Godwits and teal in Baillon’s crake country

Today, to the place where the rare Baillon’s crake nested last year.

Not that I really expect a Baillon’s crake today. It is cold and there is still ice in some ditches. Baillon’s crakes arrive late in spring from Africa, when bank plants will be big enough to hide behind.

To the south of the reserve, close to a bridge near the sewage disposal plant, a male red-crested pochard.

Arriving at the reserve, I immediately see grey lag geese and (fewer) Canada geese. Some swimming, some grazing in the reedbeds. That way, the geese help to prevent the wetland from changing into woodland; they help birds like Baillon’s crakes.

Tufted ducks. Gadwall.

Near last year’s Baillon’s crake nest: male and female teal. Snipe. Northern lapwing. A male shoveler. Great crested grebes.

In the northern pond: shelduck, at least four. Scores of shovelers and teal. Great cormorants.

Near the bank of the northern pond, eight black-tailed godwits. Some just inside the water, some just outside. A bit further, another group of eight godwits. A redshank.

A photographer, who last year managed to make photos of both adult and young Baillon’s crakes, tells me about two woodcocks this morning. And yesterday, two bitterns. Maybe they are still around here somewhere.

From the village trees, nuthatch sound.

Scale-dependent homogenization: Changes in breeding bird diversity in the Netherlands over a 25-year period: here.

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