Purple sandpiper, eider duck and brent geese of Texel

Sanderling and jellyfish, Texel, 6 October 2014

After 5 October 2014 on Texel island came 6 October. Like the day before, we went to the beach near De Cocksdorp. There, we met this sanderling, feeding near a beached jellyfish.

Eight brent geese flying past.

Two common terns on a sandbank.

Eider duck female, Texel, 6 October 2014

Then, this female eider duck.

Ruddy turnstones bathing, Texel, 6 October 2014

Then, a flock of ruddy turnstones. They profit from the water near the jetty. That water is both deep enough and not too deep for bathing; and rather quiet now, as it is next to the jetty with no high tide yet.

Purple sandpiper, turnstone and herring gull, Texel, 6 October 2014

After the bath, the turnstones let their feathers dry, cleaning them. On this photo, behind the turnstone, a purple sandpiper. And a herring gull.

In the sand dunes, we see a male stonechat, a robin and a hare.

Pheasant male, Texel, 6 October 2014

And this male pheasant.

Common linnet, Texel, 6 October 2014

A bit further, a common linnet. Either a female or a juvenile.

Then, from the north of Texel to Wagejot nature reserve in the east.

Brent geese and teal swimming, Wagejot, Texel, 6 October 2014

As we sit down, brent geese, and a teal, swim.

Brent geese, Wagejot, Texel, 6 October 2014

Later, the geese graze on an islet.

Near the Lankasterdijk dike, goldfinches, like yesterday.

Kestrel, snipe, goldfinch and wheatear on Texel

Kestrel hovering, Texel, 5 October 2014

After what our earlier blog post mentioned on 5 October 2014 on Texel island, we were still there, not far from De Cocksdorp village. We saw this male kestrel hovering.

Kestrel in the grass,Texel, 5 October 2014

The bird dived to the ground, but apparently without catching a prey.

Black-tailed godwit, Texel, 5 October 2014

We continued to the Wagejot nature reserve. This black-tailed godwit was looking for food there.

Snipe, Texel, 5 October 2014

So was this snipe. Sometimes its whole long bill disappeared completely into the mud.

Goldfinch, Texel, 5 October 2014

Then, to the Lancasterdijk dike, protecting the island from being flooded by the Wadden Sea. This goldfinch sat on a fence there.

Then, to De Bol nature reserve. Shoveler ducks swimming in a pond near the windmill.

Wheatear, Texel, 5 October 2014

A wheatear flying around: sometimes on a meadow, sometimes on a fence, sometimes on the top of a dustbin.

White wagtail, Texel, 5 October 2014

On the roof a building near the windmill, a white wagtail.

Ruddy turnstones, Texel, 5 October 2014

On the Wadden Sea side of the Lancasterdijk, ruddy turnstones searched for food between seaweed.

Collared dove, Texel, 5 October 2014

Finally for 5 October, a collared dove, on top of an old nature reserve sign in Oost village.

Texel sanderlings, robin, and green sandpiper

This video is called Birds of Texel.

After 4 October, Sunday 5 October 2014 on Texel island.

North of De Bol nature reserve, male and female tufted ducks swimming.

In the sand dunes near De Cocksdorp village, a male and a female stonechat.

A parasol mushroom. Probably a result of today’s rain after a long drought.

Sanderling, Texel, 5 October 2014

We continue to the beach. We see this sanderling.

Sanderling and seashells, Texel, 5 October 2014

And another sanderling.

Sanderlings flying, Texel, 5 October 2014

Sometimes, the sanderlings fly away. But they always come back to somewhere along the tide line, to feed.

On a jetty, a great cormorant.

Ruddy turnstone, Texel, 5 October 2014

And other birds; like this ruddy turnstone cleaning its feathers.

A sandwich tern flies past.

In shallow water close to the jetty, a common gull standing.

Herring gull with seashells, Texel, 5 October 2014

On the beach, a bigger relative: a herring gull. It tries to disentangle seashells joined together.

We continue to the Robbenjager. A group of twenty collared doves.

Robin, Texel, 5 October 2014

In a bush near the hide, this robin.

Near that bush, three rabbits grazing.

Northern lapwing and green sandpiper, Texel, 5 October 2014

Near the lake bank, a northern lapwing, and a green sandpiper.

And a snipe.

A male teal and shoveler ducks swimming. And wigeons.

Pheasant male, Texel, 5 October 2014

Near the parking lot, a male pheasant.

Pheasant female, Texel, 5 October 2014

And a female pheasant.

Stay tuned for the next blog post about the north of Texel on 5 October 2014!

Osprey, yellow-browed warbler at Euro Birdwatch 2014 on Texel island

This video is called Water Rail – Rallus aquaticus.
On 4 October, there was Euro Birdwatch 2014.

After our arrival on Texel on 3 October, on 4 October we went to the south of the island, near the Waterral (Water rail) hide, near the western Horsmeer lake. The Waterral was opened officially on 4 October; as well as the Texel migratory bird counting of Euro Birdwatch happening there.

As a third event that day at the Waterral, two Texel brothers got special prizes, ‘Golden Spoonbills’ from BirdLife in the Netherlands, for their work for birds on Texel.

Before arriving there, avocets in Wagejot nature reserve on the east coast.

Flowers, Texel, 4 October 2014

Not far from Den Hoorn village, this field of flowers. It attracted a red admiral butterfly, but it was too fast for photographing. In the background, a farm with a ‘stolp’ pyramid-like roof; typical for Texel.

Golden plover and lapwings, 4 October 2014, Texel

A bit further, another field. No flowers, but plenty of birds. Like this lonely golden plover in winter plumage, here on a photo with two individuals of scores of northern lapwings.

