White-tailed eagles and lapwings

Sunday 30 September 2012.

As my earlier blog post said, our ship passed through the lock in Lauwersoog from the Wadden Sea to the Lauwersmeer.

Lauwersmeer national park sign, 30 September 2012

Like on 28 September, we were in Lauwersmeer national park again.

A great cormorant.

Five gadwall ducks flying.

Then, a highlight of our journey to Schiermonnikoog and Rottum islands and back: first, we see one white-tailed eagle.

Two white-tailed eagles, Lauwersmeer 30 September 2012, adult bird on the left

Then we see two white-tailed eagles.

Two white-tailed eagles, Lauwersmeer 30 September 2012

Two white-tailed eagles again, Lauwersmeer 30 September 2012

Finally, three eagles: the adult couple nesting here are flying around with their daughter, fledged this year.

Lapwings, Lauwersmeer 30 September 2012

As the ship comes closer to Zoutkamp harbour, scores, then hundreds, of lapwings flying.

More lapwings, Lauwersmeer 30 September 2012

Mute swans, Lauwersmeer, 30 September 2012

A bit later, mute swans.

And a great egret.

Zoutkamp harbour, 30 September 2012

The ship lands in Zoutkamp. We disembark, with many good memories.

From Rottum to Lauwersoog

This is a video about birds in Lauwersoog harbour in 2007. It shows common terns, black terns, black-headed gulls, herring gulls and a few turnstones.

Sunday 30 September 2012.

After our beautiful visit yesterday to uninhabited island Rottum, today we will sail from Rottum to Lauwersoog; and then on to Zoutkamp.

While our ship is still on the sandbank, we hear curlews calling.

Ten oystercatchers pass, flying, also calling.

Twenty brent geese fly close above the sea.

A bit higher flies a meadow pipit, calling.

We are on our way. A swimming harbour seal passes, its head above the water.

Lauwersoog harbour turnstones, 30 September 2012

We arrive in Lauwersoog harbour. Many turnstones on a dock, like when we were here two days ago.

Lauwersoog turnstones, 30 September 2012

On the same jetty, a bit further, black-headed gulls.

Herring gull, Lauwersoog, 30 September 2012

On the next dock, herring gulls.

Greater black-backed gull, Lauwersoog, 30 September 2012

And a few greater black-backed gulls.

Quite some ships are waiting to pass through the lock, from the sea to the fresh water of Lauwersmeer lake. We are lucky, we don’t have to wait very long.

Rottum island birds and flowers

This is a video about common terns on Rottum island in the Netherlands. This species nested there for the first time in 2011. The video also shows an avocet passing.

Saturday, 29 September 2012.

After sailing from Schiermonnikoog, our ship allowed itself during low tide to run aground on a sandbank near the desert island Rottum, as the video shows.

Rottum, seen from the Wadden Sea, 29 September 2012

Now, I have to walk barefoot on the sand and through the now shallow sea for about half an hour to Rottum.

I pass sanderlings and dunlins.

We reach the dunes of Rottum. Normally, it is illegal to go there. However, as the birds’ nesting season is over now, today is an exception.

Rottum, sanderling and young herring gull, 29 September 2012

Sanderlings on the beach.

Rottum, sanderling, 29 September 2012

Two sanderlings, Rottum, 29 September 2012

Eider duck female, Rottum, 29 September 2012

Among the breaking waves swims a female eider duck.

Bar-tailed godwit, Rottum, 29 September 2012

On the beach, a bar-tailed godwit looks for food.

Bar-tailed godwit, feeding, Rottum, 29 September 2012

Bar-tailed godwit, feeding, and ringed plover, Rottum, 29 September 2012

Bar-tailed godwit walking, Rottum, 29 September 2012

Bar-tailed godwit, Rottum, 29 September 2012

On the outer edge of the outermost dune, European searocket flowers.

The warden tells that the rare grayling butterfly lives on the island. It is too late in the year to see it now.

In the summer, there are two wardens on the island, studying birds and other wildlife and keeping out trespassers. In winter, about two times a month, birds are counted on Rottum and Zuiderduin islet not far away.

On the beach, a Zirfaea crispata shell.

