Nightjars on Texel island


This video is called European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus), Jud. Harghita, Romania, 4 August 2013.

Ecomare museum on Texel in the Netherlands reports that this summer, young nightjars have fledged again on the island.

Famous Dutch naturalist Jac. P. Thijsse wrote that in the last years of the nineteenth century, this bird species nested on Texel. However, then they became absent for over a century.

In 2006 there was a succesful nesting attempt again. In 2013, there were even two nightjar nests. However, only one of them succeeded.

Aldebaran and oystercatcher against light pollution


This video is called Full Moon, Jupiter with Galilean Moons and Aldebaran. It says about itself:

Full Moon with Jupiter with Galilean Moons (and the RINGS) and Aldebaran. It was an amazing formation to view tonight, 29 November 2012 in the skies. A full moon with an L-shaped alignment very close by of the planet Jupiter and the fabled star of Taurus, Aldebaran. This is the smallest full moon of 2012, by the way!

Photos: here.

Our last evening on Texel island. 26 October 2013, after the Schorren nature reserve birds. In the dark, the stars, like Aldebaran, are visible.

Maybe a bit better visible than usually. As tonight is a special night, a night against light pollution. People are asked to turn off electric lights, as they harm some wildlife.

They don’t harm all wildlife, Texel ornithologist Adriaan Dijksen said. Grey herons profit from it by fishing at night near the lampposts of Den Burg, the biggest village on Texel.

Then, to the dark Wadden Sea dike. Far away, the lights of the lighthouses of Texel, Vlieland and Terschelling islands. Many birds don’t sleep all the time at night. We heard oystercatcher and gray lag goose calls.

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Grey plovers, red knots and bar-tailed godwits


Grey plover, Texel, 26 October 2013

26 October 2013. Still, like at the end of my earlier blog entry, at the southern side of the Schorren nature reserve; with its many birds, like this grey plover.

Bar-tailed godwit and red knots, Texel, 26 October 2013

And like this bar-tailed godwit, in the company of red knots (in winter plumage, so not really red now).

Grey plover and red knots, Texel, 26 October 2013

A grey plover spreads its wings next to another red knot group.

Bar-tailed godwit, Texel, 26 October 2013

Another bar-tailed godwit looks for food in the shallow water.

Schorren, Texel, 26 October 2013

For the moment, we say goodbye to the Schorren and its many birds.

Dike near Schorren, Texel, 26 October 2013

We go to the other side of the dike.

This is the end of the blog entries about 26 October on Texel during daytime. However, I was still there after sunset, when the stars shone. So, stay tuned!

Savvy bar-tailed godwit equipped for climate challenge: here.

Hen harrier, avocets, redshanks


Hen harrier, curlews, redshanks, Texel, 26 October 2013

As I wrote, on 26 October 2013, at the Schorren nature reserve on Texel island, suddenly hundreds of curlews, redshanks and other birds took off, flying. What had scared them? It turned out it was a female hen harrier flying south.

Hen harrier, Texel, 26 October 2013

Maybe, this bird of prey did not want to attack any of the shorebirds (certainly not these big curlews), as she was just migrating to the south. Still, she caused an uproar; until all birds sat down again. Another female hen harrier photo, from elsewhere, is here.

Starlings, Texel, 26 October 2013

At the southern end of the Schorren reserve, a flock of starlings.

Redshank, Texel, 26 October 2013

And redshanks.

Dunlins. Grey plovers. Turnstones.

Bar-tailed godwits.

Brent geese and shelducks, Schorren, Texel, 26 October 2013

Brent geese and shelducks in the shallow sea.

Avocets flying, Texel, 26 October 2013

And many avocets.

Britain: November 2013: Intensely managed grouse moorland and changes in habitat are part of the blame for the declining numbers in hen harriers an enquiry into the results of the 2010 survey has found: here.

Brent geese, sanderlings and plovers


Brent goose, Schorren, Texel, 26 October 2013

26 October 2013. After our earlier birdwatching that day around De Cocksdorp, to the south, along the Wadden sea dike. As we arrived at the north side of the Schorren mudflats, a brent goose.

Ringed plovers and sanderlings, Texel, 26 October 2013

Closer to the water, as the photo shows, left to right: a ringed plover; three sanderlings; another ringed plover; and another sanderling.

Sanderlings, Schorren, Texel, 26 October 2013

Brent geese swimming, Schorren, Texel, 26 October 2013

Brent geese. Oystercatchers. Many mallards. A male wigeon.

Great cormorants, Schorren, Texel, 26 October 2013

Great cormorants. Curlews.

Shelducks, Schorren, Texel, 26 October 2013

In the sea, swimming shelducks.

A little egret.

Curlews, Schorren, Texel, 26 October 2013

Then, many curlews and other birds take off in flight. What frightened them? Stay tuned, as there will be more blog posts on the Schorren birds.

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Texel bar-tailed godwits and fieldfare


This video is called Birds of Texel.

After 25 October on Texel, comes 26 October 2013.

Our last full day on Texel.

We are going to De Cocksdorp, in the north.

