Dutch Wadden Sea wildlife, video

In this 11 October 2016 Dutch video, filmmaker Ruben Smit talks about, and shows the birds, seals, and other wildlife of the Wadden Sea region.

Dutch Wadden Sea – UNESCO World Heritage

This video says about itself:

Dutch Wadden Sea – UNESCO World Heritage @ We Love Earth

1 August 2016

On Earth, where water meets land, often life is most abundant. Here the two are in a very intimate dance – the ever-lasting tidal play in the Dutch Wadden Sea, one of the most beautiful landscapes of Europe, and one of its ecologically most important nature reserves, a UNESCO World Heritage site in its entirety.

Here life is at every level. Millions upon millions of migratory birds, with many populations depending on these feeding grounds for their survival. From a tiny hermit crab to the system itself, alive as it breaths, as it flows, floods and settles and forms – forms the most beautiful art of nature, only to redraw it all the very next day.

There are large populations of two different types of seals, the harbour seal and the grey seal – weighing up to 350 kilos, the largest mammal (on land) of western Europe – since the elk and brown bear are gone.

Land is taken here, and land is formed. On those ridges that are dry long enough for the wind to catch the sand tiny dunes are formed – kept in place by marram grass, one of the bravest little plants of our planet, collecting fresh water from the rain and making a soil from nothing but sand. Furthest from the gullies clay is deposited in salt marshes, adding greens to a landscape of greys, browns, ochers, blues and white – and offering a shelter and spawning ground to many types of fish.

In other words, the Wadden Sea is vibrant – it is wild, it is strong, and it is very much alive.

The Wadden Sea is also threatened though. Threatened by forecasts of escalating sea level rise, threatened by an increasingly eager gas industry – that wants to drill and even frack for gas, even though the land subsidence this extraction causes may speed up the relative sea level rise.

The Wadden Sea is strong and sturdy. But we cannot stand by idle as it drowns. We have to prevent the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets and the several metres of sea level rise this causes. This means we have to stop fossil fuels. We also have to stop that same industry locally. No gas extraction under UNESCO World Heritage nature reserves. No gas drilling in the Wadden Sea!

For more information and to express support, please take a look at Gasvrij Waddenzee – the special page devoted to remove the gas industry from this unique natural landscape, one of the pearls of Europe and our planet.

Wadden Sea seals counted

This video says about itself:

Grey Seals (Part 1/3)

18 July 2013

Shortlisted for KFF 2007 – International Documentary Shorts.

A large part of Celtic legend, Grey Seals have been revered in Ireland until recent times. Despite being protected by law, they continue to be prosecuted and in 2004 this culminated in the brutal slaughter of 60 seal pups at the Blasket Islands. This highly charged story is an account of a seal colony living on the very edge of Europe and on the very edge of survival.

Directed by: Jacquie Cozens

These two videos are the sequels.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

Seals in Wadden sea counted – 30-12-2015

“A little bit less common seals and a bit more gray seals compared to last year.” That’s the result of the count of the number of seals in the international Wadden Sea this year; researchers saw 26,435 harbour seals and 4,521 gray seals. That somewhat less common seals were counted was already expected. In recent years the growth became less and last year these seals had to deal with a flu virus which mainly in Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein killed many seals.

Of the common seals, 7,666 were in the Dutch part of the Wadden sea. Of the gray seals, 3,544.

Ocean sunfish in Wadden Sea

This video says about itself:

This giant alien-like fish is called the Ocean Sunfish, Moon Fish, or Mola mola. They are heaviest of all bony fish and can be found in oceans all over the world. Fully grown adults can weigh over 5,000 pounds and grow up to 14 feet from top to bottom, and 10 feet wide, but unlike most fish, they actually have no tails.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

17 December 2015 – If one strolls along the beach in December or January, one has a reasonable chance of finding a sunfish. The first sunfish of the season has already been found again, in Hooksiel in the German Wadden Sea, at the Weser river estuary, on 12 December. The previous one was on January 14 of this year, on Texel.


At this time of the year sunfish migrate from north to south. Then, they have the possibility to end up in the North Sea. The fish are accustomed to oceans and have no experience in shallow water. Thus it happens that they helplessly, but still alive wash ashore on the southern beaches of the North Sea.

Sunfish beached on Texel: here.

Rare black seabream in Wadden Sea

This video from Spain is about egg laying by Spondyliosoma cantharus, black seabream.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

25 October 2015

On Wednesday, September 23 Gerrit de Vries of the shrimper UQ21 caught on the Wadden Sea a small remarkable fish. Because he long ago already had caught two individuals he knew it was a black seabream. Catching a black seabream happens only very occasionally in the Wadden Sea.


The black seabream of de Vries was about 10 cm long. So it’s a youngster, because adult specimens can grow to 60 cm long. Black seabream like to be in seagrass beds or over rocky bottoms. They eat all kinds of things, from seaweed to shrimp and crabs. They are warm-water fish: in water that is colder than 7 degrees you will not see them.

Wadden Sea breeding birds and livestock, research

This video from England says about itself:

Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)

‘Dancing on a pontoon’. Filmed at New Brighton, Wirral, UK, on 21st October 2014 with a Canon PowerShot SX50 HS.

From the Wilson Journal of Ornithology, September 2015:

Moderate livestock grazing of salt, and brackish marshes benefits breeding birds along the mainland coast of the Wadden Sea


Our study investigated how bird species richness and abundance was related to livestock grazing on salt, and brackish marshes, with an emphasis on songbirds and shorebirds. Survey areas with a high percentage cover of tall vegetation were assumed to have experienced lower livestock grazing intensities than survey areas with a low percentage cover of tall vegetation.

This relationship was verified for the tall grass Elytrigia atherica. The species richness, and abundance of birds was related to the percentage cover of tall vegetation on the survey areas. We found that total bird species richness was positively related to the percentage cover of tall vegetation. We also found that all of the investigated species, except Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), showed a positive relation to the percentage cover of tall vegetation up to a specific percentage of cover.

The abundance of investigated songbird species increased up to an intermediate percentage cover of tall vegetation, and decreased at higher percentage cover of tall vegetation, suggesting that moderate grazing of marshes may maximize the abundance of the investigated songbirds.

Abundances of Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) and Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) were positively related to the percentage cover of tall vegetation on salt marshes, but negatively related to the percentage cover of tall vegetation on brackish marshes. With intermediate livestock grazing species number, and abundance of most breeding birds can be maintained in coastal marshes. However, specific goals for management should be set before applying a grazing regime to a marsh.

Wadden Sea breeding birds, new research

This video says about itself:

Wadden Sea Flyway” phenomenon of migration and threats for birds

6 February 2014

Great video showing importance of migration routes and what we can do to make sure they are protected in the future.

BirdLife Partner Vogelbescherming Nederland (Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds) helped to produce this video along with many other organizations showing the importance of the Wadden Sea Flyway.

A new report has been published about breeding birds in the Wadden Sea area in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, from 1991 to 2013.

A few species increased then, like great cormorants, spoonbills and lesser black-backed gulls. Other species, like shelduck and Sandwich tern, were stable. Unfortunately, there was a decline in many other species, like hen harrier, avocet and black-tailed godwit. Herring gulls are down in the Dutch and German parts of the Wadden Sea, but up in the Danish part.