Meijendel, along the coast north of The Hague in The Netherlands, is both a nature reserve and a drinking water management area.
This area, mostly of dunes, with some small lakes, is interesting for birdwatching.
In the spring, you can hear many birds singing here.
At this time of the year, it is a good area to see bird migration of at least three groups of birds: songbirds; birds of prey; and waterbirds.
A sunny day was expected today: but though it stayed dry with above average temperature, the sun did not show.
That meant there were no thermic currrents in the air, so unfortunately today no migrating buzzards and other birds of prey.
However, migrating waterbirds were present.
Between usual species like mute swans and coots, many common pochards were swimming on the lakes.
Most of those which I saw were red-headed males.
Also a great cormorant flew past.
One could hear the sounds of ring-necked parakeets and great spotted woodpeckers.
I also saw a young toad: unfortunately, it was dead.
On the westernmost dune, closest to the sea, a grasshopper was very alive.
On the beach many lesser black-backed and herring gulls.
They used to nest on the ground of the Meijendel dunes, until foxes arrrived there.
Then, the gulls moved their nests to the roofs of houses in cities close to the sea, like Leiden and The Hague.
However, they still often come to Meijendel to eat.
Also on the beach, looking for food: carrion crows, like often, in husband and wife twosomes.
Further from the beach: their relatives, jays.
From the Google cache of Dear Kitty ModBlog, 10/8/05:
Today near Valkenburg lake: two adult black swans with nearly adult (still some white feathers) young.
A bit further south, in Wassenaar, you can hear the ring-necked parakeet.
Still further south, in Meijendel: a buzzard.
On the way back: a female sparrowhawk sits on a lamppost.
Whenever a cyclist comes close, she flies to the next lamppost.
Until another cyclist comes close there.
The black swan family is still at the same spot.
A bit further, as I cross the Rhine bridge, I see four mute swans with one black swan.