Texel island’s barn owls, what do they eat?

This video from England is called Barn Owls Hunting.

This month, there was research at Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands about pellets of local barn owls.

In 2013 and 2014, owls of De Grie had eaten, according to the pellets: 63 greater white-toothed shrews, three field voles, five root voles, one bank vole, one wood mouse and last but not least one water shrew. Water shrews used to be the only shrew species on Texel (the only Dutch Wadden Sea island where this species lives), but are unfortunately getting rarer now.

There was also research about owls nesting near the Mokweg. The results there were: 176 greater white-toothed shrews, 61 root voles, 3 wood mice, 10 field voles, 1 brown rat and 2 water shrews.

From the USA: Though widespread, the striped owl is not well understood but it is a distinctive and beautiful owl. As more studies focus on this bird, additional details about its behavior and needs can be discovered, mysteries resolved and steps taken to ensure it is always abundant for birders to see: here.

Owls are beautiful and mysterious raptors that are favorites for birders and non-birders alike. Unfortunately, they also face many threats and almost one-quarter of the world’s owl species are considered officially endangered, threatened or vulnerable to severe population declines. On the plus side, there are many easy things birders can do to help owls and encourage their conservation: here.

Owls are amazing but often misunderstood birds, and there are many irrational superstitions about them. Learning these legends and myths can help birders better understand owls and appreciate their diversity and impact on society: here.

Rare flowers saved on Texel island

Slender St John's wort

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

Slender St John’s wort saved – 26-10-15

Close to Ecomare grows one of the rarest plants of Texel: slender St John’s wort. The delicate little plant with dark yellow-orange flowers threatened to suffocate under large bushes of Japanese rose. The Forestry Commission has now put a stop to that.

Slender St John’s wort occurs nowhere else in North and South Holland. One can find it almost exclusively in the eastern Netherlands on sandy soil. Everywhere in the Netherlands it is rare, and it is on the list of endangered species. On Texel there are two localities; in the dunes of the Bollekamer and near Ecomare.

Rare black-throated thrush on Texel island

This 2013 video is about a black-throated thrush in Norway.

Today, Dutch birder Ruud van Beusekom saw a young female black-throated thrush.

This Asian species is rare in western Europe.

The bird is near Loodsmansduin camping ground near Den Hoorn village on Texel island.

Big yellow-browed warbler migration on Texel island

This video says about itself:

Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)

Also known as Inornate Warbler. Filmed at Doi Ang Khang, Thailand, on 4th March 2013.

For information about the status and distribution of this species see the BirdLife International fact-sheet.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Last week at least a hundred were seen on Texel, in the dunes, in Oosterend, in Den Hoorn and Den Burg: yellow-browed warbler! This small songbird is spotted every year on the island during the fall migration, but never as many as this year, says Adriaan Dijksen of the Vogelwerkgroep Texel.

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. And here.