There is a period of easterly winds predicted combined with the first spring days of the year. The expectations are high.
Thursday at 6.15 am the counting begins and there is a weak northeast wind. It is clear and it feels cold. It's a bit hazy and therefore the visibility is limited to approximately 2000 meters. In the forest opposite the migration site quite a few Chiffchaffs are singing and you notice that the spring has started! Reasonable numbers of birds are flying and in the first hours 6 Lesser Redpoll are counted. Regular small groups of Linnets are counted. Above the lake in front of the site the first Sand Martins are seen and a Barn Swallow dares to cross the Ketelmeer, the first of the season. The count is a varied but the numbers are not high. For a complete overview of the count click here.
Friday the counting starts at 6.15 am and on arrival the wind is almost east with a touch of north. It is clear and visibility is excellent. A group of Song Thrushes are picked up high. Today again a small number of Redpolls and Linnets are present again. A first Pied Wagtail is seen on the beach near the site. Groups of Wood Pigeons are seen high above the site and this continues until the end of the count, a total of 706 Wood Pigeons are counted. The European Golden Plover is doing very well. Large groups are regularly seen and with 2141 birds this is the 10th best count for site. 2 Black-tailed Godwits are seen in the company of an ordinary Godwit, the Black-tailed Godwit is a good bird for the site. Between 10 and 11 o’clock a Great Grey Shrike came flying in. The bird stays the whole day at the site and is this is the second ever of a spring count at the Kamperhoek. A Red Kite is picked up at a distance and this is the third of the season. The count is a very diverse with 69 species and 7985 birds. For a complete overview of the count click here.
Saturday the counting starts again at 6.15. The wind is now north-eastern and feels very cold. The birds find this seemingly fine and the first hours they fly well. 4 Lapland Longspurs are observed and between the Reed Buntings we discover a Yellowhammer. A male Ring Ouzel flies straight over the migration site and there is a perfect photo opportunity, unfortunately my battery is empty (which obviously is not smart). Also today there are groups of Wood Pigeons counted and a total of 850 birds are recorded. The Meadow Pipits begin to arrive and there are now groups seen, today 648 Meadow Pipits are counted. A male Black Redstart is singing at the tipple. The Marsh Harriers did not do badly with 11 copies. Around 11.30 o’clock the wind turns to the north and the migration is almost over. We count until 15.00 o’clock but there are not many birds left. Yet the count has become very nice, for a complete list click here.
The clock is put forward one hour so today we start at 7.15 pm. The whole drive towards the migration site goes through dense fog and at the site there is just 300 meters visibility. This lasts until about 10.30 and there are not many birds. Then it starts to clear fast and a Lapland Longspur is heard and seen. There is a north wind and the bird numbers remain low. In the afternoon a number of Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzards are seen. Highlight of the day is a 3rd calendar White-tailed Eagle that came in from the north. We decide to stop at 13.00 o’clock to try previously reported Pallas's Leaf Warbler in Laren. For a complete overview of the count click here.
The Pallas's Leaf Warbler is found after a short search. The bird was singing what is quiet special for the Netherlands. There were a few nice photo’s and sound recordings made.
Sound recording Pallas's Leaf Warbler - copyright Thijs Fijen