Rare moth discovered in the Netherlands


Spotted clover moth

Translated from the Dutch Butterfly Foundation:

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Last week, a spotted clover moth was seen in Groningen. This very rare migratory moth had been found only seven times in our country, especially in the fifties of the last century.

The spotted clover is a migratory moth from southern Europe. After thirty years of absence (it was reported in 1958, 1955, 1954, 1953 and 1945) it was observed in Twello (Gelderland) in 1995 and now it has been seen again in Groningen. This is also the most northern discovery of this moth which is not able to survive the Dutch winter.

Pheasant calling, video


This is a video of a male pheasant calling near Zuidbroek in the Netherlands.

Willem ten Rae made the video.

Dutch hen harrier news


This video is called An evening flight of a Hen Harrier [male].

The Werkgroep Grauwe Kiekendief in the Netherlands reports on Monday 23 June 2014 that ever since 2009, hen harriers nest in fields in Groningen. Hen harriers are very threatened in the Netherlands. They used to nest on Wadden Sea islands, but have declined much there recently.

In the Groningen fields, hen harriers meet a related species, Montagu’s harriers. Montagu’s harriers became almost extinct in the Netherlands 25 years ago, but managed to survive because of pro-nesting measures in the Groningen fields.

Avocets, spotted redshanks and seals


This video is about barnacle geese, golden plovers and other birds, as seen from the hide near Polder Breebaart nature reserve in Groningen province in the Netherlands.

We went there on 10 June 2014, two days after our arrival in Losdorp.

As we passed a built-up area of Delfzijl on our way, an oystercatcher alongside a wood pigeon on a lawn.

As we arrived at Breebaart: black-tailed godwits and spotted redshanks.

Shelducks. Avocets.

Northern lapwings. Starlings.

Barnacle geese.

Five spoonbills on an islet.

A redshank couple walks along the shoreline with their youngster.

On the bank on the other side, a male wigeon rests between mallards.

A white wagtail.

A bit later, an adult yellow wagtail and a juvenile.

We walk to the Dollard estuary.

A kestrel gets its head out of a nestbox.

About thirty harbour seals resting on the sandbanks, both adults and young.

Then, something suspicious. A human walking near the bank, where people are forbidden to go as the seals should not be disturbed. The human picks up a young seal from a muddy part of a sandbank. Are we witnessing wildlife crime?

Soon, we find out there was no cause for alarm. The human turns out to be a lady who has been saving baby seals for decades. This young seal had been left behind by its mother. Some parts of the soil are very muddy here, and seal babies may get stuck. The seal goes into a yellow car of the Pieterburen seal rescue centre.

Shelducks fly past.

As we walk back, the kestrel sits on top of its nestbox now.

In Termunterzijl village, a few orange flags, because of the football World Cup in Brazil (which had not started then yet).

Satellite tracking has shown seals like to feed near offshore wind farms and pipelines. The scientists believe that these man-made structures serve as artificial reefs and attractive hunting grounds. Their data showed seals regularly entering the wind farms and, in some cases, perform striking grid-like movement patterns as they forage: here.

Flowers, frogs and damselflies


Allium flower buds, 9 June 2014

9 June 2014 in Groningen province. We hear a chaffinch. We see these Allium (onion relative) flower buds.

Allium flowers, 9 June 2014

Not so far away, later, the same plant species in a more advanced flowering stage.

Greenfinches and spotted flycatchers live here as well. And roe deer, often nibbling on the plants.

This year, young kestrels in the nestbox. Last year, kestrels did not use the box.

Black rampion flowers.

This is a black rampion video.

Dodder-grass, 9 June 2014

Dodder-grass.

Dodder-grass, on 9 June 2014

And more dodder-grass, further on.

Orange hawkweed flowers.

A pheasant flies away.

Many plant species growing together.

Oxeye daisies and other flowers, 9 June 2014

Including oxeye daisies.

And purple salsify; and meadow salsify.

Great burnet, 9 June 2014

And great burnet.

And field cow-wheat flowers.

And meadow clary.

The Pulsatilla‘s flowers are finished already.

Finished composite flowers, 9 June 2014

As are these Asteraceae composite flowers.

Common broomrape, a parasitic plant, is still flowering.

So are harebells.

And field scabious.

Orobanche purpurea is another parasitical plant; a parasite on Achillea here.

Rampion bellflowers.

Small scabious.

Purple toothwort.

Common blue damselflies embrace, 9 June 2014

Two common blue damselflies in heart-shaped embrace. With other individuals, like the single male on the left of this photo, flying past. Like the female blue-tailed damselfly on the right of the photo.

Blue-tailed damselfly female, 9 June 2014

There were more blue-tailed damselflies. Like the female on this photo.

Both common frogs and edible frogs live in the pond. And smooth newts.

Edible frog and marsh horsetails, 9 June 2014

This edible frog is between some of the many marsh horsetail plants.

Moths, butterflies and birds


Moth on flower-pot, 8 June 2014

On 8 June 2014, in Losdorp, we saw this moth on a flower pot on the cemetery.

Before we had arrived there, at 13:56, a white stork from the train in Staphorst.

Later, in Drenthe province, more white storks, standing or flying.

In the Losdorp garden, at least three red admiral butterflies.

Barn swallows fly past.

Blackbird, pheasant, chiffchaff and chaffinch sounds.

As we walk to the cemetery, a small heath butterfly. Too volatile for a photograph.

Then, the cemetery with the moth.

Not far from the cemetery, a hare on a field.

Two Bombus pascuorum bumblebees.

Small tortoiseshell, Losdorp, 8 June 2014

Very many small tortoiseshell butterflies.

A red-tailed bumblebee.

Edible frog sound.

White clover flower with bee, 8 June 2014

Bees on white clover flowers.

Dutch bird migration scientist wins Spinoza Prize


This video, in Dutch with English subtitles, is about Theunis Piersma, professor of bird migration biology at Groningen university in the Netherlands, wining the Spinoza Prize, the biggest prize for science in the Netherlands.

See also here.

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