Birding Netherlands tour Drentsche Aa 2-6-2018

Birding Netherlands excursion report Drentsche Aa 2 June 2018

Birding excursion report Drentsche Aa 2 June 2018

Birding Netherlands tour Drentsche Aa Participants
Birding Netherlands tour Drentsche Aa Participants

This bird excursion was for two returning guests. Last year I also had a bird excursion for them in the Drentsche Aa area in August. At the time the diversity of species was a little disappointing, but the area is very beautiful. They did the excursion earlier in the season this year. Unfortunately, due to illness, I could not take care of the bird excursion myself, but fortunately my friend was so kind to replace me (of course in consultation with the participants). Below is his report.

Initiation

This was the first time that I was going to do a private bird excursion from 9.00 – 12.30 hrs. In the past I have been with Andrea on a private bird excursion and occasionally I lend a helping hand on a group excursion but this is another (nut) cake. Because Andrea unexpectedly got sick, it was for me operarion dust cloud to get everything organized on time. Groceries for the excursion (nut cake, coffee, sugar etc.) and someone who could bring it, because only during this excursion there is no possibility to drink coffee or tea at the car, in between (normally this is my task on this excursion). But fortunately my father was willing to take on this task, so everything was in jugs.

The birding excursion itself

And then it was 9.00 am Saturday 2 June 2018, the two ladies were well on time. We had already met each other briefly during the coffee break last year, so that made a difference. Together first a round of parking done. This resulted in a blackcap and garden warbler, and a female blackbird with a lot of white in her plumage, together with a little bit of black. After this we continued on the plank path. Here it was the same with an overflying cuckoo man and a beautiful male reed bunting who watched well through the telescope.
The route continued along the stream valley of the Drentsche Aa, and a group of jays was easy to observe through the telescope. They remain beautiful, even though they may be troublemakers at times.

Tree pippers and other stuff

Birding Netherlands tour Valley Drentsche Aa
Birding Netherlands tour Valley Drentsche Aa

We had already seen the necessary tree pipers along the way, and here too, the further we came into the area, the more tree-growers seemed to be sitting there. Most of them apparently were not so happy with our presence given the shrill alarm group that we got shouted at. But yellow buntings also showed themselves nicely, and indeed, a pair of snipe was kind enough to give us a beautiful air show. Impressive the relatively large beak for such a relatively small bird. A little further the route went via a plank path over a stream, which fed the Drentsche Aa slightly further. Here stood a bunch of bushes among the reeds and even a reed singer could not only hear but also see! Sometimes luck is in a small corner / bush.

Tree stickers in rush hour

A little further you come out into the forest, and here it was that a couple of tree stickers in the rush hour of their lives were busy. A number of youngsters were nicely hidden in a hollow part of a tree and caterpillars and other treats were constantly supplied by father and mother. They were so busy that they had little eye for us, as opposed to a redbreast and winter king who loudly voiced their displeasure over us. During the entire route many large spotted woodpeckers heard and occasionally also seen briefly but not as quietly observing, too bad.

Grey flycatcher and coffee

Birding Netherlands tour Drentsche Aa Molenveld
Birding Netherlands tour Drentsche Aa Molenveld

The route had since passed the Drentsche Aa, where the bridge now had 2 handrails. Apparently someone has sometimes caught a wet suit. It is difficult with a telescope on your back because it is so narrow that an average American does not fit in between. Fortunately, I can fold the legs a little and then I pass them exactly. After this we arrived at a spot where I had already expected flycatchers and we were not disappointed either. A pair of gray flycatchers get rid of their task from a branch. They showed themselves pretty well through the binoculars. The telescope is not a do, for that they are too short. After this we continued to the coffee with nut cake, but not before we had studied a pair of yellow-hammers with the telescope, especially the male was impressive yellow.

The home stretch

Birding Netherlands tour Windmill De Zwaluw Oudemolen
Birding Netherlands tour Windmill De Zwaluw Oudemolen

After the coffee we continued the route over the Molenveld (gosh why is it so? a Molen is an Windmill in dutch.  See picture) for the last part of the bird excursion. Halfway there was a stork’s nest and 3 of them were already very young and were guarded by a proud parent. The other parent flew the fire from the wings in the meantime to provide them with food. A bit further are the burial mounds, here we had a nice hit, first noticed by the ladies: a honey buzzard came over, but apparently was not in a hurry and was also well studied with the viewer. Striking was the pigeon-like head and the spots. A buzzard floated a little further and you saw the difference. With this we thought we had it, but nothing is less true!
After the Molenveld and the Zwaluw, two fleeting phantoms of the left came and I saw them landing in the trees to the right. A pair of apple finches was looking for food there and with a little patience they showed themselves nicely, also through the telescope. Especially the male was beautiful with his pronounced colors. The house swallows now collected loam and mud for their nests in the puddles under our noses. We walked on and came back to our starting point.
All in all, we look back on a successful bird excursion. The weather could have been a little better, we occasionally had a bit of drizzle, but it was fine to do. And a nice species list considering the weather and the area!

Observed bird species

1 Wild Duck – Anas platyrhynchos
2 Stork – Ciconia ciconia
3 Cormorant – Phalacrocorax carbo
4 Honey buzzard – Pernis apivorus
5 Buzzard – Buteo buteo
6 Common snipe – Gallinago gallinago
7 Lesser Black-backed Gull – Larus fuscus
8 Cuckoo – Cuculus canorus
9 Swift – Apus apus
10 Great Spotted Woodpecker – Dendrocopos major
11 Gaai – Garrulus glandarius
12 Magpie – Pica pica
13 Black Crow – Corvus corone
14 Blue Tit – Cyanistes caeruleus
15 Great Tit – Parus major
16 barn swallow – Hirundo rustica
17 House Martin – Delichon urbicum
18 Chiffchaff – Phylloscopus collybita
19 Sedge Warbler – Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
20 Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla
21 Garden whistle – Sylvia borin
22 Warbler – Sylvia communis
23 Winter King – Troglodytes troglodytes
24 Nuthatch – Sitta europaea
25 Starling – Sturnus vulgaris
26 Blackbird – Turdus merula
27 Song Thrush – Turdus philomelos
28 Gray Flycatcher – Muscicapa striata
29 European Robin – Erithacus rubecula
30 Red-breasted steppe – Saxicola rubicola
31 House Sparrow – Passer domesticus
32 Hedge sparrow – Prunella modularis
33 White Wagtail – Motacilla alba
34 Meadow Pipit – Anthus pratensis
35 Tree Pipit – Anthus trivialis
36 Chaffinch – Fringilla coelebs
37 Hawfinch – Coccothraustes coccothraustes
38 Bullfinch – Pyrrhula pyrrhula
39 Groenling – Chloris chloris
40 Yellowhammer – Emberiza citrinella
41 Reed bunting – Emberiza schoeniclus

Ree – Capreolus capreolus