2021 started under the spell of the Corona virus and we were in a lockdown followed by a curfew that started on January 21 and lasted until April 28.
Despite these limitations, it was still possible to be regularly present in the field. We did not make a trip abroad again this year and we decided to put together a nice year list and the monthly list would also be given attention. The birds didn't care about Corona and it turned out to be an excellent year with a match of my best year list ever. It should be noted, however, that probably 4 species will not be accepted
On January 1, the monthly list started with a new specie. The Keent was chosen by a Little Ringed Plover for wintering and we visited this bird on New Year's Day. It is the first ever sighting of a Little Ringed Plover in the Netherlands in January. The year list was also worked on at New Year's Day. The Black-throated Thrush of Utrecht and the Hume's Leaf Warbler of Geldermalsen were visited. A Hooded Crow in Lith was also added to the list. The day ended with 70 species and we were not dissatisfied with it. I was also able to add 7 new species to my January 1 list which is now at 182 species. January 2 started in Nieuwvliet Bad where we visited a Zitting Cisticola who still counts for the monthly list. Along the way we saw some Western Barn Owls that were eagerly noted, they were even my first for the province of Zeeland. We continued the day with a tour through the province of Zeeland. Nice species such as Black Brant and Light-bellied Brent Goose, Red Phalarope, Common Loon, Black-throated Loon, European Shag and Greater Flamingo were noted. While we were in the Prunjepolder a Western Yellow Wagtail was reported less than 15 km away. This is a mega species for the monthly list and after a short drive we found the bird among at least 50 White Wagtails. On January 3, we set out again and now to the province of North-Holland. We started here with a Glaucous Gull and a Black-crowned Night Heron in Medemblik. An Iceland Gull was visited in Julianadorp and on the way back a Lesser White-fronted Goose and a Jack Snipe were added to the list. During the ride, a Thick-billed Murre was reported at the Veerse Meer. A good strain and the target destination for the next day. On January 4, we were standing on the Veerse Dam in the twilight and almost immediately I saw the Thick-billed Murre swimming a short distance away. We didn't expect it so soon. We had the species in the Netherlands before, but it remains a stunner that counts for both the annual and monthly list. On January 6, we received a report of a Northern Wheatear that had been seen in the Rhederlaag near Giesbeek. There was no doubt and 45 minutes later we found the Wheatear quite easily. A good one for the monthly list and even the first documented one for January in the Netherlands. Worth mentioning for January are Western Cattle Egret and a Red-breasted Goose. We ended January with 136 species. The January list increased with 5 new species to 278 species.
The Little Ringed Plover of the Keent was still there and was therefore visited in the early morning of February 1. The water of the river Meuse was rising considerably and we were just in time. Half an hour later everything was flooded and the bird was gone. A search later in the Ooijpolder for a Ring Ouzel came to nothing. The next day the harbour in Scheveningen was visited for a Red Phalarope that still counts for my monthly list. On February 3, the Thick-billed Murre, still present, was visited for the monthly list. We looked for the Western Yellow Wagtail that we saw in January but it turned out not to be present. February 5 we had to go back to Zeeland because the Western Yellow Wagtail was still present. We found him again in a large group of White Wagtails which also included a Pied Wagtail. We now have the Western Yellow Wagtail in all months of the year! While we were standing near the wagtails, the report came in of a Black Guillemot at the Brouwersdam. Not much later this bird could be noted. A group of no fewer than 21 Black-throated Loons were found at the Grevelingenmeer. My largest group ever for the Netherlands. Once home, there was no rest because the Ring Ouzel at the Ooijpolder was reported. We immediately drove to the Ooijpolder and after a short search he was noted for the monthly list. The Common Crane migration started on February 21 and thanks to favourable winds we benefited from this. From our migration site we counted 622 copies. On February 23, Limburg was visited and 2 reported Little Buntings were quickly found. That was not the case for the Ferruginous Ducks, but in the end we saw both birds. The Eurasian Treecreeper in the Vijlenerbos was done and on the way back we found 2 Corn Bunting near Someren. We spent February 26 in the north where we saw a Rough-legged Buzzard in Ferwert. In the province of Friesland, Horned Lark, Twite, Lapland Longspur and Snow Bunting were added to the annual list. February ended with a bang. We received a report of a Golden Eagle that was near Zevenaar. There was no doubt and we jumped in the car. On the way we heard that the bird was no longer seen at the reported spot. We decided to continue driving anyway and once in the area we joined the already present searching birders. About fifteen minutes later the bird was found and a quick drive took us to the spot where the Golden Eagle was perched on a pole. Occasionally he would hunt the Hares present here. Although some distance away, it was a beautiful sight in the late afternoon sun. The Golden Eagle still counts for our Dutch list. We ended February with 177 species. Good business was also done for the February list. This increased with 7 new to 263 species.
