Common cuttlefish swimming, video

This is a video about common cuttlefish swimming under the Oosterschelde estuary bridge in Zeeland province, the Netherlands.

Diver Peter van Rodijnen made the video.

Tagging starry smoothhound sharks in Dutch Zeeland

Starry smoothhound sharks

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Fishermen count sharks in Zeeland

Wednesday Aug 13 2014, 08:56 (Update: 13-08-14, 09:46)

Eleven charter boats and three hundred anglers will go counting sharks for research institute Imares the next three days off the coast of Zeeland. The starry smooth hound shark is increasingly seen in the North Sea.

Overfishing made the North Sea emptier for a long time and it seemed to be not a good environment for the shark. The number of starry smoothhound sharks meanwhile appears to increase again. To see how many there are, they are counted now.


From the Neeltje Jans concrete harbour in the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier the boats depart towards the sea. Then, there will be fishing for the sharks. They will get a plastic label in their fins and will be weighed, measured and monitored to determine species and sex. Then, they will go back into the sea.

Skipper Hank Parree participates for the third time in the count, which is held in the Netherlands since 2011 and has provided more than 2000 fish with tags. “The sharks are about 1.20 meters and have no teeth but a kind of sandpaper-like tooth plates. But they are real sharks,” he explained to the NOS Radio 1 News.


The starry smoothhound shark is seen in many places. “They swim in the Bay of Biscay, in Iceland, Scotland and Brittany. Everywhere they are found,” said Parree. Yet there is little information about the animal. This project should change that. “It’s a big operation, all to protect the sharks better”.

Avocets mating season, video

This is a video about avocets‘ mating season in Tholen in the Netherlands, seen from the Stinkgat hide.

Other birds in the video: barnacle geese, shoveler ducks, shelducks, black-tailed godwits, coots.

Albert van der Wulp made this video on 25 March 2014.

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Common merganser and avocets

Common merganser male, 18 January 2014

This photo shows a common merganser male, swimming near a harbour in Kerkwerve village on Schouwen island in the Netherlands.

Before we reached that bird on 18 January 2014, we went from the Brouwersdam south through Schouwen.

Near Zonnemaire village, on a field, scores of Bewick’s and whooper swans. Hundreds of tundra bean geese surrounded the swans.

Further south, a small lake where scores of mallards and shoveler ducks swam.

We arrived at Kerkwerve harbour, on the Oosterschelde estuary. A little egret on a mudflat. A kestrel flying. Two shelducks flying.

Common merganser male, Kerkwerve, 18 January 2014

And common mergansers swimming, which I already mentioned.

More to the west, an avocet. Tufted ducks. A barnacle goose.

Redshanks on a mudflat.

On the bank of a lakelet, a merlin sitting.

Teal swimming. Hundreds of golden plovers flying.

Egyptian geese, 18 January 2014

An Egyptian geese couple.

A female smew climbed out of the water.

On the other side of the road, a spoonbill looking for food. Unlike other spoonbills, it had not migrated to Africa.

We continued to a hide, called Turegluren. That name is a wordplay on the Dutch words for redshank and peeking.

Golden plovers, 18 January 2014

Big flocks of golden plovers fly around.

On the other bank of the lake, a peregrine falcon sitting on a pole.

Avocets and shelduck, 18 January 2014

Near a muddy islet, a flock of avocets.

Avocets flying, 18 January 2014

Sometimes, they are flying.

Avocets feedng, 18 January 2014

Sometimes, they are looking for food.

Avocets, black-tailed godwits and shelduck, 18 January 2014

Black-tailed godwits join the avocets; and a few shelducks.

Avocets, black-tailed godwits and a shelduck, 18 January 2014

See also here.

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Guillemot and long-tailed duck

Guillemot, Brouwersdam, 18 January 2014

This is a photo of a guillemot, swimming near the Brouwersdam, between south-Holland and Zeeland provinces in the Netherlands.

Before I arrived there to see that bird on 18 January 2014, the earliest birds of the day had been a singing blackbird and a singing great tit.

Along our way, buzzards sitting on poles.

At the Brouwersdam, oystercatchers. Male and female common mergansers swimming.

Curlew, Brouwersdam, 18 January 2014

And curlews standing.

Grey plover and brent geese, Brouwersdam, 18 January 2014

A bit further, six brent geese swimming past two grey plovers on the North Sea shore.

