‘Scorpions’ on Dutch Rottum island

This 28 November video, made with a macro lens, shows tiny ‘scorpions’ on a slipper on the beach of Rottum desert island in the Netherlands.

These small animals are Dactylochelifer latreillii. They are not real scorpions, but pseudoscorpions.

Erwin Goutbeek made this video.

Rottum island wildlife report

This video says about itself:

Two different Richard’s Pipits (Anthus richardi), probably a pair, plus breeding habitat (foreground) near Zerleg, Khovsgol Aimag, Mongolia, July 2009.

The wardens of desert island Rottum in the Netherlands report about the past months.

Translated from the report:

Ahead of the official reporting (and provisionally!) we can report that we recorded 140 species of birds during our stay. Probably no new species for Rottumeroog, but some (personal) highlights, such as Richard’s pipit, crane, crossbill, common rosefinch, Caspian tern, sea eagle, goosander and white-bellied brent goose. At least 30 species of birds nested, including no fewer than nine species on the red list!


The same prolonged cold also resulted in insect life beginning late. Only during the last two weeks of our stay we recorded significant numbers of butterflies. We found three species on the red list. On August 1, we found a new species for Rottumeroog: the silver-washed fritillary (red list status; extinct in the Netherlands). The Niobe fritillary, a few individuals, was seen for the first time since 2000 and the grayling seemed, despite a shaky start, to still fly around on Rottumeroog in considerable numbers in late July.


The development of vegetation was slow this spring. We recorded at least one new species: bugleweed.

The report also mentions that gray lag geese laid the first bird eggs of the island this year, already before 8 April. 2013 was a successful year for Rottum gray lag geese nests.

Spoonbills had a reasonable succesful nesting season as well. On Schiermonnikoog island, scores of spoonbills died this summer from still mysterious causes. On the Rottum archipelago, that problem was not so big. Only one (adult) dead spoonbill was found, on Zuiderduin islet. It will be investigated about what caused its death.

Rottum and the 5 December 2013 storm: here.

Rottum warden’s house removed after storm: here. Plans for new warden’s house: here.

Rottumeroog island birds and flowers

This video is about avocets and common terns, nesting next to each other on Rottum (or: Rottumeroog) island in the Netherlands.

The wardens of desert island Rottumeroog reported recently about how island wildlife reacted to the unusually cold spring this year.

There are about 150 great cormorant nests. Probably, for the first time ever, there are over 100 spoonbill nests this year.

Much about the birds’ nesting season is still unclear, as the wardens don’t want to disturb nesting birds. So, this year, when almost everything happens later than normally because of the spring cold weather, bird nesting surveys were postponed.

This also meant less butterfly research than usually at this time. Only one grayling butterfly was seen. Also few small white butterflies, usually abundant on the island.

Late butterflies may be linked to late flowers this year. The first dune pansy flower, was on 1 May; on 2011 on 12 April. The shore bindweed started flowering on 28 June; 20 May in 2011. The first flixweed flowers were on 30 June; vs. 1 June in 2011.

Update 2014: new hide on Rottumeroog. See also 2016 update, here. And here.

April 2018 update: here.

Red-backed shrike on Dutch desert island

This is a red-backed shrike video.

The wardens of Dutch desert island Rottum report on their blog that last Monday, among many birds on spring migration, a male red-backed shrike arrived on the island.

They had never seen that species on Rottum before.

Engelsmanplaat desert island: here.

Engelsmanplaat terns: here.

Bats discovery on Dutch desert island

This video is called Jeroen van der Kooij and Kathrin Bogelsack – Artificial roosts for Vespertilio murinus (Particoloured bat).

Bert Corté, warden on the Dutch desert island Rottum, writes (translated):

In 2011, only the migration of Nathusius’s pipistrelles could be proved. Also in 2012, Nathusius’s pipistrelle was the most recorded species. Remarkably, however, in 2012 the Common pipistrelle, the Particoloured bat and Noctule bat registered on the uninhabited island. Good news: three new species thus Rottumeroog!

Wildlife photos, good for health

This video, recorded in Australia, is called Bird sounds from the lyrebird – David Attenborough – BBC wildlife.

