New nature reserve near Dutch Groningen city


This 12 June 2015 Dutch regional TV video is about a new nature reserve, Kardinge; meadowland just east of Groningen City.

Conservation organisation Natuurmonumenten wrote about this, on 11 June 2015:

Hartog [of Natuurmonumenten] will, together with farmer Hendrik Jan Elzinga, make the area better, particularly for grassland birds. “We would like to raise the water level so that the soil wildlife will increase. That is good for many species of birds, such as black-tailed godwits, curlews, lapwings and oystercatchers. And we want maybe in the future to make the banks of the ditches more environmentally friendly, by flattening them. Visitors to the area will soon have a more varied landscape experience.”

Grey heron eats eel, video


In this video, a grey heron manages, with some difficulty, to eat an eel.

Jacques Westerveen made this video in Groningen, the Netherlands.

Three rare broad-billed sandpipers in Dutch nature reserve


Broad-billed sandpiper. Photo by Sreedev Puthur, at Chavakkad Beach, Kerala, India

Andre Boven reports about birds in the Breebaartpolder nature reserve in Groningen province in the Netherlands.

Today, he saw three adult broad-billed sandpipers. This Eurasian Arctic bird species is rare in the Netherlands.

Dutch corncrake news


This is a video about a singing corncrake (with chiffchaff sound in the background).

Translated from the Dutch Sovon ornithologists:

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

To hear the raspy sound of the mysterious corncrake, this spring you had to go primarily to Groningen province. Nearly three-quarters of the birds counted are in this province, especially in the vast grain and alfalfa fields of the Oldambt region. This is evident from the special census Sovon has been organizing since 2000.

Seal pups live on webcam


This video from the USA says about itself:

A harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) mother giving birth to a pup and their first swim. Footage was taken at a harbor seal rookery in southern Puget Sound, Washington during observations in 2004 under NMFS MMPA research permit # 782-1702. Video by Dyanna Lambourn, edited by Caitlin McIntyre, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Dutch conservation organisation Het Groninger Landschap reports today about harbour seals living in the Dollard estuary.

At the moment, there are about fifty seal mothers with pups there. You can see them full screen on a webcam, here.

Cuckoo calling, video


This video shows a cuckoo calling in Kardinge nature reserve in Groningen province in the Netherlands.

Maria Woortman made this video, hiding behind trees from her shy subject.

Dutch marsh harrier, all the way to Ghana and back


This video, from Spain, shows a female marsh harrier, a red kite and a raven quarreling about food.

Translated from the Dutch ornithologists of Werkgroep Grauwe Kiekendief:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A newcomer to the GPS logger research is marsh harrier “Roelof”, an adult male provided last summer with a GPS logger. Roelof returned this spring to East Groningen, with a logger packed with GPS positions. He turned out to have had a highly remarkable journey! …

Roelof returned on April 15, 2015 in East Groningen, where he presented himself at the local antenna network where we can remotely read stored GPS data. …

In the autumn of 2014 Roelof flew via Spain to his first wintering area in Senegal, where he arrived on 27 September. This route falls exactly within the narrow migration flyway which is usual for marsh harriers. Christiane Trierweiler et al. described that harriers do not remain all winter in a single area, but during the winter they move to southern areas as the northern areas get dry. These are mostly trips of several hundred kilometers.

Roelof left his first wintering area on November 10 to land about 500 kilometers to the south in Guinea. To our surprise Roelof did not stay there until the end of the winter, but he left the area on January 26 to fly 1,700 kilometers along the West African south coast, eventually ending up all the way in Ghana! Ghana is really far away for a Dutch marsh harrier, outside the ‘normal’ wintering area.

On the shores of Lake Volta

In Ghana Roelof stayed around the shores of Lake Volta. This huge lake is probably a good wintering place for marsh harriers and the question is how he ever ‘found’ this place. Did he come here in his youth by chance, making the place by now a fixed point in his annual schedule? Or perhaps Roelof has eastern genes telling him that in winter this is the place to be? Monitoring young harriers will be the key to answering this kind of exciting questions.

Roelof left the Volta Lake on February 28, keeping a northwesterly course. Aided by a firm tailwind he was ‘blown’ across the Sahara until he reached the ocean coast in the Western Sahara. From there he continued his journey towards the northeast, where he made two short stops in Morocco (as befits a marsh harrier). From Morocco, he flew straight back to exactly the same reed bed in eastern Groningen …

This photo by Ben Koks shows marsh harrier Roelof, on the left, and his female partner. On Roelof’s back, one can see his GPS logger.