Kos island, Greece, arrival 18 April


This 2016 video says about itself:

Approach & landing runway 32 Kos airport (KGS LGKO)

Kos Island International Airport, “Hippocrates”, or Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Κω, Ιπποκράτης in Greek, is an airport serving the island of Kos, Greece. The airport is located near to Andimachia village. The airport was opened on 4 April 1964. In 1974 the runway was extended to 2,390m. With the increased traffic at the airport in 1980 a new terminal building was built. In 1997, the terminal building was renovated and expanded. In this film you can enjoy an approach from the north of Kos Island. We had to perform the full procedure since we where number 3 in the approach towards the airport. All ATC and conversations are from this flight. Enjoy the view and movie! Greetings, MightyMKL.

This 2017 German language video is about Kos airport as well.

On 18 April 2019, we arrived at the airport of Kos island in Greece.

We continued to the ferry harbour.

Along the road, magpies and hooded crows.

House sparrows near the harbour.

A barn swallow flies over an area where there are archaeological digs on Kos classical antiquity.

Yellow-legged gulls flying over the harbour.

Stay tuned, as there will be much more on Greece on this blog!

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Avocets, godwits and goslings


This April 2012 video is about nature reserve Polders Poelgeest.

I went there on 10 April 2019.

Near the entrance, grey lag geese and black-headed gulls swimming.

Jackdaws flying.

A bit further, mute swans. And a tufted duck couple.

From a garden on the other side of the canal, a dunnock sings.

Egyptian geese and Canada geese.

And an unusual couple: a Canada goose with a hybrid barnacle goose-Canada goose individual.

A great cormorant flies.

In the canal between the southern and northern lakes, a great crested grebe swims.

I found some red fox poop on the footpath.

In the northern lake: teal and northern shoveler ducks.

About a dozen black-tailed godwits. Most have already gone to their nesting areas.

A male and a female shelduck.

Northern lapwings.

A gadwall couple.

À grey heron flies along the railroad canal.

A snipe flying.

In the northern lake, three avocets foraging.

White dead-nettle flowers.

In the northern meadow and the northern lake, grey lag geese goslings with their parents.

Botanical garden flowers and homeless parakeet


Tulipa clusiana, 9 April 2019

On 9 April 2019, we went again, like on the day before, to the botanical garden. Again, the photos in this blog post are made, as an experiment, with a ‘lensbaby‘: a kind of camera lens enabling to make photos in which some parts are focused while other parts are not. Like in this photo of Tulipa clusiana flowers.

Tulipa clusiana, on 9 April 2019

These tulips were still not open; as the weather was colder than on 8 April.

Tulips, 9 April 2019

The tulips grow on terraces, built especially to make it easier for visitors to see or photograph them.

Tulipa clusiana, botanical garden, 9 April 2019

On the sides of the terraces grows much fern-grass. Though it is an interesting, fairly rare species, the garden does not really want it here. As they prefer, eg, wall-rue ferns growing on the walls.

In the garden, greenfinch sound.

Two great crested grebes in love, swimming in the canal. A lesser black-backed gull on the bank.

The injured carrion crow and its non-injured partner are still near the astronomical observatory.

A female ring-necked parakeet tries to enter a hole in a tree. Time after time, she manages to insert her head and her neck. But the hole is too small for the rest of her body. Finally, she flies away.

Then, we go to the orchid hothouse.

Coelogyne pandurata, 9 April 2019

These photos show Coelogyne pandurata flowers; originally from Asia.

Coelogyne pandurata, on 9 April 2019

In the next hothouse, the giant stick insects which were hidden last time, are visible now. Both adults and youngsters.

Botanical garden flowers and injured bird


Japanese garden, 11 April 2019

On 8 April 2019, we went to the Leiden botanical garden. Again, like in my Oostvaardersveld blog post, the photos in this blog post are made, as an experiment, with a ‘lensbaby‘: a kind of camera lens enabling to make photos in which some parts are focused while other parts are not. Like in this photo of a flowering tree in the Japanese garden within the botanical garden.

A great tit. A jay. A male blackbird.

A greenfinch sings. So does a dunnock. Ring-necked parakeets.

Yellow flowers, 8 April 2019

We saw these beautiful yellow flowers.

On a roof on the other side of the canal, a lesser black-backed gull and two herring gulls. A coot swims. A blue tit on a tree.

An Egyptian goose flies overhead. A chiffchaff calls.

Two great crested grebes swim together. They are in love. A robin sings.

Scots elm

Then, this nearly 200-year-old tree. From 1826, a Scots elm.

Grape hyacinth, 8 April 2019

Near the astronomical observatory, these grape hyacinth flowers. They are usually blue, but these ones were white.

Carrion crow, 8 April 2019

Also near the astronomical observatory, among daisies and other flowers, this carrion crow. A bit unusual bird: some white feathers in its black plumage. Also, one of its wings appeared to be broken. It could hardly fly. Fortunately, its non-disabled (male or female) partner had not left it, but was still around.

Then, to the fern garden. A peacock butterfly.

Snake's head fritillary, white

We continued to the stream. There, we saw snake’s head fritillary flowers. These white ones …

Snake's head fritillary, purple

… and these purple ones.

Pondskaters in the stream.

Stay tuned; as the next day we went to the botanical garden again!