The first weeks of March the weather was exceptionally bad with a lot of rain and north-westerly winds. Not the best conditions for bird migration and the Kamperhoek was not visited. It wasn't until March 21 that we were on the road again for a reported American Wigeon near Zwolle. On March 23, our local Eurasian Eagle-Owl was visited for the annual list. On March 28 we drove to Engbertsdijksvenen because the Golden Eagle was reported here. Late in the afternoon we arrived at the reported spot but the Golden Eagle was nowhere to be seen. We were posting with a group of birders and suddenly a Black-winged Kite flew by. The Black-winged Kite still counted for our monthly list, so that was a nice bonus. We understood from the local birders that it was also only the second record for the province of Overijssel. Unfortunately we didn't see the Golden Eagle. The next day he was reported again near Engbertsdijksvenen. We drove there again, but even this time we were unable to find the Golden Eagle. A courting Spotted Crake at the Kraaijenbergse Plassen was noted for the monthly list. On March 30, a singing Common Nightingale was reported in The Hague, the earliest ever in the Netherlands. After a long search we were also able to add this species. On March 31 we drove to Workumerwaard for a Caspian Tern for the monthly list. On the way back we got a tip that a singing Eurasian Reed Warbler had been found near Arnhem. Again a very early bird and after some searching I heard the Eurasian Reed Warbler singing. That was actually it for the month of March. The annual list now stood at 193 species. For the March list, 5 new ones were added and it now stands at 274 species.
April started with a Lesser Scaup that counts for the year list. The Hume's Leaf Warbler that was still in Geldermalsen was also visited for Maartje's monthly list. On April 4, we are back in Limburg looking for a Siberian Chiffchaff that still counts for the monthly list. Also 2 European Serins were found in Magraten. On April 8, we saw the first Red- and Black Kite of the year fly over from our garden. April 9 2 Eurasian Penduline Tits were found 4 km from our house. A mega strain for our region and we were very happy with this specie. That same evening an Eurasian Pygmy Owl was visited for the annual and monthly list. A Rosy Starling reported in Lemmer on April 17 still counted for our monthly list. We were very happy that the bird was still present when we arrived. We now have the Rosy Starling all months in the Netherlands. The next day an Eurasian Hoopoe was reported in our area that was beautifully photographed. April 21 we drove to the harbour in Scheveningen for a Ross's Gull that still counts for the annual and monthly list. The bird allowed itself to be viewed up close and photographed. When we walked back to the car, the report came in of a real Marmora's Warbler. A completely new species for the Netherlands. Unfortunately, the bird was no longer in view at that time, but we drove to Den Helder where the report came from. After 1.5 hours of searching with more than 100 birders, the chances seemed to have become very small. Fortunately, the bird was rediscovered in a nearby campsite. A real mega and satisfied we drove back to Uden. The next day, a Tawny Pipit found in the Maashorst was visited. On April 23 we drove to the Groene Jonker for a Baikal Teal that was not ringed. Here we also saw our first Black-winged Stilts of the year. A Western Bonelli's Warbler in the Vrouwenpolder in the province of Zeeland was visited on 23 April. Later DNA research showed that this was a hybrid Western Bonelli's Warbler x Wood Warbler. Unfortunately, because he still counted for the monthly list. April 24 we saw an Iberian Chiffchaff in Strijensas. After we visited a Green-winged Teal that still counts for Maartje's monthly list. On the way back home, the report came in of an Eurasian Wryneck in the Maashorst. On arrival the bird was still there and it was very nicely photographed. On April 27, we visited the Kamperhoek for the first time this year. It was a nice day with species such as Eurasian Dotterel, Tawny Pipit, Merlin and Purple Heron. Click here for a complete overview. During the count, a Dark-eyed Junco was reported in Koudum. Not far from the Kamperhoek. On arrival the bird was still present and gave great views. On the way back to Uden, a Marsh Sandpiper was added to the annual list near Vught. The next day we are back at the Kamperhoek. Again it was a nice count with our first Western Ospreys, Eurasian Hobbies and a Montagu's Harrier. Click here for a complete overview. Late in the afternoon on the last day of April we had to go to Weurt in search of a Greater Short-toed Lark that still counts for the monthly list. After some searching we found the bird. As a bonus we also picked up a Red-throated Pipit. April was a very good month and the annual list had grown to 245 species. The April list also did very well and with 6 new ones it is now at 333 species.