On the sea-side of a dune, sea lyme grass. It grows here spontaneously, contrary to European beachgrass, often planted by humans to make dunes stronger against flooding.

On the inner side of a seaside dune, bittersweet flowers.

In the marshy area behind the dunes, grey lag geese. There has been a marine wash-over on the island this year. Bringing salt water, which is good for some species and bad for others.

Three pintail ducks.

Just before we reach the warden’s house again, a meadow pipit flying and calling.

Ringed plover, Rottum, 29 September 2012

Meanwhile, on the beach, a ringed plover.

As we walk back to the ship, many dunlins.

Ship on sandbank near Rottum, 29 September 2012

Brent geese fly past.

Rottum plants: here.

Schiermonnikoog, marine peregrine falcon, Rottum

This is a video of a red-breasted goose, a rare species in western Europe, among a flock of barnacle geese, on Schiermonnikoog island in the Netherlands.

Saturday 29 September 2012.

After yesterday in Schiermonnikoog, the ship spent the night in the harbour.

In the morning, we sail to the east, the direction of our next island destination, Rottum. Not in a straight line, in order to avoid the many sandbanks.

Brent geese flying low above the sea.

Rainbow between Schiermonnikoog and Rottum, 29 September 2012

Sometimes it rains; sometimes, there is a rainbow.

On one of the beacons, marking where it is safe to sail, a peregrine falcon sits. Alone.

On the next beacon, a greater black-backed gull on top, and five great cormorants a bit lower.

About a hundred wigeons flying quite high.

Two female eider ducks fly close to the water surface.

A shelduck flies much higher.

As we approach Rottum from the south, hundreds of eider ducks flying.

A harbour seal shows its head above the waves.

An Arctic skua. It flies sometimes high, sometimes low; a bit like shearwaters.

It is low tide. We allow our ship to run aground. As the sandbanks get bigger and bigger, two bar-tailed godwits come to feed.

We will have to walk on the sand and through now shallow water to reach the desert island Rottum.

Golden plovers and shelducks

This video is about northern lapwings and golden plovers in Biesbosch national park in the Netherlands.

Friday 28 September 2012.

This is the sequel to the blog post with the earlier Schiermonnikoog wildlife photos made that day.

We returned to the harbour after walking in the western part of the island.

Golden plovers and ship, 28 September 2012

Here, golden plovers on a mudflat near the harbour. Our ship is in the background.

Flocks of starlings flying around.

Shelducks and harbour, 28 September 2012

These are shelducks, on the same mudflat.

Golden plover and shelduck, 28 September 2012

A shelduck and a golden plover.

Golden plover with black on its belly, 28 September 2012

This golden plover still has a bit of the black of its summer plumage on its belly.

Golden plover and shelducks, 28 September 2012

One golden plover among shelducks.

Shelducks coming closer, 28 September 2012

Shelducks coming closer to the camera.

More shelducks, 28 September 2012

More shelducks.

Shelducks flying, 28 September 2012

Finally, shelducks flying away.

Flocks of lapwings.

Near the dike leading to our ship, a northern wheatear.

After this, our journey continued; sailing from Schiermonnikoog to Rottum.

Stay tuned for more, about Rottum!

American golden plover photos: here.

Schiermonnikoog birds and fungi photos

This video is about Schiermonnikoog island in the Netherlands.

This blog post is about birds and fungi on Schiermonnikoog on Friday 28 September.

Schiermonnikoog, glasswort, gulls, shelducks, 28 September 2012

And now the first Schiermonnikoog, 28 September photo. It shows, behind the harbour water, a reddish glasswort field, with white spots: gulls and shelducks.

After our arrival at the harbour south of the only village on the island, we first walked on a dike through mudflats.

Schiermonnikoog, bar-tailed godwits and redshank, 28 September 2012

As we walked on the harbour dike, two bar-tailed godwits and a redshank on a mudflat.

Turnstones, 28 September 2012

Not far away, two turnstones in winter plumage, showing where their name originated 🙂

Herring gull, 28 September 2012

A herring gull was present as well.

A bit further, many shelducks. And a ringed plover.

Further away from the coastline, a dragonfly flying around: a migrant hawker.

Migrant hawker eaten by great green bush-cricket, on Terschelling: here.

