New grasshopper species discovery on Texel island

This is a video from Switzerland about the Phaneroptera falcata grasshopper.

Warden Jitske Esselaar reports from Texel island in the Netherlands about the discovery of a grasshopper species, new for Texel.

In the sand dunes near the North Sea, a Phaneroptera falcata grasshopper was seen.

This is a species of the southern part of the Netherlands. However, it is expanding to the north.

Common smoothhound shark on Texel island beach

This video from Jersey says about itself:

Common smooth hound (Mustelus mustelus)

19 July 2015

Chantelle Marie De Gruchy very kindly sent in this video of a Smooth Hound that she saw whilst diving St. Catherine’s breakwater.

The smooth hound is a species of shark found throughout the British Isles which can reach 4 foot in size! They typically eat small crustaceans and molluscs but occasionally take small fish.

Chantelle is currently studying for her master’s degree in Marine Environmental Management at the University of York.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands today:

Shark on the beach – 22-09-2015

A special find on the beach of De Cocksdorp on Texel. There was a common smoothhound on the sand. The female had been dead for a while when she washed up. The eyes were out and there was a really fishy smell. Yet Ecomare has kept the animal; it is not every day that a shark washes up on a Dutch beach. In recent years, there seem to be again more sharks in the Wadden Sea.


The last thirty years the number of common smoothhound sharks along the Dutch coast has increased. Other shark species at the same time have gone down. This shark species can get quite large, up to 1.65 meters. The shark near De Cocksdorp was 80 centimeters. Smoothhound sharks have flat molars and are harmless to people. They live close to the coast. Usually they swim close to the sea floor where they look for crabs, shellfish and fish. They occur in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and thus the North Sea and Wadden Sea. Along the Dutch coast they are rare.

Sharks in the Netherlands

In the North Sea you can find several species of sharks. The small-spotted catshark is the most common. Besides common smoothhound sharks also school sharks live there. Spiny dogfish is seen in some years as well. You can even encounter basking sharks, nursehounds, porbeagle sharks and Atlantic thresher sharks in the North Sea, but these are super rare.

Young harbour seals set free after rehabilitation

This 17 September 2015 Dutch video is about two young harbour seals, Remko and Jip.

Three months ago, they were found as orphans on the beach of Texel island.

After being cared for at Ecomare museum, the seals became strong enough to be set free to swim in the sea; as the video shows.

See also here.

New moss species discovery on Texel island

Dicranella varia, photo from Austria

Warden Jitske Esselaar reports from Texel island in the Netherlands about moss research.

Ceres is a small meadow nature reserve close to the Wadden Sea.

During research in Ceres, 31 moss species were found. They included common species, like green silk moss. And rare species, like crisped fork-moss.

One Ceres species was new for Texel: Dicranella varia.

Rare Fenn’s wainscot moth on Texel island

Fenn's wainscot

Translated from the Dutch Vlinderstichting entomologists:

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Near the Schorren nature reserve on Texel Fenn’s wainscot moths have been found. It is in this century only the fourth time that this species has been seen in the Netherlands. That this is not an occasional vagrant was evidenced by the fact that during one evening four individuals were seen. Unique, because in the 1950s of the last century for the last time a viable population of Fenn’s wainscot moths had been found in Friesland in Eernewoude.

Helping wheatears, butterflies on Texel island

This is a northern wheatear video.

Translated from a 10 September 2015 blog post by warden Jitske Esselaar on Texel island in the Netherlands:

At work for the northern wheatear in the Eierland Dunes

Today, 30 employees of BirdLife in the Netherlands have turfed about 15 slopes in the Eierland Dunes in the northern part of Texel. These are small patches of about 5 x 5 meters, where the vegetation has been removed.

The purpose of this turfing is to bring back bare sand and the removal of high grasses. On the barren sand different plants can germinate again, for example dune pansy and heath dog-violet. This kind of vegetation is important for wheatears looking for food here. The Eierland dunes are an important breeding ground for wheatears. In 2015, no fewer than 30 breeding pairs were counted, this is a great number for this species which has declined sharply!

For three rare Texel butterfly species bare sand patches are important as well. The dark green fritillary, Queen of Spain fritillary and Niobe fritillary lay their eggs on violets.

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.