Sandwich tern webcam and research on Texel island

This 29 June 2014 video from Texel island in the Netherlands is providing 100 young Sandwich terns at Utopia nature reserve with colour rings for research.

Translated from on Texel in the Netherlands, with webcam link there:

Nature reserve Utopia

Since May 2015 there is a webcam in the Utopia area. The webcam is in the middle of the colony of Sandwich terns.

Through this webcam, you can also enjoy these beautiful birds while you are at home. Through this webcam also the behaviour and especially the food supply of these Sandwich terns is monitored. This is done by researchers of Imares.

Besides the Sandwich terns one can also see the common terns, Arctic terns and avocets.

Enjoy watching!

Latest news from the Sandwich tern colony

May 19, 2015: This morning Imares researchers put 10 small bowls in the colony. These bowls are among the many nests and in this way, the researchers hope to catch the droppings of the Sandwich terns. The dung is then collected weekly and analyzed. This way they can deduce from the dung which food remains there are still in it, so what the terns have eaten. Through visual observations (including via the webcam) it is seen that they bring different types of fish. But the terns also eat while on their way, flying, and that often remains invisible. So we know that they catch from the sea swimming worms and eat them, hopefully this is also confirmed by the investigation of the poo.

Spoonbill, heron nests counted on Texel island

This is a video about a spoonbill (featuring a grey heron).

Warden Erik van der Spek reports today that for the first time this year, spoonbill nests in De Muy nature reserve on Texel island have been counted from the air.

49 spoonbill nests were counted. There will be more, as birds are still arriving from the south. At the end of May, there will be another count.

In De Muy were three grey heron nests as well.

Spoonbill nest count at De Geul nature reserve: here.

De Geul in May 2015: here.

Texel spoonbill update, June 2015: here.

Great black-backed gull nest, first time on Texel island

This video is called Great Black-backed Gulls, long-calling. IJmuiden Harbour, The Netherlands, 15 December 2012.

Translated from Natuurmonumenten conservation organisation in the Netherlands:

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Natuurmonumenten has found a nesting great black-backed gull in nature reserve Drijvers Vogelweid de Bol on Texel. It is the largest gull in the world with a wingspan of about 170 centimeters. It’s officially the first time that there is a nesting great black-backed gull on Texel.

The great black-backed gull is a breeding bird in Scandinavia and a rare breeding bird in the Netherlands. There are no more than about 10 breeding pairs per year, eg in Groningen. In winter it is a common visitor, especially young birds are then seen on Texel. The great black-backed gull is adult only after four years and can breed from that age on.

Ruffs back in Dutch nature reserve after twenty years

This video is about ruff mating season in the Netherlands.

Translated from Natuurmonumenten conservation organisation in the Netherlands:

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

Ruff courtship and mating, a special and rare phenomenon to see. For the first time in 20 years it is again happening in nature reserve Waalenburg on Texel island . Around 55 ruffs were seen by Natuurmonumenten last week in Waalenburg. Courtshiping with their beautiful collars up the males were trying to impress the females.

Previously, there used to be many ruffs in Waalenburg, it was a well-known lek.

After 1985, the ruff disappeared as a breeding bird on the island. Natuurmonumenten hopes that ruffs will actually breed in Waalenburg this spring.

This video is about Waalenburg, showing birds, orchids, etc. in the area.

Squid eggs found on Texel island beach

European common squid eggs. Photo: Foto Fitis, Sytske Dijksen

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

In May, not only birds lay eggs. The squid in the North Sea are starting that now as well! Photographer Sytske Dijksen found at the tip of the Texel Hors peninsula a string of European common squid eggs. Cephalopods lay their eggs in spring in strands on the seabed fastening them onto something solid. Yet they will sometimes come loose and wash up on the beach. At this time of the year you have the best chance to find squid eggs on the beach.


Sytske last year also found once strands of European common squid eggs. They had already fully developed. Because these egg strings are transparent you could see the squid embryos well. When she put the egg strand into water, the baby squid hatched! The egg strand of this month was not so far yet. One cannot yet recognize squid in it.

Texel in 1940: here.

Amber discovery on Texel island beach

Amber, found on Texel beach by photographer Sytske Dijksen

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

Ecomare on Thursday, April 30th, 2015

It is the dream of every beach walker: to find amber. Photographer Sytske Dijksen recently found dozens of pieces of amber on the southernmost point of the Hors peninsula on Texel. Amber is a precious gemstone. It is fossilized and petrified resin. There are a few other “stones” very similar to amber; both originated from resin. But those are not fossil and petrified. Most of the bits of ‘amber’ found in the Netherlands turn out to be not real. In this case, they are!

Real fossil

Amber is old. The pieces of amber that you find in the Netherlands come from the Baltic region and date back to the Eocene epoch, 35 million years ago. Then there were vast coniferous forests. The pine species delivering amber of the highest quality which people prefer to find, Pinus succinifera, is extinct now. The most spectacular amber finds also include insects, spiders or plant residues.

Birds of Slufter nature reserve, Texel island

This video is about two little egrets (and some mallards, and a great cormorant) at the Slufter nature reserve, Texel island, the Netherlands.

Warden Joël Haasnoot reports today about birds he saw at the Slufter.

From 20 to 27 April, he saw on all days, in or around a pool: eider duck (often in mating season mood), redshank, oystercatcher, curlew, greenshank, skylark, ringed plover and brent goose.

Every now and then, not all the time, Joël saw spotted redshank, red knot, sanderling, dunlin, golden plover, grey plover, ruddy turnstone, Eurasian spoonbill, little egret, marsh harrier, hen harrier and many more.