Rare snail news from Dutch desert island

Narrow-mouthed whorl snail shells

Dutch biologists Sylvia van Leeuwen and Wim Kuijper report today about snails on the Wadden Sea desert island Rottumerplaat.

The rare Red List species the narrow-mouthed whorl snail had been found on the island for the first time in 2006. They then were in a small area, only 15 square meter.

in late 2015, it was found that narrow-mouthed whorl snails still live on Rottumerplaat: on a much bigger area, of at least 1500 meter by 5-10 meter.

In 2006, 18 snail species were found on the island. In 2015, 20. Apart from the narrow-mouthed whorl snail, this includes four other Red List species: mouse ear snail; dun sentinel; Vertigo antivertigo; and crested vertigo.

Sea eagle on Dutch Rottumerplaat island

This 2013 Dutch video is about a one week stay on a sand bank in the Wadden Sea.

Dutch bird wardens Bart Ebbinge and Doortje Dalmeijer today published a blog post on their stay on Rottumerplaat island in the Wadden Sea.

On 26 March, a juvenile sea eagle visited Rottumerplaat. Then, it flew to Rottumeroog island.

Two marsh harrier couples were already looking for good places to nest, but had not laid eggs yet. There were already at least nine grey lag goose nests with eggs.

Rottumerplaat birds update, April 2016: here.

Rottumerplaat wildlife, May 2016: here. And here. And June-July 2016: here. August 2016: here.

Common eelgrass discovery near Dutch desert island

This video says about itself:

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) underwater in Ireland

Zostera or Eelgrass is a flowering plant found from the shallow subtidal to about 8 m in the NE Atlantic. These are plants at low water at Carreroe (An Cheathrú Rua), Co. Galway, Ireland.

Translated from the blog of warden Bert Corté of the desert islands Rottum archipelago in the Netherlands:

Spontaneous settlement by common eelgrass near Rottumerplaat gives hope

Posted on October 13, 2015 by Bert Corté

Researchers from Rijkswaterstaat, Radboud University, the Field Work Company, Arcadis and the Forestry Commission last Thursday investigated a new field of eelgrass (Zostera marina) south of Rottumerplaat and Rottumeroog. This followed an earlier discovery by our birdwatchers. In a short time approximately 21 hectares of eelgrass have grown around the so-called Boschplaat. After sampling this appears to involve some 5,000 plants which have returned here spontaneously. Further genetic research must clarify what the origin of these plants is.

Our birdwatchers Bart Ebbinge and Doortje Dallmeijer this summer on Rottumerplaat saw in late July just south of the gully below the island a small field of dwarf eelgrass (Zostera noltii) which had developed quite a lot compared to 2013. About a kilometer further south, in the lee of mussel beds, they found more than 100 scattered common eelgrass plants growing. …

Common eelgrass has much broader and longer blades than dwarf eelgrass. Both types of seagrass are very important for the survival of many fish and birds in the Wadden Sea.

Rottumerplaat desert island birds, wardens’ report

This video shows black-headed gulls trying to catch flying ants, on 12 July 2014 on Rottumerplaat desert island in the Netherlands.

Wardens Bart Ebbinge and Doortje Dallmeijer of Rottumerplaat have published yesterday their final report of this nesting season about the island’s birds.

This year, at least 17, probably more, young barn swallows have fledged.

On 2 August, hundreds of black-headed gulls and scores of common gulls feasted on the flying ants which left their nests then.

Eight young marsh harriers fledged this summer on Rottumerplaat. Their parents had fed them mainly young rabbits, young herring gulls and young lesser black-backed gulls, and some meadow pipits and starlings.

There were 59 spoonbill nests in 2015. By reading rings, the wardens found out scores of spoonbills had migrated from Schiermonnikoog to the Rottumerplaat colony; and also some birds originally from Germany and Terschelling.

Over nine hundred eider ducks nested this year on the desert island, with about 80% of the nests being succesful.

There were about 1200 herring gull nests and 3050 lesser black-backed gull nests this year.

On the Schild sandbank, east of Rottumerplaat, 400 adult and 300 young common seals were counted. This year, one dead young seal and two dead adult seals were found: comparatively, not many. Once, there was a dead harbour porpoise.

Just before the wardens left the island, they saw a kingfisher. Only the third time ever for this species on Rottumerplaat.

Bird news from Rottumerplaat desert island

This video from Britain is called Taking a look at terns 1: Common vs Arctic Tern.

Warden Bart Ebbinge reported on 8 July 2015 from Rottumerplaat desert island in the Netherlands.

On 30 June, all three young peregrine falcons had fledged.

