In the past two months I have not really made any trips. Although I did some birding now and then and that led to two new lifers in the Netherlands, a Red-throated Sandpiper on Texel and a Spotted Sandpiper in the province of Zeeland. My year list has grown to 277 species and 23 species still to go. Today was the province of Noord-Holland on the program with the target species, the Aquatic Warbler and the Gull-billed Tern.

At 6 o'clock in the morning, I agreed with Alwin in Abcoude. From there we drove on together towards Schoorle where we start with a search for the Aquatic Warbler at Bakkersdam. It looked really dull but there was almost no wind. We searched the entire wetland, and there were remarkably few birds let alone an Aquatic Warbler. We were heading to the Abtskolk where last year we saw 3 Aquatic Warblers. At this point it started to rain. We walked off the reed and Alwin discovered an Aquatic Warbler but it showed too short for a photo. We walked further and found another bird which we could photograph. We reported the bird on the internet and soon some birders arrived. The Aquatic Warblers unfortunately were not seen anymore.

We continued our way and started inspecting the bulb fields. Along the way we got a call from Fred Fischer who asked us where we had the Aquatic Warblers. Most bulbs fields were empty after a few Seagulls. In some there were some waders but they were generally only Ruffs, Green Sandpipers and Common Greenshanks. We drove on to t'Zand where Gull-billed Terns were reported. We soon found two specimens here. We also found a Pectoral Sandpiper. We drove on and continued birding all the way to Den Helder, where we visited the Mariëndal. Here we were treated to a heavy shower. We searched for 2 Northern Pintails, but the birds could be found. We decided to drive to Den Oever when Fred Fischer called us and reported that he had found a Great Spotted Cuckoo. He asked us to report the bird on the internet so he could follow the bird. The Great Spotted Cuckoo was located along the Noordijkerweg southerly of the Oude Zeug. We immediately set sail for the Oude Zeug and we tried to put the bird on the Internet

We were soon on the spot and saw Fred at the roadside. The Great Spotted Cuckoo was in a field full of vegetation, but quickly showed nicely. It was not long before more birders arrived. The Great Spotted Cuckoo moved frequently and occasionally there were great photo opportunities. A Sparrowhawk attacked the Great Spotted Cuckoo twice and the bird disappeared, and for us it was time to drive towards Uden. There was a dinner at Marc's BBQ on the program. In the car, the list was made up and we ended the day with 87 species. With 2 new for years I am now at 279.