Blue tits and other Drenthe birds, 1 May 2015


This is a video about Dwingelderveld national park in the Netherlands.

On 1 May 2015, before arriving at Hoogeveen railway station, a great cormorant flying and two roe deer on a meadow.

At the station, great tit, willow warbler, chiffchaff and chaffinch sounds.

Then, we arrived in Anholt hamlet near Ruinen village in Drenthe province. Not far from Dwingelderveld national park, and from the Ruiner bossen woodland.

Blue tit, Anholt, 1 May 2015

In Lanka park in Anholt, blue tits. They have a nest in a hole in the shed, and fly towards it constantly.

Here, a chiffchaff sings as well.

A chaffinch arrives, to drink from a puddle. So does a female blackbird, while a male blackbird sings.

A buzzard flying high in the sky.

A few hundred meter away, along the road, a blackcap sings.

A jay. A great tit.

A song thrush sings.

A robin sings from a small tree.

Blue tit, song thrush and then a dunnock come drinking at the puddle.

After drinking, the female blackbird collects nesting material.

Blue tit, in Anholt, 1 May 2015

Meanwhile, again and again the blue tits.

Near the restaurant, a greenfinch couple.

Stay tuned, as there will be more blog posts about birds from Drenthe!

Squid eggs found on Texel island beach


European common squid eggs. Photo: Foto Fitis, Sytske Dijksen

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

In May, not only birds lay eggs. The squid in the North Sea are starting that now as well! Photographer Sytske Dijksen found at the tip of the Texel Hors peninsula a string of European common squid eggs. Cephalopods lay their eggs in spring in strands on the seabed fastening them onto something solid. Yet they will sometimes come loose and wash up on the beach. At this time of the year you have the best chance to find squid eggs on the beach.

Transparent

Sytske last year also found once strands of European common squid eggs. They had already fully developed. Because these egg strings are transparent you could see the squid embryos well. When she put the egg strand into water, the baby squid hatched! The egg strand of this month was not so far yet. One cannot yet recognize squid in it.

Texel in 1940: here.

Amber discovery on Texel island beach


Amber, found on Texel beach by photographer Sytske Dijksen

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

Ecomare on Thursday, April 30th, 2015

It is the dream of every beach walker: to find amber. Photographer Sytske Dijksen recently found dozens of pieces of amber on the southernmost point of the Hors peninsula on Texel. Amber is a precious gemstone. It is fossilized and petrified resin. There are a few other “stones” very similar to amber; both originated from resin. But those are not fossil and petrified. Most of the bits of ‘amber’ found in the Netherlands turn out to be not real. In this case, they are!

Real fossil

Amber is old. The pieces of amber that you find in the Netherlands come from the Baltic region and date back to the Eocene epoch, 35 million years ago. Then there were vast coniferous forests. The pine species delivering amber of the highest quality which people prefer to find, Pinus succinifera, is extinct now. The most spectacular amber finds also include insects, spiders or plant residues.

Kingfishers at No fishing sign, photo


Kingfishers at No Fishing sign

This photo shows two kingfishers at a No fishing sign.

Ceesvg from the Netherlands made this photo.

Marsh tit, nesting nuthatches and slime molds


False puffball, 24 April 2015

On 24 April 2015, to nature reserves between Hilversum and ‘s-Graveland; where we saw this false puffball slime mold. Like the other photo in this blog post, this is a cell phone photo.

It was beautiful spring weather.

We arrived at Boekesteyn nature reserve.

A mallard.

A chaffinch sings. So does a blackcap.

A great tit.

A blackbird on a meadow.

A nuthatch.

A jay sitting on a branch.

A great spotted woodpecker.

A song thrush sings.

A white wagtail sits in a small tree, cleaning its feathers.

An Egyptian goose couple on a meadow.

Flowers as well: ground-ivy; lesser celandine; and cuckooflower.

A white stork standing on its nest on a treetop. Then, it sits down: only its head is still visible.

A goldfinch in a tree, then on the ground.

A brimstone butterfly.

In the woodland, a marsh tit, hanging upside down on a branch.

We pass what in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, before the coming of refrigerators, used to be the ice cellar of Schaep en Burgh estate. There, ice cut from the ponds in winter kept food cold. Now, the building is used by wintering bats. In 2014, eight Daubenton’s bats and three whiskered bats were seen spending the winter there.

Then, a nuthatch on a tree near a canal. It goes to a hole in the tree, and feeds another nuthatch. Very probably, its breeding partner in the nest.

Then, we find an old oak tree. It has been cut down. There are false puffballs on it.

False puffball, on 24 April 2015

False puffballs look like fungi, but belong to the slime molds, a separate group. Especially in spring, they grow on oak and other trees. They attract slime mold flies, Epicypta testata.

As we go back, a great cormorant flies overhead.

Dippers of Finland, bye bye!


This 16 March 2015 video is about a dipper near its nest in northern Finland, trying to make its song audible as the fast-flowing river makes noise.

After 15 March 2015, not yet the very last day in Kuusamo; the morning of 16 March, the last day. When we were back at the dippers’ nest where we had been before.

Dipper at nestbox, 16 March 2015

As we arrived, a dipper sat on the wooden bridge. Every now and then, the birds brought nesting material to their nestbox.

Dipper with nesting material, 16 March 2015

Dipper sings on snow, 16 March 2015

Then, time for singing again.

Dipper looks around, 16 March 2015

Time to look around a bit.

Dipper on bridge, 16 March 2015

And time to go back to the bridge.

Dipper sings, 16 March 2015

Time to sing again.

A great tit called.

Two dippers on the bridge.

A hooded crow flies past.

A dipper cleanses its feathers on a small stone in the stream.

Time for us to say goodbye to these beautiful birds.

This video is about a dipper in the Netherlands.

Our plane went to Helsinki. There, we changed planes.

More bird photos from Finland are here.