birds, and photographed chicken, turkey and peacock.
Went to a nearby park, 'Ter Wadding' to photograph a number of songbirds:
got a new picture of the European Robin and the Common Wood-Pidgeon, and my fist photo's of
a Winter Wren and a Willow Warbler (I'm fairly sure about that last one). The latter I managed
to photograph again later this day on a nearby street.
I also added this history page and a link to it from the welcome page.
Went to my parent's and photographed another Dunnock in their garden. On the way back
I went to a place where a (mute) swan is breeding right next to the pavement. (Hope that
won't cause attacks on passers-by or an abandoned breed!)
Also photographed a blackbird and a Lesser Black-backed Gull from my apartment.
First version of this page online.
back to the welcome page