On a mudflat near the village, bar-tailed godwits. Great black-backed gulls. Brent geese.

In the Robbenjager lake, grey lag geese. Coots. Mallards. Shoveler ducks. Teal. Shelducks. Wigeons.

Oystercatchers on the bank. And a snipe as well.

A female pintail duck.

Common pochards. A little grebe.

As we walk around the lake, a magpie.

Tufted ducks and gadwall ducks swimming.

This video from Britain is called BTO Bird ID – Redwing and Fieldfare.

A fieldfare on a bush.

A greenfinch on another bush.

To the other lake; shallower, more to the north.

Wigeons. Two Egyptian geese. Teal. A female kestrel sitting on a sandy hill.

Later, to the woodland around Roggesloot nature reserve; where we hear robin and great tit sounds.

Fieldfares in the Netherlands: here.

Texel sanderlings, snipe and kestrel


This video is called Birds on Texel.

After 24 October 2013 on Texel island comes 25 October 2013.

In the village, a collared dove on a TV antenna.

To the dunes and beach north-west of Den Hoorn village.

Two Egyptian geese flying.

A meadow pipit.

A snipe takes off, with loud etch-etch sounds while it flies.

A bit further along the footpath, many feathers of a bigger relative of the snipe. Probably, that woodcock was caught by a bird of prey.

Most of the heather flowers are gone, but there are still a few ones.

Next, a robin. A wren. Both still very much alive.

A carrion crow on a bush.

Exmoor ponies. We pass highland cattle, including a calf. Like the ponies, they are here to prevent the dunes from becoming overgrown; thus, benefiting special insects and special birds like red-backed shrikes feeding on those insects.

A male pheasant. Parasol fungi.

We arrive at the beach.

This video is about the dunes and beach of Texel island.

Many herring gulls. Scores of sanderlings running along the land wash like electric toy birds.

Two turnstones. A few lesser black-backed gulls.

We return along a dune forest path. Armillaria solidipes fungi. False death cap mushrooms.

South of the forest, the Bollekamer dunes.

A kestrel hovering in the air.

Not only are there still a few heather flowers, but quite some cross-leaved heath flowers as well.

Texel dunes and plants: here.

Stonechat and rabbit on Texel island


This video is by Nico Jaarsma from the Netherlands; about sand dunes forming in 2011-2013, on the Hors, the extreme south of Texel island.

Meanwhile, our story about Texel continues; a bit more to the north from the Hors. 24 October 2013. After the redwings on the field, west to the Hoornderslag dunes.

This video shows the road from the coast to the east, but we went the other way first.

In the Grote Vlak lake, shoveler ducks.

Stonechat female, Texel, 24 October 2013

As we went back from the coast, a parasol fungus on a dune. Above it, a wire; with a female stonechat on it. Stonechat hovering photo: here.

Rabbit, Texel, 24 October 2013

Not far away, a rabbit. It looked like a wild rabbit-domestic rabbit hybrid.

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Texel island redwings


Redwings, Texel, 24 October 2013

Texel island, 24 October 2013. Again, to the field south of the forest, where there were so many redwings earlier today. The redwings were still there, as the photo shows.

Pintail, egrets, curlews, dunlin


This video is called Texel birding.

Texel, 24 October 2013. After the fungi of the dunes and the forest, back along a field, with many redwings.

In the afternoon, to the south, to the Mokbaai bay.

Ten Egyptian geese on a meadow.

A small tortoiseshell butterfly on a barn: a sign that autumn so far has not been that cold.

Pintail, herring gulls, wigeon, Mokbaai, 24 October 2013

We see thousands of, mainly migratory, birds at the Mokbaai. At the front of this photo, feeding, a male pintail duck. Behind it, herring gulls. Still further to the back, male and female wigeons.

Shoveler ducks as well. Brent geese.

Curlews resting, Mokbaai, 24 October 2013

Shelducks. Many curlews.

Behind us, in the dunes, a pheasant calls.

Two little egrets. Sometimes, at some distance from each other; but most of the time closely together.

Grey lag geese, Mokbaai, 24 October 2013

Many grey lag geese arrive. They try to fly in a way that each birds benefits from the aerodynamics of the one flying before it, taking turns at the windy front, somewhat like cyclists in a race.

Grey lag geese flying, Mokbaai, 24 October 2013

Wigeons, gulls, curlews, dunlins, Mokbaai, 24 October 2013

On this photo, wigeons in the foreground; then, black-headed gulls; then, curlews; many dunlins in the background.

Dunlins flying, Mokbaai, 24 October 2013

Sometimes, hundreds of dunlins take off for a group flight.

Church, Den Hoorn, 24 October 2013

From the air, they are certainly able to see the old church of Den Hoorn village.

Curlews and dunlins, Mokbaai, 24 October 2013

Eventually, the dunlins settle down again on the Mokbaai mudflats, behind the curlews.

Not far from the brackish water Mokbaai is the Petten nature reserve: fresh water marsh. White wagtail. A kestrel.

And a spoonbil. Maybe it thought that with such mild autumn weather there was no need for migration to Africa (yet).

Northern lapwings.