Goldcrests, avocets and ships

Maasvlakte, container ship, 24 October 2015

On 24 October 2015, to the Maasvlakte, west of Rotterdam; as this blog reported earlier. We were there for birds, but saw many ships as well. Like this ship on its way to Rotterdam harbour; some of its containers had gone out of balance during the journey.

Maasvlakte, containers on ship, 24 October 2015

Some containers were still where they were supposed to be.

A great black-backed gull on a jetty.

Maasvlakte, female goldcrest, 24 October 2015

As we walked back to the parking lot, there were a few goldcrests in bushes.

At another spot, a grey seal swimming in the sea.

Maasvlakte, ferry, 24 October 2015

Still more ships.

A kestrel on a lamppost.

Common scoters flying off the coast.

We come to a place called the Slufter of the Maasvlakte. Many shelducks there.

Maasvlakte, avocets, 24 October 2015

And about 100 avocets: sometimes flying, sometimes resting.

On the south side of the Maasvlakte, you could see seals on a sandbank from a hide. And oystercatchers.

Maasvlakte, female chaffinch, 24 October 2015

Much closer to the hide, this female chaffinch.

This video is about a male and a female chaffinch in winter in Britain.

Still further, near the north coast of the Oostvoornse meer. A curlew calls.

Maasvlakte, starlings, 24 October 2015

Flocks of starlings on treetops.

Along the footpath to the hide of Hoekje Jans nature reserve, common self-heal flowers. A pheasant calls.

Firecrests, flowers, greenfinch and ships

This video is about a firecrest.

On 24 October 2015, to the Maasvlakte, west of Rotterdam. We started at a hill with lots of shrubs. It attracted migrating songbirds. Including firecrests.

Maasvlakte, 24 October 2015

The Maasvlakte is a harbour and industrial area, but nevertheless you can see birds there.

Maasvlakte, great cormorants, 24 October 2015

Like these great cormorants.

Maasvlakte, narrow-leaved ragwort and Japanese roses, 24 October 2015

Though it was autumn, still many flowering plants. Like yellow narrow-leaved ragwort and orange Japanese roses.

Maasvlakte, with narrow-leaved ragwort and Japanese roses, 24 October 2015

A chaffinch and a redwing, drinking at a parking lot puddle.

Maasvlakte, greenfinch, 24 October 2015

Meanwhile, a male greenfinch feeds on rose hips.

We continue to the Vuurtorenvlakte. Three skylarks flying overhead, singing. Rabbits, and many rabbit warrens.

Next, near a jetty. Shaggy ink cap fungi on sand dunes.

A rock pipit on the jetty boulders.

Maasvlakte, grey wagtail, 24 October 2015

And a grey wagtail.

Maasvlakte, pilot, 24 October 2015

Also, many ships passing. Small ships …

Maasvlakte, ship, 24 October 2015

.. and bigger ships.

Stay tuned, as there will be more Maasvlakte birds, and ships, on this blog.

Drowned firecrest on Texel island coast: here.

Vlieland island, bye bye!

This video is about ringing a bluethroat and other birds on Vlieland island.

After 1 October came 2 October 2015, the day we left Vlieland.

Jackdaws and house sparrows near the harbour.

Richel sandbank, 2 October 2015

Our ferry to the continent passed the Richel sandbank. Many great cormorants, gulls and other birds resting there.

Richel, 2 October 2015

Behind the Richel, we could see Texel island.

Richel, on 2 October 2015

After the Richel, we passed the desert island Griend.

Harlingen, 2 October 2015

Then, we approached Harlingen harbour.

Harlingen causeway, 2 October 2015

Our ship passed the causeway, where many birds rested.

Harlingen causeway, on 2 October 2015

Harlingen causeway, still on 2 October 2015

Vlieland, bye bye!

Flowers and eider ducks of Vlieland island

Thrift, 1 October 2015

After the North Sea coast of Vlieland on 1 October 2015, we returned to the Wadden Sea coast. Where these flowers grew: thrift. Its name in Dutch is ‘Engels gras’, English grass.

English threepence coin

From 1937 till 1952, this plant was pictured on British threepence coins. Though, unlike in Dutch, in English its name has no connection to England.

Thrift near Wadden Sea, 1 October 2015

This photo shows the meadow with thrift flowers, close to the Wadden Sea.

Wadden Sea, 1 October 2015

And this photo shows the Wadden Sea itself.

Gradually, low tide started. Sand banks became bigger and bigger as the sea water receded. The sand banks attracted dunlin and other birds.

Eider duck males and female, Vlieland, 1 October 2015

Two young male eider ducks swam past. Then, they rested on a sandbank. A female eider came to join them.

Oystercatcher, eider duck males and female, Vlieland, 1 October 2015

An oystercatcher looked for food in the shallow water.

