Eiders and mating redshanks at the Slufter on Texel

This is a video of a kestrel hovering above the Slufter nature reserve.

Today, to the Slufter nature reserve on Texel.

While on our way, a singing whitethroat.

South of the Oorsprongweg, a bush next to the bicycle track. There, a willow warbler and a nightingale sing: they sing in turn, each starting after the other one has stopped.

Then, arrival at the Slufter.

This is a unique area, as North sea tidal water penetrates the coastal dunes here. The Slufter is the remnant of an estuary which used to separate Eierland, until the seventeenth century a separate island, now the northern part of Texel, from southern Texel.

From the high dune, scores of eider ducks in the lake. Shelducks. Oystercatchers.

Five bar-tailed godwits in winter plumage.

A cuckoo calling from a bush top at the sand dune edge.

The water level in the Slufter is very low now. For weeks, the wind has come from the north-east, hindering sea water trying to enter the estuary. And it has been dry.

Marsh daisy and English scurvy-grass flowers. Marsh daisies on Texel: here.

Sea wormwood. Limonium vulgare. Salicornia. Slufter plants: here.

Redshanks mating on the bank.

We pass a female eider duck, resting on her nest. One of about 120 eider nests in the Slufter. Other eiders nest at the Mokbaai and the Schorren.

20 April was the first eider egg. In the middle of May, the first ducklings are expected.

A curlew flies past.

A skylark flies, singing. Yellow meadow ants are its main source of food. Un-ecological agriculture methods have damaged this species, and have caused a big decline of skylarks. In the Slufter nature reserve, about 80 skylark couples nest. Many for the Netherlands, and they don’t decline here.

On the Palenbol dune, flower species typical for higher and less saltier grounds than the floodplain below. Like heartsease.

On a dead sheep’s skull, Xanthoria parietina lichen grows.

In a body of water where sea water only penetrates during storms, Cerastoderma glaucum molluscs live. Eider ducks eat them.

Back to the sand dunes. A Geastrum pectinatum mushroom.

On our way back from the Slufter, on a lake near the old Waal en Burg polder dike: tufted ducks, a male common pochard. A spoonbill near the bank.

Slufter and Muy in June 2013: here. In winter: here.

15 thoughts on “Eiders and mating redshanks at the Slufter on Texel

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