Long-tailed skua passes Texel island

This is a long-tailed skua video from Sweden.

This morning, a long-tailed skua was reported flying west of Texel island in the Netherlands.

Bird breeding news from Texel island

This video says about itself:

22 March 2013

The Dutch wadden island Texel is a paradise for birds. Photographer Sijmen Hendriks visited it several times from 2007 on . This slideshow video shows the result of these visits. Grey Plover, Avocet, Spoonbill, Stonechat, Brent Geese, Whitethroat, Hen Harrier, Sandwich Tern, Linnet, Yellow Wagtail and many more birds are featured in this video. Texel is the westernmost island in the Wadden Sea and is known for its rich bird life.

Warden Erik van der Spek from Texel island in the Netherlands writes today (translated):

In the Muy lake spoonbills, great cormorants and grey herons have nested in colonies. In 2015 as many as 106 spoonbill couples have bred. This number has never been so high. In 2014 there were 85 nests. The numbers of cormorants have declined: there were an estimated 848 nests in 2015 (census April 20). In 2014 there were still 882 nests. The cormorants may have relocated to De Geul; the colony there has increased explosively, with 661 couples in 2014 and 1040 in 2015.

De Geul

In the Geul there were counted at least 420 spoonbill couples. Since 2011, the number of breeding pairs here has remained about the same. …

Of the approximately 65 little tern couples on the Hors about half the young fledged. Of the others, the nests have been washed away. The four pairs of hen harriers together produced eight young birds; one nest failed. This is comparable to the situation in 2014.

Harbour porpoises off Texel island, new study

This video is called Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena).

From the Journal of Sea Research, 17 July 2015:

Going with the flow: Tidal influence on the occurrence of the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) in the Marsdiep area, The Netherlands


• Porpoise presence in the Marsdiep is studied as a function of tide related covariates.

• Sighting rate is best described by salinity with highest rate at high salinity level.

• This indicates that porpoises enter the area in bodies of saline North Sea water.

• Other studies have shown a higher fish abundance during high tide.

• Therefore, tidal influx of porpoises is most likely related to prey availability.


One of the most important factors explaining the distribution and behaviour of coastal marine mammals are tides. Tidal forces drive a large number of primary and secondary processes, such as changes in water depth, salinity, temperature, current velocity and direction. Unravelling which tidal process is the most influential for a certain species is often challenging, due to a lack of observations of all tide related covariates, strong correlation between them, and the elusive nature of most marine organisms which often hampers their detection.

In the Marsdiep area, a tidal inlet between the North Sea and the Dutch Wadden Sea, the presence of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) was studied as a function of tide related covariates. Observations were carried out in early spring from a ferry crossing the inlet on a half hourly basis. Environmental and sightings data were collected by one observer, while an on-board Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) and temperature sensor continuously recorded current velocity profiles and temperature, respectively. Sea surface temperature and salinity were measured at a nearby jetty. Sightings (n = 134) were linked to tidal elevation, geographical position, local depth-averaged current velocity, water temperature (with and without trend correction) and salinity.

Variation in sighting rate was best described by salinity, with highest sighting rate at high levels of salinity (> 30 g kg− 1), indicating that porpoises enter the area in bodies of (more saline) North Sea water. Second best variable was time of day, with the highest sighting rate early morning, and decreasing during the day. However, surveys in the morning happened to coincide more often with high water and hence, the apparent time of day effect could be due to collinearity. Most porpoises were present in the northern part of the Marsdiep, particularly during high tide.

Tide dependent sighting rates confirmed that porpoises reside in the North Sea, and enter the western Wadden Sea during the flood and leave during ebb. This tidal influx is most likely related to prey availability, which corresponds to other recent studies in this area showing higher fish abundance during high tide. Documenting information on tide related patterns could be used in practice, when e.g. planning anthropogenic activities or assessing critical habitats for this species.

Texel island bats research

This is a serotine bat video.

On 9 August 2015, Ecomare museum on Texel in the Netherlands reported on bat research on the island.

Only one species, as far as they know, has colonies on Texel: the serotine bat. Serotine bats have been seen on all Dutch Wadden Sea islands; but only on Texel breeding colonies are known.

107 bats were counted during the 2015 Texel count; less than in other years.

Crab survives surf, video

This video shows a crab on the beach of Texel island in the Netherlands.

The surf turns the animal upside down. Fortunately, the crab knows how to get back on its feet.

Marion van Geffen made this video.

Good nightjar news from Texel island

This video from France shows an European nightjar.

Translated from the Birds Information Center on Texel island in the Netherlands today (with video there):

At least one couple, but it is expected two or three couples of nightjars bred this year on Texel. One couple was at a spot not far from a path and regularly got into danger because dog walkers did not keep their dogs on leashes. Despite that dogs must be leashed during the breeding season, not everyone acts according to that rule. Fortunately, for this couple things ended well, both the young ones fledged.

Sandwich terns of Texel island have fledged

This Dutch video is about ringing young Sandwich terns in Utopia nature reserve on Texel island.

Ecomare museum on Texel island reported on 20 July 2015 that the first young Sandwich terns in the Utopia nesting colony had fledged.

Some have flown to the Wagejot nesting colony not far away. In the Slufter nature reserve near the North Sea, some twenty young terns ringed in Utopia have been seen. There, they meet young Sandwich terns from elsewhere, like Griend island and Goeree.

Sandwich terns of the Slufter, Texel: here.