Brent geese flying, Brouwersdam, 18 January 2014, with male and female common merganser swimming on the right

Long-tailed duck male, Brouwersdam, 18 January 2014

A beautiful male long-tailed duck was swimming close to the shore. In winter plumage now; unlike its summer plumage in Spitsbergen.

Other long-tailed-duck photos from the Brouwersdam: here.

Long-tailed duck male swimming, Brouwersdam, 18 January 2014

The duck was not shy.

Goldeneye male, Brouwersdam, 18 January 2014

Male and female goldeneyes swam further away.

Still further away, near the lock, grey seals and herring gulls on a sandbank.

A red-throated diver and red-necked grebes swimming.

Great cormorant, Brouwersdam, 18 January 2014

Great cormorants sitting on the rocks of the dam.

Stay tuned; as we continued to Schouwen island, where we saw more interesting birds.

Long-tailed and other ducks: here.

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Basking shark near Dutch coast

This video is called Scotland’s Basking Sharks.

Today, Pim Wolf from the Netherlands reports that a basking shark swims about 800 meter from the coast of Westkapelle in Zeeland province.

People estimate this basking shark is seven meter long. This species is not often seen in the North Sea.

Basking shark skull found in North Sea: here.

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Rare fungi on Dutch causeway

This is a video about fungi from the USA.

The Grevelingendam is a causeway in the Netherlands, built 1958-1965.

It links Schouwen-Duiveland island to Goeree-Overflakkee island.

Recently, fungi growing there have been studied. 329 fungi species grow on the causeway, including very rare ones.

A few of these 329: Diachea leucopodia; Nectriopsis tubariicola; Phaeohelotium monticola; and Inocybe whitei.

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Good Dutch bird news

This video from the Philippines says about itself:

Some HD footage of this water bird that migrates to the Philippines.

Common name: Kentish Plover
Scientific name: Charadrius alexandrinus
Habitat – along coast on beaches, and exposed mud or coral flats.
Total length: 175 mm.


Manila Bay, Philippines, November 28, 2010, Canon 7D + 500 f4 L IS + stacked Canon 2x/1.4x TCs, 1400 mm, 475B + 3421 support, manual exposure in available light.

BirdLife in the Netherlands reports today that a legacy has enabled them to make new breeding spots for shorebirds, jointly with Natuurmonumenten conservation organisation, between Zierikzee and Burgh-Haamstede on Schouwen-Duiveland island in Zeeland province. They will make islets where the birds will be able to nest safely.

Over 10% of the rare, threatened Kentish plovers in the Netherlands nest on Schouwen-Duiveland.

BirdLife writes about one of three Schouwen-Duiveland areas where work will start in 2014:

In Prommelsluis now, there are 18 species of breeding birds including large numbers of gulls, geese and spoonbills and Red List species such as black-tailed godwit, redshank, skylark and meadow pipit. The construction of an island with seashells in the northern part the area will hopefully tempt the Kentish plover, avocet, ringed plover and various terns to breed.

BirdLife has plans to make Schouwen-Duiveland a better place for partridges as well.

Double pearl found in Christmas Eve oyster

This video says about itself:

Video on how pearls are formed naturally

Built from hexagonal aragonite crystals of calcium carbonate, pearls are formed in clams, oysters and mussels, and are found in many parts of the world. They are usually white, sometimes with a creamy or pinkish tinge, but may be tinted with yellow, green, blue, brown, or black. Black pearls are often highly valued because of their rarity.

Translated from Dutch regional TV Omroep Zeeland today:

Woman finds pearl in oyster

YERSEKE – Eating a meal of oysters was a special treat for Hannah in Yerseke on Christmas Eve. Because Hannah found a gem in one of the oysters.

Hannah van den Boomgaard: “When I ate the oysters I felt something hard in my mouth. I thought ait was a small crab, until I put it in my hand, and then it proved to be a real pearl.”

Ms van den Boomgaard had received the oysters from her neighbour who works in the oyster industry. … She wants to put the pearl into a ring. How much the pearl is worth is still unclear.

This Yerserke pearl was not just any pearl, but a double pearl; two pearls joined in a conjoined twins-like way.

Biologists say the chance of finding a pearl inside an oyster is one in 10,000.

Pearl discovery in American jackknife clam: here.

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Lobster swimming, video

This video is about a European lobster in Zeeland province in the Netherlands.

Jackie Oomen made this video.