A blue tit on a treetop.

We continue to the hide near the Westerplas lake.

Gadwall duck male, Schiermonnikoog, 28 September 2012

There, this male gadwall duck swam …

Female shoveler duck, 28 September

… like this female shoveler duck

Male shoveler, 28 September 2012

… and this male shoveler (still in not-so-colourful late summer-autumn plumage. This species was very numerous at the Westerplas) …

Pintail ducks, 28 September 2012

… and this group of pintail ducks, male and female.

Teal. Also wigeons, but not as many as here four years ago. Probably, most migratory wigeons are still to come.

One swimming bird is the only specimen here of its species, but it is special: a young red-throated diver.

Not swimming, but standing: this parasol mushroom.

It grew a bit further, in the dunes, among other big parasol mushrooms. The mushrooms have big hats, which mean that they sometimes hinder fellow parasol mushrooms’ growth, as one can see on the photos here. These photos are from Vlieland island. So, parasol mushrooms seem to be doing well on all Wadden Sea islands this September.

Parasol mushrooms on Texel: here.

Still further: lapwings and golden plovers.

There are more Schiermonnikoog bird photos, from when we were almost back at the ship, at this blog post, Golden plovers and shelducks.

The blog post Schiermonnikoog, marine peregrine falcon, Rottum is about what happened after leaving Schiermonnikoog on 29 September.

Birds of the Wadden Sea

Friday 28 September 2012.

As I described earlier, our ship passed through the lock joining the Lauwersmeer lake to the Wadden Sea.Passing through the lock at Lauwersoog, 28 September 2012

On a jetty in Lauwersoog harbour just outside the lock, scores of noisy turnstones. Black-headed and herring gulls as well.

When we have sailed about half-way to Schiermonnikoog island, two male eider ducks fly past.

When we are just a few hundred meter away from the island, another four eider ducks flying. Six brent geese fly over the harbour.

On the harbour jetty, again turnstones. And redshanks.

A flock of curlews lands on a mudflat.

South west coast of Schiermonnikoog, 28 September 2012

We see the south-west coast of Schiermonnikoog island, looking red from the autumn colour of many glasswort plants.

Trends of Migratory and Wintering Waterbirds in the Wadden Sea 1987/1988-2010/2011: here.
Wadden Sea region nesting birds: here.

Birds of Lauwersmeer national park

This 2015 video is about Lauwersmeer national park.

Friday, 28 September 2012.

Yesterday evening we went aboard the ship, originally built for fishing.

In Zoutkamp harbour early in the morning, coots and a great crested grebe swim. Herring gulls fly.

Sailing near Zoutkamp, 28 September 2012

The ship passes five flying lapwings. Six flying barnacle geese.

This is a video about birds in the Lauwersmeer national park in the Netherlands.

A female marsh harrier. The weather is a bit foggy this morning in Lauwersmeer national park. Not really good conditions for seeing ospreys and white-tailed eagles, which we won’t see this morning. We do see other birds.

A grey heron.

Lots of grey lag geese on the banks.

A bit further a great cormorant.

Two tufted ducks in the water. A great egret on the bank.

A lesser black-backed gull.

An Egyptian goose flies past.

Mute swans swimming. A juvenile great black-backed gull swimming.

Barn swallows flying. If all goes well, their autumn migration will bring them to Africa.

Twenty spoonbills standing in the water. Most of them will migrate to Africa as well.

Meadow pipits flying across the water, calling. Some will winter here; some in south-west Europe; some in Morocco or even further south.

A buzzard on a tree.

The Lauwersmeer used to be a part of the Wadden Sea. In 1969, a dike was built. Our ship passes through a lock in the dike to the Wadden Sea.

Barnacle geese and jackdaws

Thursday 27 September 2012.

We are near Zoutkamp harbour in the Netherlands.

This is a barnacle geese video.

Overhead, a hundred barnacle geese flying and calling.

Also, scores of jackdaws, calling and flying to their sleeping trees.

Tomorrow, our ship will sail to Schiermonnikoog and Rottum islands. What birds will we see then?

People on the ship say that today, they saw two sea eagles and an osprey.

Stay tuned for more about that on this blog.

Barnacle geese in the Netherlands: here.

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