The sources which I quote here mention only photographs, not videos. But maybe this video is good for mental health as well?

Translated from Dutch regional TV RTV Noord:

‘Photo of nature works miracles for health’

Posted: 22:09 pm, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A good mood, better concentration, and less stress – nature can work wonders for our health. But we even we do not have to go outside for that. According to research by future Professor Agnes van den Berg.

According to Van den Berg, just people looking at nature through a window or seeing an image already has a positive effect on health. …

Van den Berg this Tuesday will have her inaugural lecture at the University of Groningen.

From the University of Groningen site:

Agnes van den Berg professor of Experiencing and Valuing Nature and Landscape

Date: January 11, 2012

On 1 January 2012, Dr A.E. van den Berg became professor by special appointment in Experiencing and Valuing Nature and Landscape at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences (FRW) of the University of Groningen. The founding of a chair in Experiencing and Valuing Nature and Landscape comes at a time when there is wide general concern about the violation of nature and landscape values. With Van den Berg as the holder of the chair, the Netherlands has gained an active advocate for more academic research into the consequences of these developments for the health and wellbeing of people.

Agnes van den Berg (Apeldoorn, 1967) studied experimental psychology at the University of Groningen and gained a PhD in 1999 from the same university with research on how nature development areas are experienced. In 1997 she moved to Wageningen to work as an environmental psychologist at the Alterra knowledge institute.

With the publication of the essay ‘Van buiten word je beter’ [Fresh air makes you healthy] in 2001, she moved the importance of nature for the health of the public high up the social and scientific agenda. Since 2003, Van den Berg has been combining her applied research at Alterra with an academic appointment at Wageningen University. Within the NWO project ‘Vitamin G’ (where G stands for green), she is working on the scientific basis of the relationship between green in the living environment and health.

She also plays an active role in the translation of academic knowledge of the experience of nature and health into practical advice and guidelines. She regularly gives presentations and interviews on themes including the importance of nature for the development of children, the contribution paid by gardening to healthy ageing, and designing with how it will be experienced in mind.

Van den Berg’s research and Rottum island: here.

Dutch Rottum islands new animal book

This video, from August 2011, is about hundreds of black-headed gulls, trying to catch winged ants on their bridal flights on Rottumeroog island.

North of the Netherlands are three desert islands: Rottumeroog, Rottumerplaat, and Zuiderduin.

On Tuesday 6 November, a new book will be published on the animals of the Rottum archipelago. Its authors are the wildlife ranger Nico de Vries and Mark Zekhuis. Its name is Fauna van Rottum.

There is much in the book about the birds of the islands. But not only about birds.

Bert Corté, wildlife ranger of Rottum, writes on his blog (translated):

Fauna of Rottum has a systematic overview of all animal species ever recorded on the Rottum archipelago. Eg, jellyfish, molluscs, crustaceans, centipedes. Mammals, dragonflies and butterflies are discussed extensively as well.

Roe deer on Rottum: here.

Rottum Canada geese: here.

Rottumerplaat in March 2013: here.

Rottumerplaat birds in April 2013: here. In June 2013: here.

Mosses and lichens on Dutch island

This video from the Netherlands says about itself:

October 10, 2012 by Giervalk1

A short tour on the uninhabited island Rottumerplaat, one of the two Wadden islands of Groningen province in the north of the Netherlands. The island is off-limits for people, only a handful of researchers and bird counters (which also was the reason of my visit) can enter the island occasionally.

Translated from the blog of the warden of desert island Rottumerplaat in the Netherlands:

Moss survey on Rottumerplaat

Posted on October 11, 2012, by Bert Corté

Every 10 years we do a survey of leafy mosses, liverworts and lichens on the Rottum archipelago (see here, page 27 Section 6.4.2.). In 2000, for the first time ever, we did a complete survey on Rottumerplaat. Then, 32 mosses and 2 liverworts were found. The number of species of mosses in the meantime has been growing steadily. This year 40 species were found, of which 37 were mosses and three liverworts. The number of lichens increased as well, from 35 species in 2007 to 82 in 2012.

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.