Already on 24 June, all young pied wagtails had fledged.

There are at least 11 little tern nests on the island. Also common tern and Arctic tern nests; and ringed plover and oystercatcher nests.

Update 31 July 2015: here.

Rottumerplaat desert island bird news

This video is about a cuckoo calling in Turkey.

The wardens of Rottumerplaat in the Netherlands report that thee are three buzzard nests on this desert island. They feed on rabbits.

There are also nine carrion crow nests.

The cuckoo is also present, feeding on hairy caterpillars.

The barnacle geese have left the island by now for their spring migration to the Arctic. So have many brent geese.

Update 6 June 2015: here.

Update 20 June 2015: here.

Bird news from Rottumerplaat desert island

This is a spotted flycatcher video.

Wardens Bart and Doortje report today from Rottumerplaat desert island in the Netherlands.

They write about 5 May 2015:

The southern wind brings us new visitors; birds which this spring we have not seen before like a female reed bunting, a cuckoo and a spotted flycatcher, sitting jauntily on the clothesline on the north side of the house, and quickly flying its rounds to catch insects.

Already scores of spoonbill couples have started nesting on the island.

The wardens found a shoveler nest with 11 eggs. The first proof that this duck species nests on Rottumerplaat.

Also, a peregrine falcon nest with four eggs was found.

Birds of Rottumerplaat desert island

This video says about itself:

Wadden Sea on UNESCO World Heritage list

28 June 2009

Wadden Sea National Park is an excellent example of a coastal wetland between Den Helder in the Netherlands and Esbjerg in Denmark. It is the largest unbroken stretch of intertidal mudflats in the world, and the perfect example of a coastal wetland with high biological, hydrological and ecological importance, shared between three countries: Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark.

The area is of international importance being a nursery of marine life, a resting, moulting and feeding area for several millions of migratory birds, and a habitat for thousands of birds, seals and many other species.

The Wadden Sea, an estuary of the North Sea, has a total area of about 8000 square km. It is the world’s biggest coherent habitat of its kind and one of the last unspoiled estuaries in Europe. There are many varied and extensive habitats in the Wadden Sea. This important estuary includes the salt marshes along the coast line as well as the islands and dunes.

The mud flats consist of the areas which get flooded twice a day and then fall dry again, and of the channel system of tideways, channels and shipping channels between the islands, which are responsible for the flooding and for the draining.
The mud flats are known for their very low inclination which is usually less than 1 meter of difference in altitude on a 1000 meter long stretch.

About fifty islands and islets protect the shallow Wadden Sea.

Warden Bart Ebbinge reports today on the birdlife of Rottumerplaat desert island in the Dutch Wadden Sea this spring.

On 15 April, the first barn swallows, a couple, inspected the roof of the wardens’ house, where barn swallows had also nested last year.

Dunlin are the most numerous waders, thousands of them. There are also many curlews, oystercatchers and black-bellied plovers. On the rocks on the east side of the island there are hundreds of turnstones.

On 6 April, the first daffodil flower of the year.

Already in March, grey lag geese had started nesting.

On 13 April, the wardens found a common eider nest with four eggs. However, most eider females will start nesting later.

Birds of Rottumerplaat desert island

This video is about common eider (Somateria mollissima) ducks.

Wardens Tim van Nus, Jasper Zoeter and Martijn Bunskoek report about birds this year on Rottumerplaat desert island in the Netherlands.

This year, 31 bird species nested certainly on Rottumerplaat; two probably and six possibly.

Herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls were most numerous, with over 260 nesting couples together.

Hundreds of eider ducks nested.

At least 149 oystercatcher couples nested, most not successfully.

There were three Arctic tern nests, with only one chick fledging.

There were six carrion crow nests.

Meadow pipit: 31 couples. Common linnet: one couple. Skylark: 42 couples. Barn swallow: 3 couples.

Redshank: 11 nests.

Translated from the report, about bird migration:

Black storks (4), Common rosefinches (5), Cranes (2), Mediterranean gull (5), Cuckoo (several), Turtle dove (at least four), Honey buzzard (3), Osprey (8), Garganey (up to 6), Horned lark (maximum 48) and a single Dotterel, Red-breasted flycatcher, White-tailed eagle, Gull-billed tern, Pallid harrier, Arctic skua, Curlew sandpiper, Hobby, Red kite, Black kite, Snow bunting, just to name a few. We recorded two species new for Rottumerplaat: a very rare Red-headed bunting was at the house on 14 June. … On July 5 in a passing group of Black terns, we observed a White-winged tern. In total, we recorded 160 species.