Crested tits, nuthatches and trees


This is a crested tit video from France.

10 November 2017. After arriving yesterday in Wenum-Wiesel in the Veluwe region, this morning a robin on the table outside the window. Behind it, a great tit at the feeder.

Zandhegge, 10 November 2017

We walk to the Zandhegge, a nature reserve of regional conservation organisation Het Geldersch Landschap.

Zandhegge leaves, 10 November 2017

It is a forest with both deciduous and coniferous trees.

Cowberries, 10 November 2017

And shrubs with red cowberries. And fungi.

A nuthatch climbs up and down branches.

We hear a green woodpecker.

A bit further, a great tit. And three of its rarer relatives: crested tits!

It starts to rain. We walk back.

In the afternoon, after the rain had stopped, to the Zandhegge again.

A flock of chaffinches. Great spotted woodpecker sound.

Leaves, 10 November 2017

Beautiful autumn leaves. Some still on the trees …

Leaves, on 10 November 2017

… some on the forest floor.

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Superb starlings, ducks and flamingos


Superb starling, 30 October 2017

This is my final blog post on 30 October 2017 in Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdam. After the giraffes and the European starlings on the roof of their building, we continued to giraffe relatives: okapis, sharing their compound with superb starlings like this one.

Superb starling, on 30 October 2017

After walking through the tunnel under the railway, we came to the part of the zoo dedicated to the Americas.

White-faced whistling duck, 30 October 2017

In a South American aviary were white-faced whistling ducks; like this one.

In this ‘American’ part are two big buildings. One, the Oceanium, has many terrariums and aquariums; including a very big one where sharks, rays and sea turtles can swim above your head. Also, king penguins and gentoo penguins in a special cold hall.

The other big building is called Amazonica. It houses South American butterflies. And South American fish, like big arapaimas.

Flamingos and gull, 30 October 2017

We went back through the tunnel, towards the exit, which is also the entrance where we had seen the flamingos in the morning. They were still there; though many of them had now gone to a building for food. While a black-headed gull asked itself if there would be food for it as well.

Flamingo, 30 October 2017

Gradually, flamingos came back to the water to drink.

Flamingo, on 30 October 2017

And to clean their feathers.

Flamingos, 30 October 2017

And to talk to each other.

Flamingo drinks, 30 October 2017

And to have one more drink, as the setting sun coloured the water, contrasting beautifully with the birds.

Flamingo looks, 30 October 2017

And, finally, to look around and say goodbye.

Bongos, baby giraffe and birds


Bongos, 30 October 2017

Still 30 October 2017 in Rotterdam zoo Blijdorp. After the rhino and elephant babies, we saw these bongo antelopes.

As we walked on, we again saw some of the wild birds attracted to Blijdorp. A male blackbird feeding on berries. And in bushes a bit further, goldcrests.

After these smallest birds of Europe, a big aviary with much bigger birds.

Rüppell's vulture, 30 October 2017

Like this Rüppell’s vulture.

Also present in the aviary: hooded vultures, marabou storks, carrion crows, red kites and a paradise crane.

Giraffes, 30 October 2017

Next, the giraffe compound.

Giraffe, 30 October 2017

The giraffes often went inside the building, as food was hanging there.

Giraffe baby, 30 October 2017

The youngest giraffe could only just reach the food.

Giraffe baby, on 30 October 2017

Giraffe baby, 30th October 2017

Sometimes, it stopped feeding.

Giraffe baby, on 30th October 2017

Then, it went to the hay again.

House sparrows in the giraffe building.

On top of the giraffe building, starlings. They imitated the sounds of weaver birds in an aviary not far away.

Stay tuned for more on Rotterdam on this blog!

Baby rhino, baby elephant, birds


Indian rhinos, 30 October 2017

Still 30 October 2017 in Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdam. After the earlier flamingos, pelicans and monkeys, a great tit in a tree. And this Indian rhinoceros and her baby.

In the big Burung Asia aviary are little egrets and many other Asian birds. A white stork flies above the aviary. Wild white storks nest regularly in Blijdorp.

Asian elephant baby, 30 October 2017

We continue to the Asian elephant compound. Like with the Indian rhinos, a baby is present.

Asian elephants, 30 October 2017

The elephants feed on branches and leaves. Often, they throw autumn leaves on their backs; as ‘medicine’ against insect parasites.

Asian elephants, on 30 October 2017

Sometimes, an elephant passes on food to a fellow herd member.

Asian elephants, 30 October 2017

These big animals have to eat much.

Black-headed gull, 30 October 2017

We continue to the white bridge, where we meet this black-headed gull in winter plumage.

Black-headed gull, on 30 October 2017

On one side of the bridge are Sumatran tigers, like years ago. On the other side used to be polar bears and the Rotterdam natural history museum. But the polar bears have moved to a spacier compound, and the museum has moved to elsewhere in Rotterdam.