May 1 begins with a dream start. While loading the car at 5 o'clock in the morning we heard a Tawny Owl courtship, a new garden species. The first of the month is usually dominated by the month list and this was the case again. The Ross's Gull was still present, but now at the South Pier of IJmuiden and not in Scheveningen. We had to search a bit but finally found 2 Ross's Gulls! In the meantime, a Dark-eyed Junco was found on the Maasvlakte that still counts for the monthly list. Our day plan had to be changed and we first drove to the Dark-eyed Junco which was suspected to belong to subspecies Cassiarjunco. Fortunately, the bird was still there on arrival and I could take nice pictures. After this we drove to the Baikal Teal in the Groene Jonker. This still counts for the monthly list. Then we drove to the Biesbosch for the Green-winged Teal that was also still present and counts for Maartje's monthly list. We are not finished yet because in the dark an Eurasian Pygmy Owl is also visited for the monthly list. The next day we were early on the dike at the Nijkerkernauw for a Lesser Scaup that still counts for my monthly list. A Great Reed Warbler present was also gratefully noted. In the meantime we got a tip of a Yellow-browed Warbler on the Veluwe and that came in handy because we wanted to look for the Golden Eagle that had been reported again. We had to search for the Yellow-browed Warbler but eventually we heard him singing and he was nice to watch. This was our first Yellow-browed Warbler for the month of May. The search for the Golden Eagle failed, but we did see the Bearded Vulture that had been in the Netherlands for a while and a White-tailed Eagle. On May 4 we visited a Demoiselle Crane in Voorst. Always difficult this species regarding the status of the bird but this one was not ringed and looked good. The bird also disappeared after a few days and was not seen anywhere else. We will wait and see how this bird will be judged. We had just arrived home when a Eurasian Stone-curlew was reported at our migration site. A short quick ride followed and the Eurasian Stone-curlew was fortunately still there. A nice regional species that I still had to catch up. The next day we visited a Woodchat Shrike in the Groote Peel for the annual list. On May 6 we drove to 's-Gravenzande and after some waiting we saw our Red-rumped Swallow for 2021. The next day we were on our way again to Diependal for a Black-winged Kite that counts for our monthly list. Upon arrival, the bird was resting in a bush. After this we visited a Red-footed Falcon near Barger-Oosterveen. The bird was very tame and was nice to be photographed. Remarkably, this remained our only Red-footed Falcon of 2021. On May 8, a Buff-breasted Sandpiper was visited in Broekhuizenvorst. This is the first record of the province of Limburg for this species. May 9 we started very early in the morning looking for the Eurasian Pygmy Owl for the month list. It took a while but eventually we heard the bird calling. We now drove to the migration site Brobbelbies Zuid where an Ortolan Bunting had been reported. The weather was beautiful and on arrival we immediately heard an Eurasian Golden Oriole singing. Not an everyday variety for the Maashorst. The Ortolan Bunting was untraceable, but that was amply compensated with 2 Black Storks, 5 Red Kites, 7 Black Kites, 11 European Honey Buzzards and a Tawny Pipit. On May 11, a Thrush Nightingale was reported in Beugen. This is not far from us and we were soon at the reported spot. It took a while, but eventually the bird started to sing. On May 12 we were in the Weerribben in the evening and around 9.30 pm the Little Crake started calling. Not much later we also heard the Baillon's Crake courting. On May 13, we drove to the Slikken van Flakkee for a Red Phalarope that still counts for the monthly list. We found the bird at a great distance. During our stay, the Golden Eagle was reported perched in a tree at Deelen Airport on the Veluwe. A gamble but we drove straight there. Upon arrival, the Golden Eagle was still perched in the tree. After an hour the