Luuk Punt made this video.
This photo shows scenery of nature reserve Meijendel in the Netherlands. We went there on 19 December 2015.
A blackbird sings. Very early, like that other blackbird.
Sulphur tuft fungi.
On the lake on the other side of the footpath: both male and female common pochards.
And three goosanders, swimming to the west.
On some parts of the sand dunes there is not much plant cover.
Elsewhere, there is more: common sea-buckthorn and other shrubs and gnarled trees.
On the beach, a few sanderlings, running fast.
As we walk back, some salt-shaker earthstars grow.
This rare fungus is the biggest earthstar species. Maybe because of the unusually warm December, they are still here. Normally, they are finished in November.
As we continue, two fieldfares in a tree.
A male chaffinch in another tree.
Along the footpath, some more salt-shaker earthstars grow.
A nuthatch calls in woodland.
Waarneming.nl in the Netherlands reports by e-mail that a fly species, new for the Netherlands, was discovered in the sand dunes of Meijendel nature reserve. Schistostoma truncatum was found on 20 April 2015 by Arie Benschop.
This is a green woodpecker video from Sweden.
Early in the morning, before sunrise, on 19 April 2015 we arrived at a small patch of woodland near the local government building of Wassenaar, the Netherlands; to count local birds. We hear a green woodpecker; but we can’t be sure whether it nests inside our just outside our counting area.
Then, we continue to Meijendel.
A marsh tit, which probably has stayed here all winter.
A nightingale sings. One of many here in Meijendel, all back from wintering in Africa.
A buzzard in a tree.
Then, near a bicycle track, we hear a special song: a grasshopper warbler.
A woodlark, flying while singing.
A beautiful northern wheatear on a dune.
A male common linnet.
A flying and singing skylark.
On a bush, a male stonechat.
On the bank of a lakelet, a little ringed plover.
My previous blog post on plants in the Kikkervalleien in Meijendel nature reserve finished with marsh grass-of-Parnassus. On the marshy lakelet banks there were other plants as well, as these water mint flowers show.
Also, little green sedge.
And its relative, blue sedge.
And sand sedge.
And a moss species: great hairy screw-moss.
Small white flowers of knotted pearlwort.
Lesser hawkbit flowers were yellow again.
Marsh lousewort, a Red List species.
Drug eyebright flowering.
In the next lake, both on the bank and in shallow water, a really special species: shoreweed.
Some shoreweed plants had fruits.
Broad-leaved pondweed in the water as well.
Common speedwell on higher, drier ground.
And common self-heal flowers.
And seaside pansy.
A marsh helleborine orchid plant. Not flowering.
On our way back, we see St John’s wort flowers.
Finally, another lakelet.
Fan-leaved water-crowfoot in the water.
Ivy-leaved crowfoot in the Netherlands: here.
On its banks, clustered dock.
And its relative, golden dock.
And another species: water mint. The first as well as the last plant in this blog post.
This Dutch video is about the Kikkervalleien in Meijendel nature reserve and the plants growing there.
After the blog post about Kikkervalleien wasps, birds and fungi, this blog post will make a start about the plants on 6 September 2014.
Before we arrived at the Kikkervalleien part of Meijendel, yellow Senecio inaequidens flowers. A species originally from Africa.
And smaller white small nightshade flowers. A species originally from Argentina.
Then, another introduced species: black swallow-wort. This poisonous plant is originally from southern Europe. The Dutch royal family used to hunt pheasants in this area. They imported pheasant feed from southern Europe. Black swallow-wort seeds came along with the ‘canned hunting’ feed. Black swallow-wort displaced native sand dune plants.
After conservationists tried various methods to remove the black swallow-wort, now they have discovered something more effective: cover the black swallow-wort areas with tarpaulin. The black swallow-wort dies. And after removing the tarpaulin, the black swallow-wort won’t come back, but the native plants will.
On a Kikkervalleien footpath, three flowering plants together: fairy flax; common storksbill; and red pimpernel. As it was still rather early in the morning, the red pimpernel flowers were not open yet.
Drug eyebright flowers.
Another plant, not flowering then; only leaves: star gentian.
The lesser centaury did have flowers, though they were closed.
We arrived at a more marshy area. Many beautiful white marsh grass-of-Parnassus flowers.
Marsh grass-of-Parnassus stamina mature one by one. So, at first you see only one stamen.
Then, two stamina.
Then, three stamina. Then, four.
And finally, five.
Stay tuned for more about Meijendel plants at this blog!
Marsh gentian plants of Terschelling island: here.
Gall on plants: here.
This blog has already reported about amphibians there on that day. Now, about fungi, birds and the small wasps, only three millimetre for males, four for females, Diplolepis rosae, which cause these galls.
Soon after our arrival at Meijendel, great spotted woodpecker sound.
Along the cycle track, Lactarius controversus fungi.
Next, Inocybe serotina mushrooms.
Then, brown roll-rim.
And stinking dapperling.
Two common pochard ducks swimming in a lake.
In another lake, tufted ducks, mallards and coots.
Lepiota alba fungi.
Nine gray lag geese flying overhead.
We arrived at the Kikkervalleien area of Meijendel, usually closed to the public.
Then, we saw the dog rose plant of the first photo of this blog post.
That plant had more galls than the one on the first photo; like the one on this photo, usually smaller ones. If a small Diplolepis rosae wasp lays an egg on a leaf, then the plant reacts by building a gall around the egg, protecting it. This wasp species was named originally by Linnaeus.
Winter stalkball fungi on the footpath.
A great cormorant flying overhead.
Scotch bonnet mushrooms.
Many rabbit droppings.
A beautiful red mushroom: a witch’s hat.
Two carrion crows.
Then, five greenshanks on migration, flying overhead.
At the next lake, two mute swans. First on the bank, then swimming.
We find another gall: a Pontania collactanea wasp caused this one.
Three great egrets flying.
More beautiful Hygrocybe fungi. Still difficult to say which species.
As we leave the Kikkervalleien for other parts of Meijendel, other mushrooms: death caps.
Stay tuned for the Kikkervalleien plants on this blog!
This is a photo of a young tree frog on the shoe of a natural history enthusiast in Meijendel nature reserve, north of The Hague in the Netherlands, on 6 September 2014. If you read on, then you will find out how that frog landed there.
In the Kikkervalleien, original wet sand dune valley situations have been restored. This means many small lakes with shallow water. Good conditions for amphibians, as there are often no predatory fish in the lakelets.
About 2007, two other species joined them.
They are the common Eurasian spadefoot toad; and the common tree frog.
The species which we saw most on 6 September were natterjack toads.
All still very small; most smaller than half a centimeter.
No matter how young natterjack toads are, they already have the characteristic stripe down their backs.
The second most numerous species on 6 September were common frogs. Also mostly still young, but a bit bigger than the natterjack toads: over 1 centimeter. We also saw an adult.
Then, the young common tree frog. It jumped around on the sand, till it jumped on the shoe. Then, it jumped higher, to a fold in trousers. Finally, it jumped off, to continue its journey in the dunes.
At the lakelet near the exit of the Kikkervalleien area, where the natterjack toad photo is from, there were also young common frogs. And small Eurasian toads.
And a young common newt.
Stay tuned, as there will be more posts on this blog about non-amphibian life forms of Meijendel, like birds, fungi and plants!