New bug species discovered on Texel island

This video shows a Rhopalus subrufus bug.

Today, warden Jitske Esselaar on Texel in the Netherlands reports on research about bugs on the island in 2015.

Four species, new for Texel, were found: Hesperocorixa castanea, an aquatic species discovered in a pond.

Liorhyssus hyalinus is a land species. It had been found earlier on Schiermonnikoog, Terschelling and Vlieland islands.

Compsidolon salicellum was found in a forest; a first for all Wadden Sea islands.

Finding Rhopalus subrufus was also a first for the Wadden islands.

Wounded harbour porpoise freed after recovery

This video says about itself:

11 May 2016

Footage showing how a female harbour porpoise is being released back in to sea again. The animal was found wounded on the beach [of Texel island] on the 2nd of March in 2012. After 3 months of rehabilitation she was brought back to sea by the SOS Dolfijn team.

Dutch Sandwich terns, first eggs of 2016

This 2014 Dutch video is about ringing young Sandwich terns in Utopia nature reserve on Texel island.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

First terns’ eggs – 05-05-16

In late April the first Sandwich tern egg was seen on Texel. That was in the nature reserve Wagejot. Meanwhile, there are also eggs in the nature reserve Utopia. That is extra fun because these parent birds can be viewed via the Beleef de Lente webcam.

Scottish 17th century lady-in-waiting’s gown discovered off Texel

Painting by Sir Anthony van Dyck, on the occasion of the wedding of William II and Mary Stuart

From Leiden University in the Netherlands:

Texel gown belonged to member of royal court of Queen Henrietta Maria

20 April 2016

Archival research has revealed that the wardrobe discovered near Texel belonged to the royal court of the English Queen Henrietta Maria. In March 1642 the queen was travelling to the Netherlands on a secret mission when one of her baggage ships sank in the Wadden Sea. This discovery was made by cultural historians Nadine Akkerman from Leiden University and Helmer Helmers from the University of Amsterdam.

Divers had found the gown in a shipwreck off Texel in 2014.

The 17th-century dress, photo Kaap Skil museum on Texel

Scottish lady-in-waiting

The now famous silk gown is still remarkably well preserved and is the showpiece of a larger archaeological find near Texel. It probably belonged to Jean Kerr, Countess of Roxburghe (approximately 1585-1643), lady-in-waiting and confidante to Queen Henrietta Maria (1609-1669). There was also a younger lady-in-waiting whose clothes were being transported in the ship, but the more outdated style and size of the gown indicate strongly that it belonged to Kerr, the elder of the two.

Elizabeth Stuart

Cultural historians Nadine Akkerman and Helmer Helmers are experts on the British Royal House of Stuart. Their findings are based on a letter written by Elizabeth Stuart (1596-1662), the Stuart princess who found refuge in The Hague after being exiled from the Kingdom of Bohemia. In this letter to the English diplomat Sir Thomas Roe, dated 17 March 1642, Elizabeth describes how her sister-in-law lost a baggage ship during the crossing. In addition to the clothing of two ladies-in-waiting and their maids, the queen herself lost the chalices from her private chapel in the shipwreck.

A secret mission

The official story behind Henrietta Maria’s trip to the Dutch Republic was one of royal connections: she was delivering her 11-year-old daughter Mary to the court of William II, Prince of Orange and future stadtholder, whom the girl had married the previous year. This was only a ruse, however: her real mission was to sell the crown jewels and use the proceeds to buy weapons. These were essential for King Charles I to take on Parliament in the English Civil War. According to Akkerman and Helmers, the find at Texel represents a tangible reminder of the strong Dutch involvement in this conflict.

Winter Queen

Akkerman, Assistant Professor of Early Modern English Literature at Leiden University, and Helmers, Assistant Professor of Early Modern Dutch Literature and Culture at the University of Amsterdam, were able to solve the mystery of the unknown owner of the gown reasonably quickly. Akkerman: ‘Once Helmer alerted me to the find, it took us about five minutes to unearth the relevant letter, as I remembered transcribing and deciphering it in 2006. We are still finding even more references.’ Akkerman is the editor of the Correspondence of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, while Helmers is the author of The Royalist Republic, on Anglo-Dutch relations in this period.

Unnecessary speculation

The mystery and speculation in the Dutch press surrounding the origin of the wardrobe were unnecessary. With the discovery of the family crest, the evidence quickly started pointing towards the Stuarts. Helmers: ‘It’s a pity we weren’t consulted sooner – the puzzle would have been solved much earlier. The archaeological experts have focused primarily on the material side. That’s important, of course, but the historical texts also tell a thrilling story.’


Short-eared owl on Texel island

This video from Texel island in the Netherlands says about itself:

24 April 2016

There he was, by the roadside, a Short-eared Owl. I had never seen an owl in the wild. Very special. I hope you enjoy it too!

Beached porpoise Sven can swim again

This video from the Netherlands says about itself (translated):

March 26, 2016

Things go well for harbour porpoise Sven. Last week he washed ashore on Texel and his life was in danger. Now he swims again by himself, in Harderwijk in SOS Dolfijn rehab centre.

Smallest beached Texel sperm whale was 19 years old

This video from the USA says about itself:

Jonathan Bird’s Blue World: Sperm Whales

12 March 2013

The Sperm whale holds many records. It is the deepest-diving whale on Earth, the largest toothed whale on Earth and has the largest brain on the planet too. On top of that, it has a reputation for being a vicious beast, thanks in part to Herman Melville‘s Moby Dick. But the real Sperm whale is a lot different than people think.

It has a highly-evolved social life, operates at depths where nobody can see them most of the time, and uses sonar which is so sophisticated that it makes the Navy’s electronics look like toys. Sperm whales are very hard to find and even harder to film. In the Caribbean, Jonathan repeatedly attempts to get close to the elusive whales, until finally he succeeds and has an incredible experience eye to eye with a giant who investigates him with powerful sonar clicks.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

Smallest sperm whale was 19 years old – 23-03-2016

The five sperm whales which stranded last January near beach post 12 along the Texel coast were young males, which was already known.

Of one of the dead animals the exact age has been determined. In a sawed off tooth of the sperm whale researchers counted 19 rings. Although it was the smallest animal, only 9.6 meters long, is not sure if it was the youngest whale. The length and the age of sperm whales do not always correspond simply. The teeth of the other animals will be examined later.

Other research continues as well.

The jaw of this 19-year-old male is now in Ecomare museum.