Curlew and redshank, Vlieland, 1 October 2015

So did a redshank and a curlew.

Eider duck male, Vlieland, 1 October 2015

Another young male eider swam past.

Redshank and black-headed gull, 1 October 2015

We had to leave. Around sunset, we went back to the Wadden Sea. Where we saw this redshank and this black-headed gull in winter plumage.

Jackdaws and sparrows of Vlieland

This video is about waxwings on the Dutch Wadden island Vlieland. 21 January 2011.

After 30 September came 1 October 2015. The last full day for us on Vlieland island.

We went north, to the North Sea beach. No waxwings.

Jackdaw, 1 October 2015

However, there were resident birds. Like this jackdaw.

Jackdaws, 1 October 2015

The restaurant tables attracted still more jackdaws. Like these ones.

Jackdaws, Vlieland, 1 October 2015

And these ones.

House sparrow male, Vlieland, 1 October 2015

The restaurant food attracted house sparrows as well. Females; and males, like this one.

Yellow-browed warbler and spoonbills on Vlieland

This is a video, showing the surroundings of the Posthuys in the middle of Vlieland island, from the air.

After 29 September came 30 September 2015 for us on Vlieland.

We went to the Kroon’s polders nature reserve, not far from the Posthuys.

There is a bird ringing station there, from August till November.

Yellow-browed warbler, 30 September 2015

We lucky as we arrived there: this yellow-browed warbler had just been ringed. Yellow-browed warblers are usually rare in the Netherlands; but less so in this year’s autumn migration season. The individual on the photo was #29 of the year 2015 on Vlieland, more than usually. After this photo was taken, the small songbird was freed to continue its journey.

Also on Ameland island, recently more yellow-browed warblers than usually have been ringed. There, in 2014 a tree sparrow was caught which was at least sixteen years old.

Dunnock, 30 September 2015

After our Vlieland yellow-browed warbler came a dunnock: the third specimen of the day.

We walked to the south side of the Kroon’s polders. European searocket flowers.

Shelducks, Vlieland, 30 September 2015

In the Wadden Sea salt marshes south of the Kroon’s polders, many shelducks and brent geese.

Shelducks, Vlieland, 30 September 2015

As we continued to the east side of the polders, a red admiral butterfly flying.

Wheatear, 30 September 2015

A northern wheatear near a puddle, for drinking during its autumn migration.

Gulls and spoonbills, 30 September 2015

Many gulls. Behind them, scores of spoonbills, gathering for the journey to Africa.

As we arrived back at the Posthuys, a barn swallow: on its long way south as well.

This video is about a bittern on Vlieland island, on 13 June 2015. This species nests regularly in the Kroon’s polders.

Birds, seal, and Vliehors poems of Vlieland

This 2011 video is about travelling from Texel island to the Vliehors, the western part of Vlieland island in the Netherlands. First by ship, then by passenger transport truck, the Vliehors Expres; then, back by ship again.

The Vliehors is one of the biggest sand plains in Europe.

After 28 September came 29 September 2015 for us on Vlieland.

Jackdaw, 29 September 2015

In the morning, we went north to the North Sea beach. There is a restaurant there. It attracted this jackdaw.

House sparrow, Vlieland, 29 September 2015

And this house sparrow.

On the beach, herring gulls.

Sandwich terns, 29 September 2015

Close to the beach, four Sandwich terns flying over the North Sea. Probably preparing for autumn migration to Africa.

Vliehors Express tyres, 29 September 2015

In the afternoon, we went to the Vliehors, by Vliehors Expres truck.

Vliehors Express tyres poem, 29 September 2015

The tyres of the Vliehors Expres write two-line poems in the sand. Every now and then, a new short poem replaces the previous short poem on the tyres.

The Vliehors Expres was full of people. Including an accordion player. Among the songs he played was The Wild Rover from Ireland. And John Brown’s Body from the USA.

This music video from the USA is called Pete Seeger: John Brown’s Body.

As the Vliehors Expres continued on the beach, herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls. And some great black-backed gulls. And great cormorants.

We reached the Vliehors. And then, its Wadden Sea side, where we stopped.

Eider duck male, 29 September 2015

A young male eider duck swam there.

Harbour seal, 29 September 2015

And minutes later, a harbour seal.

Vliehors, 29 September 2015

Not far away, the landing for the ship from Texel.

Vliehors, shipwrecked people's shelter, 29 September 2015

The truck continued to a wooden building, originally built for shipwrecked sailors. However, 1953 was the last time a shipwrecked person used it. It is now a sort of beachcombers‘ open air museum.

Then, we went back to the ‘jackdaw’ restaurant at the north-eastern North Sea beach.

On a jetty, a sanderling between ruddy turnstones.

Great cormorant, 29 September 2015

On another jetty, this great cormorant.