Konik horses in Dutch Lauwersmeer national park

The number of konik horses in Dutch nature Oostvaardersveld had become too big. Therefore, In January forty horses were moved to Lauwersmeer national park. They are useful there in keeping the vegetation varied. The horses are doing well in their new environment, this 25 January 2019 says.

Barnacle geese and Caspian terns

Lauwersmeer, barnacle geese, 7 September 2018

7 September 2018. On our way to Lauwersmeer national park in the Netherlands. This photo shows part of it, with barnacle geese flying.

Before we arrived in the Lauwersmeer, we saw grey herons in North Holland province. Along the Afsluitdijk causeway, great cormorants sitting on poles. Black-headed gulls. Herring gulls. Two great crested grebes swimming near the monument for the dike construction.

Flocks of scores of starlings.

Near Dokkum, in Friesland province, a buzzard on a meadow. A kestrel hovering. Lapwings.

We arrive at the Sylkajut hide, on the edge of the Lauwersmeer. Usually, one can see birds swimming there close to the hide. However, the dry hot 2018 summer means the water level is much lower than usual. So, water birds are rather far away. On the now dry land close to the hide, quite some white wagtails and meadow pipits.

Lauwersmeer, barnacle geese, on 7 September 2018

We see many barnacle geese there. Sometimes standing in the water …

Lauwersmeer, barnacle geese flying, on 7 September 2018

… sometimes flying. Also some grey lag geese.

At the water’s edge, Caspian terns on autumn migration. Visible with a telescope, too far for binoculars. Mute swans.

Lauwersmeer, 7 September 2018

We continued north, along the western border of the Lauwersmeer, to the Ezumakeeg-Noord – Kijkheuvel. It is a hill with a good view on birds in the wetlands around it.

Red-necked phalarope and shoveler, 7 September 2018

We saw, eg, this red-necked phalarope. With a northern shoveler duck feeding behind it.

Also gadwall ducks. And a little stint.

Many barn swallows flying. And some house martins.


White wagtail, 7 September 2018

And we saw this white wagtail.

Marsh harrier, 7 September 2018

A male marsh harrier flying.

Ringed plover. Common sandpiper.

A wood sandpiper close to a little ringed plover.

Konik horses, 7 September 2018

There were konik horses.

Cows, 7 September 2018

And cows, in the Lauwersmeer to prevent overgrowing of plants, making the area unattractive for some animals.

Lauwersmeer, on 7 September 2018

Six curlews on a meadow.

Finally, we arrived as far as north as possible: on the shore of the Wadden Sea.

Mudflats, 7 September 2018

Mudflats there.

Six eider ducks flying over the water.

Black-headed gull, 7 September 2018

And this black-headed gull flying.

Stay tuned, as there will be more photographs and stories from that area on this blog!

Ruff males, new article

This video from the Netherlands is called Kemphaan / Ruff / Philomachus pugnax @ Ezumakeeg Zuid, Lauwersmeer 16-05-2016.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Not All Ruffs Are Tough—The Secret Life of the World’s Most Glamorous Shorebird

The male Ruff sports opulent plumage that seems more worthy of a bird-of-paradise than a shorebird. But the birds are living proof there’s more than one way to get ahead in the world. Some males even impersonate females in order to avoid fights on the breeding grounds, while still winning mates. Read more.

Two young sea eagles born in Lauwersmeer national park

This 2014 video says about itself:

Saga of the White-tailed Eagle – The Secrets of Nature

The sea eagle was once widespread throughout almost all of Europe and graced the coats of arms of many different countries. During the 19th and 20th centuries it was driven to the brink of extinction by hunting, the increased use of pesticides and the destruction of its habitat.

This touching animal drama recounts the true life story of one individual bird, observed over the course of a year. Beginning with its birth in a lowland forest in Central Europe the film team follows the eagle’s first outing with its brothers and sisters and subsequent distant migrations to places as far away as Scandinavia. Finally it chronicles its dramatic lead poisoning, recovery and resettlement in a nature reserve.

Dutch NOS TV reports today that two young sea eagles have been born in Lauwersmeer national park.

Bewick’s swans in winter, video

This March 2018 video is about Bewick’s swans in icy circumstances in the Lauwersmeer national park in the Netherlands.

Wim Bender made the video.

Common tern in the wind

This November 2017 video shows a common tern having trouble standing still in the wind.

Maria Woortman made this video in Lauwersoog harbour in the Netherlands.

Bearded tit dancing, video

This October 2017 video shows a male bearded tit ‘dancing’ to catch insects in moss.

Maria Woortman made this video in Lauwersmeer national park in the Netherlands.

Sea eaglet twins in Dutch national parks

This video shows two adult sea eagles resting in Dutch Lauwersmeer national park on 14 August 2016. Gulls try to drive them away.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Sea eagle couple in Lauwersmeer gets twins

Today, 13:56

The sea eagle couple of the Lauwersmeer national park got two youngsters this year. Yesterday, the Forestry Department spotted both young additions, RTV Noord regional TV writes.

Over the last three years, breeding failed twice. Last year was better, the eagle couple got one eaglet.

“The last time we had two young birds here was in 2013,” says forester Jaap Kloosterhuis.

The Forestry Department observes the birds from a distance. “We can and do not want to get too close. We follow them with a telescope.”

The youngsters do not look that young any more. “They already have feathers,” says Kloosterhuis. Therefore, they will likely be ringed soon.

The foresters will discuss when to ring the eaglets this afternoon. Young birds are ringed when their legs have become fully grown, so that the rings will not harm them.

Warden Bertwin Bergman of Oostvaardersplassen national park reports that local white-tailed eagle twins have been ringed today. There, in 2006, sea eagles nested for the first time in the Netherlands after centuries of absence. Ever since 2007, Oostvaardersplassen eaglets have been ringed; so, today was the 11th time.

In the Oostvaardersplassen nest, there were carp, coot and grey lag goose meat scraps. So, the eaglets have a varied diet.

Turnstones in winter, video

This 14 January 2017 video shows turnstones at Lauwersoog harbour in the Netherlands.