Dragonfly eats fly, video

This 17 April 2018 video shows a hairy dragonfly eating a fly in Meijendel nature reserve in the Netherlands.

Luuk Punt made this video.

Tree frog on video

This June 26 video is about a tree frog basking in the sun in Meijendel nature reserve in the Netherlands.

Coots, great crested grebe, other wildlife

This July 2016 video shows a coot with youngsters, a great crested grebe and other wildlife in Meijendel nature reserve in the Netherlands.

Sanderlings, goosanders and salt-shaker earthstar fungi

Meijendel, 19 December 2015

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.

Jay sounds.

Sulphur tuft fungi.

On a lake: mallards, tufted ducks and a female common pochard.

On the lake on the other side of the footpath: both male and female common pochards.

A young mute swan. A little grebe, diving every now and then.

And three goosanders, swimming to the west.

Meijendel sand dunes, 19 December 2015

On some parts of the sand dunes there is not much plant cover.

Meijendel, trees, 19 December 2015

Elsewhere, there is more: common sea-buckthorn and other shrubs and gnarled trees.

A great cormorant flies overhead. A dunnock sits on the top of a shrub.

Meijendel, European beachgrass, 19 December 2015

Eventually, we reach the last sand dune ridge just east of the North Sea, where European beachgrass grows.

On the beach, a few sanderlings, running fast.

As we walk back, some salt-shaker earthstars grow.

Meijendel, salt-shaker earthstar, 19 December 2015

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.

New fly species discovery in the Netherlands

Schistosoma truncatum

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.

Nightingales and grasshopper warbler

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.

We also hear a great spotted woodpecker; a song thrush; and many blackbirds. Also great tits and blue tits.

Then, we continue to Meijendel.

A blackcap. A chiffchaff. A willow warbler: all probably back recently from spring migration.

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.

Wood pigeons. Grey lag geese flying.

A buzzard in a tree.

A whitethroat.

In a lake: a coot, a great crested grebe couple, and gadwall ducks.

Then, near a bicycle track, we hear a special song: a grasshopper warbler.

A male chaffinch in a bush. A dunnock in a bush on the other side of the footpath.

A northern lapwing. A great cormorant flies.

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.

Finally, a grey heron, and two Canada geese, flying.

Shoreweed, and more Meijendel plants

Water mint, 6 September 2014

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.

Seaside centaury.

Jointleaf rush.

Weedy cudweed.

Common restharrow.

Great hairy screw-moss, 6 September 2014

And a moss species: great hairy screw-moss.

Yellow rattle, 6 September 2014

Yellow flowers of the hemi-parasitic plant yellow rattle.

Small white flowers of knotted pearlwort.

Lesser hawkbit flowers were yellow again.

Marsh lousewort, a Red List species.

Drug eyebright, 6 September 2014

Drug eyebright flowering.

Marsh pennywort.

Shoreweed, 6 September 2014

In the next lake, both on the bank and in shallow water, a really special species: shoreweed.

Shoreweed, Meijendel, 6 September 2014

Two years ago, these rare plants were discovered again here, after an absence of over sixty years.

Shoreweed with fruits, 6 September 2014

Some shoreweed plants had fruits.

Broad-leaved pondweed in the water as well.

Common speedwell on higher, drier ground.

Common self-heal, 6 September 2014

And common self-heal flowers.

Seaside pansy, 6 September 2014

And seaside pansy.

A marsh helleborine orchid plant. Not flowering.

On our way back, we see St John’s wort flowers.

Red pimpernel, 6 September 2014

And red pimpernel flowers. We had already seen them when we arrived. But then, the flowers had still been closed, it being too early for them.

Jimson weed near the Kikkervalleien exit fence.

Finally, another lakelet.

Fan-leaved water-crowfoot in the water.

Ivy-leaved crowfoot in the Netherlands: here.

Clustered dock and golden dock, 6 September 2014

On its banks, clustered dock.

Clustered dock and golden dock, Meijendel, 6 September 2014

And its relative, golden dock.

Water mint, Meijendel, 6 September 2014

And another species: water mint. The first as well as the last plant in this blog post.

Marsh grass-of-Parnassus, and other Meijendel plants

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.

Common storksbill and red pimpernel, 6 September 2014

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.

Lesser centaury, 6 September 2014

The lesser centaury did have flowers, though they were closed.

Knotted pearlwort.

Marsh grass-of-Parnassus, 6 September 2014

We arrived at a more marshy area. Many beautiful white marsh grass-of-Parnassus flowers.

Marsh grass-of-Parnassus, one stamen, 6 September 2014

Marsh grass-of-Parnassus stamina mature one by one. So, at first you see only one stamen.

Marsh grass-of-Parnassus, two stamina, 6 September 2014

Then, two stamina.

Marsh grass-of-Parnassus, four stamina, 6 September 2014

Then, three stamina. Then, four.

Marsh grass-of-Parnassus, five stamina, 6 September 2014

And finally, five.

Stay tuned for more about Meijendel plants at this blog!

Marsh gentian plants of Terschelling island: here.

Fungi, birds and wasps of Meijendel

Big rose bedeguar gall, 6 September 2014

This is a photo of a rose bedeguar gall on a dog rose leaf in the Kikkervalleien area of Meijendel nature reserve, on 6 September 2014.

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.

Small rose bedeguar gall, 6 September 2014

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.

Witch's hat, 6 September 2014

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.

Hygrocybe sp., 6 September 2014

Another beautiful red mushroom. A witch’s hat? Or a vermilion waxcap? This genus, Hygrocybe, is not easy.

We find another gall: a Pontania collactanea wasp caused this one.

Three great egrets flying.

Hygrocybe sp., Kikkervalleien, 6 September 2014

More beautiful Hygrocybe fungi. Still difficult to say which species.

Hygrocybe sp., in Kikkervalleien, 6 September 2014

As we leave the Kikkervalleien for other parts of Meijendel, other mushrooms: death caps.

Stay tuned for the Kikkervalleien plants on this blog!

Amphibians of Meijendel nature reserve

Young tree frog, Meijendel, 6 September 2014

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.

That day, we went to a part of Meijendel, usually not open to the public. It is known as Kikkervalleien, frogs’ valleys, because of many amphibians living 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.

Traditionally, there used to be six amphibian species in nature reserve Meijendel.

Four of those are toads and frogs:edible frog, common frog, Eurasian toad, and natterjack toad.

Also two newt species, the common newt and the great crested newt, are traditional Meijendel denizens.

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.

Natterjack toad, 6 September 2014

No matter how young natterjack toads are, they already have the characteristic stripe down their backs.

Common frog, 6 September 2014

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.

Young tree frog on shoe, Meijendel, 6 September 2014

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.

Young tree frog still on shoe, Meijendel, 6 September 2014

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!