Domestic pigeon, 30 October 2017

On the roof of the ring-tailed lemurs compound just past the bridge, this domestic pigeon cleaning its feathers.

Stay tuned, as there will be more blog posts on 30 October in Rotterdam!

Flamingos, night herons, pelicans and monkeys


Autumn leaves, 30 October 2017

On 30 October 2017, to Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdam. Just past the entrance, conspicuous autumn leaves with beautiful colours.

Greater flamingos, 30 October 2017

They contrasted well with the palish pink of the greater flamingos in that compound. A bird of that species became fifty years old here.

Two male and two female eider ducks on the bank or swimming in the moat.

Blijdorp is not just a place with zoo collection animals, it attracts wild birds as well. On the meadow behind the flamingos, a juvenile black-crowned night heron. Probably, that youngster was born here this year. Night herons are very rare in the Netherlands. They have only a few nesting colonies: mainly in Artis Zoo in Amsterdam; and here in Blijdorp. At these two colonies, the night herons benefit from feeding times for zoo animals.

So do grey herons, and herring gulls. As we arrived, one individual from each species sat on a roof not far away.

A male mallard. Moorhens on the grass behind the flamingos.

Two Egyptian geese fly overhead, calling.

Night heron, 30 October 2017

Then, we see another night heron. Not the youngster of minutes ago, but an adult bird up on a tree.

We move on, to the part of Blijdorp about Asia. After passing Japanese cranes, we arrive at a hide with as its theme birdlife of the Amur river in Siberia. The names of the bird species one can see here are in both Dutch and Russian.

Dalmatian pelican, young bird, 30 October 2017

The biggest birds here are Dalmatian pelicans. The photo shows a young bird.

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The other birds, apart from pelicans, which one can see from this hide, named on the hide signs, though their species live in Siberia as well, are mainly wild Rotterdam area birds. Like mallards, moorhens and great cormorants.

Dalmatian pelican, cleaning its feathers, 30 October 2017

Dalmatian pelican, 30 October 2017

We leave the hide.

We hear a ring-necked parakeet call: a species living in the wild in the Netherlands since decades.

Lion-tailed macaques, 30 October 2017

Next, lion-tailed macaques. Adults and a youngster. Unfortunately, these monkeys are threatened in their south-west Indian biotope.

Stay tuned for more on this blog on that day!

Botanical garden autumn leaves, flowers


Oriental sweetgum, 22 October 2017

On 22 October 2017, to the botanical garden. Close to the entrance were these autumn leaves of an oriental sweetgum tree.

A ring-necked parakeet in a tree. Jays.

In the tropical hothouse, both adult and young giant prickly stick insects from Australia were still present. They lay many eggs here.

Brown-eyed Susan, 22 October 2017

Further, near the canal and the astronomical observatory, these brown-eyed Susan flowers. Close to them, also on the photo, the last Lobelia speciosa flowers of the year.

Malus toringo, 22 October 2017

Close to the canal, five Malus toringo smallish trees with orange berries.

Malus toringo, on 22 October 2017

In January 2016, these berries had attracted a blackbird.

Hothouse, 22 October 2017

Behind the tropical hothouse, a tree with beautiful reddish autumn leaves.

Fungi and autumn birds


This 17 October 2017 Dutch video is about the fungi in Haagse Bos forest in The Hague.

Vermilion waxcaps, 14 October 2017

On 14 October 2017, to Oud Poelgeest woodland. Quite some fungi, like these vermilion waxcaps.

Over the meadow east of Oud Poelgeest, an Egyptian goose flying.

On the banks of the water around Oud Poelgeest, sleeping mallards.

A bit further four mute swans, including a juvenile.

Sulphur tuft fungi on a tree stump.

In the water, many mallards and also four gadwall ducks.

A moorhen swims.

Vermilion waxcaps, on 14 October 2017

We find vermilion waxcaps.

Amethyst deceiver fungus, 14 October 2017

The most common fungi here now are amethyst deceiver mushrooms.

Amethyst deceiver fungus, on 14 October 2017

Jays flying.

Many mute swans, including young ones, in the castle pond.

Ring-necked parakeet sound. Robin sound.

As we cross the bridge out of Oud Poelgeest, a great crested grebe swimming.

We go to the Heempark.

Blue tits in a leafless treetop.

Heempark, 14 October 2017

The sun shining through the leaves.

Heempark leaves, 14 October 2017

Many leaves had autumn colours already.

Berries, 14 October 2017

There were berries.

At the pond, a grey heron hunting. Some of what it catches is so small they are probably water insects, not fish.

Two coots. A moorhen swimming.

Trees, 14 October 2017

Some trees had unusual shapes.