Birds of Oostvaardersveld nature reserve


Oostvaardersveld, 6 April 2019

This photo is from Oostvaardersveld nature reserve in Flevoland province in the Netherlands. Like the other photos in this blog post, it was taken, as an experiment, with a ‘lensbaby‘: a kind of camera lens enabling to make photos in which some parts are focused while other parts are not. Also, as it was a bit of a foggy day, the photos are not as focused as some others.

We went to Oostvaardersveld on 6 April 2019.

First, we went to the Grote Praambult viewpoint. There was a flock of still wintering barnacle geese there. A running red deer.

An Egyptian goose flying. Herring gulls near the barnacle geese flock. A great egret.

A white wagtail in a tree, calling.

A peregrine falcon nest in an electricity pylon. Three falcons flying around it. Is this an intruder trying to dislodge the nesting couple? Or just a curiosity visit? We don’t know.

We go on to another viewpoint, Kleine Praambult.

A song thrush sings. Chiffchaff sound.

Oostvaardersveld, on 6 April 2019

As we start our foggy Oostvaardersveld walk, a blackcap sings.

So does the first one of many willow warblers, just back from Africa.

A coot swims on a lake. Two goldfinches just off the footpath.

In the next lake, mallards and tufted ducks. Common pochards and mute swans.

A Cetti’s warbler sings. A common linnet on the top of the bush.

Great spotted woodpecker sound.

Oostvaardersveld, tree on 6 April 2019

We enter a wooded area.

Oostvaardersveld, dead tree on 6 April 2019

Some trees are dead.

Oostvaardersveld, spring tree on 6 April 2019

For some trees, the spring is just beginning.

Common field-speedwell flowers.

Nuthatch sound.

We arrive at the hide ‘De Krakeend’, meaning the gadwall duck.

Indeed, two gadwalls swim here. And a little grebe.

Grey herons.

Many barn swallows, recently back from spring migration, flying low above the water. There is a barn swallow nest inside the hide, but its inhabitants do not seem to have arrived yet.

As we walk further, a flock of barn swallows sitting on dead branches of a tree.

In another tree, a willow tit.

Oostvaardersveld, lake on 6 April 2019

We continue to another lake.

A reedy area. A male stonechat on a reed stem.

And a bluethroat.

Still further, beavers prove that they live here: quite some trees gnawed through.

Coltsfoot flowers.

This 2012 video is about the Oostvaardersveld.

We arrive at the visitors’ center. A wooden sea eagle sculpture.

Then, something special: a real live sea eagle sits in a tree top.

If you walk towards the Zeearend hide, then many big carp swim near the second bridge.

Along path to Grauwe Gans hide, 6 April 2019

We continue to another footpath, leading to the Oostvaardersplassen hide near the Knardijk dike. The hide is called De Grauwe Gans.

Along footpath to Grauwe Gans hide, 6 April 2019

Flowering shrubs, 6 April 2019

Flowering blackthorn shrubs along the footpath.

Pollard willows, 6 April 2019

And pollard willows.

Trees, 6 April 2019

And other trees.

From the hide: Shelducks. Avocets.

Common horsetail growing.

See also here.

Woodlarks, goosanders and great grey shrike


This September 2017 video shows the nature reserves Kikkervallei and Ganzenhoek near Wassenaar in the Netherlands from the air.

Today, 9 March 2019, with special permission to the Ganzenhoek, an area usually closed to the public.

In the beginning, already song thrush, dunnock, chaffinch and great spotted woodpecker sounds.

A great cormorant flies overhead.

A greenfinch sings.

Woodlarks fly, singing.

A singing robin.

A flying grey heron.

On a lake: tufted ducks, Canada geese and a great crested grebe.

At the next lake, two male goosanders fly away.

Grey lag geese swim.

This 2015 video is about Poronia erici fungi.

We found that small species here on horse dung.

On a third lake, coots swim.

Long-tailed tits on a tree.

A bit further, a great tit.

A chiffchaff calls. Remarkably early for that species. Maybe a bird that is just back from wintering in Africa.

In the next lake, a gadwall couple.

Roe deer footprints.

We are now in the Kijfhoek and Bierlap part of the Wassenaar sand dunes.

A bit further, red fox dung, with remains of mice.

Then, one of the highlights of this morning: a great grey shrike on a treetop.

Cladonia foliacea lichen grows here.

So does heath star moss. An invasive species, originally from the southern hemisphere. Called ‘tank moss’ in Dutch, as it was probably was brought to the Netherlands by World War II tanks.

Nearly at the exit: a green woodpecker calls.

See also here.

Botanical garden snowdrops, crocuses and birds


Snowdrops, 24 February 2019

After 23 February 2019 in the botanical garden in Leiden, the Netherlands, we went back there the next day, 24 February. And saw these snowdrops.

Sounds of magpie, greenfinch, ring-necked parakeet.

On a branch of a tree in the Japanese garden, a robin sits, singing.

Crocuses, 24 February 2019

Not far away, these crocuses.

A blackbird sings.

A carrion crow flies to a tree.

Crocuses and winter aconites, 24 February 2019

On the hill, close to the source of the stream, these crocuses; with winter aconites in the background.

Golden crocuses, 24 February 2019

Near the astronomical observatory, these white golden crocuses.

Golden crocuses, on 24 February 2019