This weekend was the annual DBA (Dutch Birding Association) weekend held on Texel. The aim is to find a rare bird. The person who finds this bird is rewarded with a prize in the form of a pair of binoculars. This is the first time I participate. On Friday afternoon I went to Texel where I would stay until Sunday. The accommodation was a house at the Oorsprongweg along with 12 other DBA'ers.
On Saturday, in the afternoon a Caspian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus variegatus)was found on the island of Vlieland. This is a subspecies of the Siberian Stonechat but extremely rare in Europe. Up to now, only a few copies are seen. It is very likely that this bird is going to be a split, so certainly it must be on the list. On Vlieland there also was plenty more to see. A day to Vlieland was not a difficult decision.
Much rain was predicted and after studying the weather, we opted for a day of strolling in the province of North Holland. Between the predicted rain showers we wanted to do some searching in the dunes. If the wind is in the right corner we also could do some sea migration counting. Pieter & Maartje were picked up at 7 am at a parking lot in Amsterdam. We wanted to start in the dunes at Schoorle.
The signs of autumn hang very much in the air and there was a day with good migration predicts. There are throughout the country reports of Yellow-browed Warblers and at our migration site we see the first Song Thrushes migrating. Alwin wanted to add a Richard's Pipit and a Yellow-browed Warbler to his list. We wanted to help and we agreed at half past seven at the parking lot near Putten close to Schoorle.
A reported Little Bunting on the island of Texel is missing on the year list. In addition, there are a few species that count for the month list. Pieter also misses the bird so a day to Texel was agreed. At 7.15 am we agreed at a car park near Amsterdam and 8.30 am we were on the first ferry to Texel.
Yesterday good numbers of birds flew along the migration sites at sea. The forecast today is northwestern strength 4, this is actually not hard enough. However, we make an attempt, and there are enough other options in Zeeland. At 6 o'clock I agree with the family Doorn at a parking lot in the town Made.
Yesterday my year list increased with a Crossbill and a Zitting Cisticola to 299 species. On the island of Texel yesterday there were 9 Barred Warblers reported and I still miss this species on the year list. A good chance today to get the 300 announced itself. Together with Pieter Doorn & Maartje I sat on the first boat at half past seven to Texel. There was a beautiful day predicted what weather is concerned and when we stood on the deck we witnessed a beautiful sunrise.
On the Bird Fair in the Stand of Dutch Birding I met Pieter & Maartje. After a short chat came the question: is there a chance tomorrow for a Long-tailed Jaeger? I replied that Texel might be a good option, and we agreed that the next day we would have a go. Shortly thereafter I met Pim Wolf who confidently announced to that in Westkapelle there was more than a 50% chance. The destination was therefore modified in Westkapelle and we agreed at 5.30 am at a parking lot in Made the next day.