During a dinner with Pieter and Maartje at Marc's BBQ on Friday evening, the options for Saturday were discussed. Because it is quiet in the Netherlands with regard to birds we opted for a day trip to the east of the country. First we will drive to Losser to see if we can get the present Bittern before the lens. I did not see the Eagle Owl at Winterswijk and we could combine this.

2 weeks ago the pelagic was cancelled and also for Sunday, the replacement date, the forecast did not look good. Thus I was surprised when I received an email Saturday afternoon that the pelagic was on. At half past eight in the morning the boat left from IJmuiden. My alarm clock was set at 6:30 because I wanted leave Uden in time because snow was predicted. The ride went well until Amsterdam, here obviously it just snowed and the A9 was fairly full of snow. 2 cars stood against the guardrail and gently I continued the ride.

Friday a Surf Scoter was found in the province of Zuid-Holland near the Brouwersdam. A beautiful bird to visit the next day. It was a female and so far I had only male birds. Pieter and Maartje had been there on Friday but wanted to see the bird again. Saturday morning we met at a car park in the town of Made.

In Geestmerambacht near Alkmaar a Dusky Warbler was still present and this counts for the year list and I also needed him for the month list. On the Internet was further sought to combine this with a route through North-Holland. Together with Pieter a journey was mapped out and we agreed to meet at 7.45 am in a parking lot in Amsterdam. In time I arrived the next morning at the appointed place and in the dark we headed for Geestmerambacht.

Finally a weekend without gray skies but with sunshine. A good reason for yet another day to go. A list of target species was made and together with Pieter & Maartje early Sunday morning we drove to the beach at Ter Heijde. Around 8:30 am we parked the car and began to walk towards the beach. There was a strong east wind and it was -4 degrees, the wind felt this more as -10! But with a blue sky and a chilly sun, it looked lovely.

2012 has past quickly but I can look back with pleasure. Again this year we began with our traditional Big Day on New Year's Day and the trend was immediately put. We were able to achieve a new record with 108 species. For 2012, the challenge was to score another 300 species and for the month we had to list every month at least 5 species. The holiday went this year, in February, to Namibia & Botswana.

January 1 and the annual Big Day is back on the agenda. Last week was a reconnaissance lap held in the target province of Zeeland, this yielded not much and the expectations were therefor not high. A close examination on the Internet provided a new starting location: The catchment at St. Jansteen. The tour group this year consisted of: Pieter & Maartje Doorn, Alwin Borhem and myself of course. Pieter & Maartje celebrated New year's eve in Uden and stayed overnight. With Alwin was agreed that he would be present at 6:30 am in Uden.

An overview of de daily short birdtrips