Curlews and golden plover, Texel, 4 October 2014

To the left of the golden plover were also scores of curlews.

Curlew, Texel, 4 October 2014

Behind the curlew on this photo is a typically Texel sheep shed.

We arrived at the Petten nature reserve. A redshank on an islet. A goldfinch near a fence.

As we walked to the Waterral bird observatory, we heard a real water rail call. Unfortunately, as often with this skulking species, we did not see it.

After our arrival, a great egret in the western Horsmeer lake.

We met Euro Birdwatch counter Vincent Stork. He said that then, at 12:20, already 77 bird species had been counted there. Including rare species like yellow-browed warbler, kingfisher, two goshawks. Also many individuals of more common species, like blackcaps, wrens, chiffchaffs, and robins.

Osprey, Texel, 4 October 2014

Look! A special bird! An osprey, on its way to Africa, flies over the western lake.

It catches a fish in the eastern lake.

Then, robin sound.

Then, sound of a much rarer bird: a yellow-browed warbler!

Unfortunately, we did not see it, so here comes a yellow-browed warbler video from Portugal.

We walk to the sea. European searocket flowering on the border between sand dunes and beach.

Later, in the Kreeftenvallei sand dune valley, marsh grass-of-Parnassus flowers. A young common frog jumps away.

A small copper butterfly.

Long-tailed tit, Texel,  4 October 2014

Then, a group of songbirds of various species in a bush. Like this long-tailed tit.

Long-tailed tit and chiffchaff, Texel,  4 October 2014

There was a chiffchaff too.

Great tit, Texel, 4 October 2014

And a great tit.

In the eastern Horsmeertje lake, a little grebe.

Mokbaai birds, Texel, 4 October 2014

We continued to the Mokbaai. Many shelducks, shoveler ducks.

Mokbaai wigeons, Texel, 4 October 2014

Also many wigeons. Some northern pintail ducks.

A peregrine falcon sits on a pole in the water. Later, it flies away.

Birdwatching on Texel, 10-11 October 2014: here.

Texel, turnstones and brent geese

This video says about itself:

22 March 2013

The Dutch Wadden island Texel is a paradise for birds. Photographer Sijmen Hendriks visited several times from 2007. This slideshow video shows the result of these visits. Grey Plover, Avocet, Spoonbill, Stonechat, Brent Geese, Whitethroat, Hen Harrier, Sandwich Tern, Linnet, Yellow Wagtail and many more birds are featured in this video. Texel is the westernmost island in the Wadden Sea and is known for its rich bird life.

More nature and bird photography by Sijmen Hendriks is here. Or visit his photo blog here.

Music by Kalio Gayo.

On 3 October 2014, we traveled to Texel island.

Near the Naardermeer, a great egret.

In the Den Helder harbour, black-headed gulls and herring gulls.

On a roof in Oost village on Texel, a herring gull. A white wagtail flying past.

In De Bol nature reserve, a curlew flying.

A big flock of barnacle geese landing.

On the Wadden sea side of the Lancaster dike, ruddy turnstones. And ringed plovers.

A great black-backed gull.

A lesser black-backed gull feeding on a crab. It dips the crab in sea water to make things easier.

In Oosterend village, at least forty barn swallows on a roof. Preparing for their long migration to Africa.

Early in the evening, a pheasant near the dike.

A flock of northern lapwings landed on a field.

Good wheatear news from Texel island

This is a northern wheatear video.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:


In the Eierland Dunes on Texel this year, more than twice as many territories of northern wheatears have been counted than in other years: 26! Last year about 12 were found in the same area. Bird counters assume that each territory represents a nest. 26 wheatear territories is very good news, because this bird has had hard times in recent years. Their numbers have declined sharply in most parts of the Netherlands. Only between Callantsoog and Terschelling things are not so bad.

Which species of North American songbird is widespread enough that it’s found on both eastern and western sides of the continent but is still a rare treat for most birdwatchers? And proportional to its body size, which songbird regularly migrates farther than the globe-trotting Arctic Tern? The answer is: Northern Wheatear, the only North American representative of a widespread Old World genus in the thrush family: here.

Shrew and vole research on Texel island

This video says about itself:

Alien Invader: Greater White-toothed Shrew in Ireland

10 May 2009

This is the Greater White-toothed Shrew, an invasive alien species to Ireland.

It was first recorded in this country when skulls of this beast were found in regurgitated Barn Owl pellets in County Tipperary in the winter of 2007/2008. It is a native of the European Continent and North Africa. It has not yet been proven how this species came to be here, though it may have first arrived in 2001.

The arrival of this shrew is only the third accidental mammalian introduction event to Ireland in the last 60 years: Bank Voles from Germany came into Kerry in heavy equipment imported into the country by Siemens when they built the Ardnacrusha Hydroelectric power station on the River Shannon in the 1930s, though their presence was not noticed until August 1964; in 1951 commercial farming of American Mink began in Ireland and escaped animals managed to establish themselves in the wild. Both have used water-courses to spread across the country, and while the vole appears to have been a harmless introduction, the mink is a nuisance for fisheries and can be a problem for rare ground nesting waterbirds and people who keep poultry.

This toothy little fella was trapped for filming for a wildlife programme on invasive species in Ireland (broadcast on TG4 in late 2008). He was placed in this terrarium for filming purposes on the edge of the County Tipperary wood where he was trapped, and I slotted in beside the cameraman to take these shots, which admittedly are not great. The shrew was released immediately afterwards and no harm came to it.

Ecomare museum on Texel in the Netherlands reports today about small mammals research in the Krimbos woodland in the north of the island.

The greater white-toothed shrew was found there.

So were three vole species: tundra vole; bank vole; and field vole.

See also here.