21,000 sanderlings on Griend island

This video shows a sanderling feeding at the carcass of a beached porpoise, on the beach of Terschelling island, 15 December 2012.

From the Global Flyway Ecology blog in the Netherlands:

Record numbers of Sanderlings on remote Wadden Sea island

Posted on August 2, 2017 by Team Piersma

Emma Penning reports that currently (1 August 2017) over 21,000 Sanderlings roost on the Wadden Sea islet Griend, on sand banks actively created to allow Griend to “wander” again. This is twice the Dutch wintering population (ca. 9,000), and as high as the British wintering population of 20,500 birds (Reneerkens et al. 2009). As much as 10.5% of the flyway population is now on Griend (van Roomen et al. 2015). A record number of Sanderling on a single roost!

Emma Penning from the Royal NIOZ, and a team of researchers of the University of Groningen and NIOZ, are currently working on the island to document the ecological and geomorphological consequences of the ‘Griend Repair project’ by the owner and manager Natuurmonumenten.

Griend is a small uninhabited island in the middle of the Dutch Wadden Sea. Natural erosion processes would make this type of islet “wander” through the Wadden Sea, but the protecting sand dyke created decades ago had washed away. In the summer of 2016, sand and shells have been resupplied so that natural processes can take their course again. At the same time vegetation cover on the island has been removed to ensure breeding habitat for terns and gulls. The new very low and 400 m wide sand bank protects against erosion from the west, and “feeds” the island with sand to stimulate growth at the north and south sides. This sand bar apparently is an attractive feature for Sanderling.

To investigate the effects of the recovery project, and to find out more about the natural functioning of this Wadden Sea island, an intensive four-year research project has started that will run until 2020. Tracking and tracing the movements of Sanderlings and documenting their diet is part of the program.

Already before the restoration, Griend was a central hub for Sanderlings foraging on the mudflats of the western Dutch Wadden Sea. We expected that they would continue to roost on Griend after the restoration, because the barren and open character of the new sand bank Griend would offer a safe place for Sanderlings. But this turn-out of >21,000 birds is more than we dared to hope for! Our brand new tracking data shows that indeed they use a variety of feeding locations throughout western Wadden Sea. More on that later.

Information about the restoration of Griend (in Dutch) at: Griend.org and National Geographic Nederland·België.

Associated team members: Emma Penning with Allert Bijleveld, Laura Govers, Jeroen Reneerkens and Job ten Horn.

Curlew freed from fishing line

This 2009 video from Britain is about curlews and their sound.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

Curlew freed from fishing line – 18-05-15

A broken fishing line can create problems for a long time in nature. A curlew experienced that firsthand. The bird got one of its legs caught in such a loose end. The foot of the animal was already fully grown around it, indicating that it had already happened a while ago. Scientists from the NIOZ Royal Dutch Institute for Exploration of the Sea happened to see the curlew during their regular bird research on the uninhabited Wadden Island Griend. They managed to remove the line.

Red knot research on desert island Griend

This video is about red knots (and other birds, like oystercatchers and black-headed gulls) foraging near Texel island in the Netherlands. Kees Kuip made this video.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel:

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

How is it that we know so much about knots, while they are only in the Netherlands outside the breeding season? This is due to the extensive research carried out, where the ringing, and then the tracking of the birds is an important part of. Texel people Laurens van Kooten and Kees Kuip recently helped on the uninhabited Wadden island Griend with this research by reading rings a week long. They did not chose the best week with regard to the weather, but still, they have done useful work.

Griend and the sea: here. And here.

Lumpsucker fishes mating season

This video is about a lumpsucker fish couple in the Wadden Sea near Griend island in the Netherlands. They swim around an iron bar.

The blueish female is about 25 centimeter; the reddish male is smaller.

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Rare flower on Dutch desert island

Translated from the Dutch conservationists of Natuurmonumenten:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Currently, on the Wadden Sea island Griend a very special plant blooms: the greater sea-spurry. This species has an imaginative way to survive the rising water. Warden Otto Dijk tells about it in the video.

First ever spoonbill fledged on Griend island

This is a spoonbill video.

According to the Ecomare site in the Netherlands, for the first time ever this year, three spoonbill couples have nested on Griend island.

Unfortunately, floods destroyed two nests.

In the third nest, a female chick survived. It was ringed, so its future movements may be studied.

Griend video: here.

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Little terns of Texel island

Little tern

Translated from Staatsbosbeheer in the Netherlands:

The number of little terns, breeding on De Hors (Texel) is bigger than ever. 202 nests have been counted. Also on this sandy plain, some ringed plovers, and very probably one or more Kentish plovers, nest.

Little terns of Texel in 2016: here.

Sandwich terns of Griend island: here.

Grey seals born on Griend island

This video from the USA is called Female Grey Seal (Hunting Mackerel) – Saco River.

Translated from the Leeuwarder Courant in the Netherlands:

GRIEND – Just like last year around this time, recently on Griend island six grey seals were born. With their mothers and three males, they lay on the beach of the uninhabited Wadden Sea island, south-west of Terschelling.

The pups cannot swim yet. They have been discovered by volunteers of Natuurmonumenten. This organisation has been managing Griend for nearly a century. Last year was the first time ever that grey seals on the island reproduced. Then, it was six pups as well.