Four Caspian terns cleaning their feathers.
A greater black-backed gull landed. A great cormorant.
A goshawk flying.
We arrived at Lauwersoog harbour.
A lesser black-backed gull on a pole. Herring gulls and black-headed gulls on quays.
Common terns flying.
A Sandwich tern flying over the Wadden Sea.
A male eider duck flying above them.
A domestic pigeon.
The ship stops.
We wade to the Engelsmanplaat sandbank, in the direction of the only building, the wildlife warden’s place.
We arrived at the warden’s place with very wet shoes and trousers.
A wooden staircase between platforms goes to the top, where the wardens are safe from flooding. The wardens don’t live there in winter, so then Engelsmanplaat is really a desert island; or sandbank.
It used to be more like an island, but by now the sea has washed away most of its small sand dunes. Even at low tide most of the Engelsmanplaat is still under a few centimeters of water. Only a very small part is not under water at normal high tide. The only birds nesting there this year were an oystercatcher couple. Three times, unusually high water destroyed their nests. But the birds persevered, and their chicks fledged.
At one of the higher spots, stones, relics of an old building. The stones are covered with barnacles.
To the north of Engelsmanplaat is another sandbank, with more rights to be called an island, and more nesting birds: het Rif.
But that is for the sequel to this blog post.