bird flew up and quickly disappeared from view. May 14, a Lesser Grey Shrike was visited near Almere. The next day we started with a White-winged Tern and then drove to Nieuw-Milligen on the Veluwe for a reported Western Bonelli's Warbler. On May 18, around 9.30 am, a real Little Swift was reported near Westkapelle. We did not hesitate and immediately drove to Westkapelle in the hope that the bird would hang around. On the way the bird was regularly reported and on arrival we saw the Little Swift almost immediately. The bird suddenly flew overhead and the camera rattled merrily. After that he seemed to have disappeared and happy with our new species for the Dutch list we drove back home. On May 25 we were in Delft in the late evening. A Eurasian Scops Owl was found here. Just after dusk, the bird began to call out loudly and occasionally we could see it flying. On May 30 we drove to Gasteren to see a beautiful male Collared Flycatcher. The bird was nice to watch and occasionally you could hear its song. The next day he was gone. May was very good and we also saw good species such as; Melodious Warbler, Terek Sandpiper, Whiskered Tern, Squacco Heron, River Warbler, European Bee-eater, White-throated Dipper, and Little Bittern. On May 31, the counter stood at 287 species for the annual list. The May list grew with no less than 11 new ones to 342 species!
We started again on June 1 with our monthly list. We began with the Eurasian Scops Owl very early in the morning at 0.05 am. A Black Brent Goose in Den Oever had to be done. The Black Brant has only been observed a few times in June in the Netherlands. We found the bird fairly quickly. While we were standing on the dike in Den Oever, a Greenish Warbler was reported near Wassenaar. We decided to go and give it a try. After at least 2 hours of searching we found the bird that was now fully singing. On June 2, we drove to Biddinghuizen for a Thrush Nightingale that still counts for Maartje's monthly list. On June 3 we were looking for a Ring Ouzel for the monthly list in Katwijk. Unfortunately we did not find the bird but to compensate we did see a beautiful adult Rosy Starling. On the way back to Uden we received a report of a Woodchat Shrike at our migration site. This is a very good regional variety and not much later we were also able to add it. On June 7 we started with a Squacco Heron in the Biesbosch that still counts for our Brabant list. We then drove on to Waddinxveen where we note a singing Blyth's Reed Warbler for the year list. Now the course was set for the Putten near Camperduin for a Roseate Tern. The Roseate was very nice to see and photographed. On June 9 we made an attempt for the Golden Eagle which we unfortunately did not find. The next day we were back at the same spot and now we saw the Golden Eagle take off from the forest around 11 am. The bird still counts for our monthly list. On June 12, a Pallid Harrier was visited in the far north of the Netherlands. On June 15, a group of Griffon Vultures was observed near Breda. The birds decided to stay overnight in the vicinity of Chaam. The next morning we were there and saw 3 Griffon Vultures take off and then slowly disappear into the distance. On June 19, a day trip to Friesland was done. We saw Pectoral Sandpiper and Common Rosefinch for the year list. We were especially happy with the Common Rosefinch, this species was very scarce this year. On June 20, a Cinereous Vulture was visited near Breukelen. We have to wait and see if this will get through the balloting committee. A Pygmy Cormorant in Enschede was done on June 24. The next day we stood on the Strabrechtse Heide for a Short-toed Snake Eagle who were very late this year. On the way back to Uden we visited a Corn Crake near Veghel, a good regional species. The month ended with a Stilt Sandpiper in Twisk. There are some doubts about this Stilt Sandpiper and perhaps it is a hybrid bird. We wait. Our annual list had grown to 304 species in June and with this I score 300 species for the 15th year in a row. The June list was expanded with 5 new ones and now stands at 300 species.
As usual, we started the month of July with a number of species that still count for the monthly list. In the early morning of July 1, we drove to Rouveen where we quickly found a singing Corn Bunting. We then drove to Twisk for the Stilt Sandpiper that was still present. As mentioned, we have to wait and see if this is a pure bird. We now drove on to the Philipsdam near Bruinisse. A Black-throated Loon had been sitting here for a while. After some searching we found the bird at a distance. Nevertheless, we were very happy with Black-throated Loon that we now have every month in the Netherlands. On July 2 we were on our way to the Veluwe for the Golden Eagle. On the way we received a report of a Pygmy Cormorant near Utrecht. We decided to try this bird first and then drive back to the Veluwe. The Pygmy Cormorant cooperated well and around 1 pm we were posted in the Veluwe for the Golden Eagle. It took a long time but just after 5 pm we saw the Golden Eagle flying over us. On July 13, a Griffon Vulture was visited near Breukelen for Maartje's monthly list. Our migration season started on 15 July at the migration site Brobbelbies Noord and I could often be found here from this date. We ended the month with a visit to the Gull-billed Terns that appear every year around this time in the province of Groningen. On the way back a Glossy Ibis was done near Oosterwolde. The annual list had grown to 307 species. With 5 new ones for the June list, it now stands at 291 species.
August started with the Pygmy Cormorant for the monthly list near Utrecht. On August 3, we were again in the Veluwe to get the Golden Eagle back on the monthly list. The bird was reported very irregularly in the past so the expectations were not too high. At 8 am we were present and half an hour later we saw the Golden Eagle flying low over the edge of the forest in front of us. We still missed a Blyth's Reed Warbler in August so a reported bird on Texel had to be done. We saw at least 2 birds of the first breeding case of this species in the Netherlands. On August 7, an Aquatic Warbler was visited near Nijkerk. On August 8, we could be found again in the far north near Westhoek. Target species was a White-rumped Sandpiper that we saw among thousands of other waders. On August 19, I saw my first Ortolan Bunting for 2021 at our migration site. A strong northwest wind lured us to Westkapelle on August 22. Not a bad choice as it turned out. We saw several Long-tailed Jaegers, Parasitic Jaegers and a Northern Fulmar which still count for the year list. At the migration site it is now also starting to come loose and in 2 days we saw several Tawny Pipits and 2 Ortolan Buntings. On August 26 we went to Westkapelle because the wind was favourable again. We saw our only Sabine's Gull of 2021 and again several Long-tailed Jaegers. August 29 we had to go to Texel for a Lesser Grey Shrike that still counts for the monthly list. Our annual list now stood at 314 species. With 4 new ones for the August list, it now stands at 299 species.
The Pygmy Cormorant was still present and the Golden Eagle was also still hanging around in the Veluwe. These were therefore the target species for September 1. The Pygmy Cormorant turned out to be fairly easy but for the rest of the day we posted in vain for the Golden Eagle. On September 3 we made another attempt and after a few hours of posting we saw the Golden Eagle fly by from a distance. Meanwhile at the migration site, a veritable invasion of Red Admirals took place. Hundreds of these migratory butterflies passed our migration site. On September 4 we stayed extra-long at the migration site and we counted 433 Red Admirals. A bonus was a male Pallid Harrier who was briefly present at the migration site at 5.30 pm. On August 7, a Great Snipe was discovered near Wageningen. The next day we were present for this type for the monthly list. It was not easy and backlighting did not make identification easy. In the end it worked with a photo of the Great Snipe in flight. On September 11 we drove to Bergen for a Broad-billed Sandpiper for the annual list. This species was also very scarce this year. September 13, it went completely wild with the Red Admirals at our migration site. We counted 1225 copies, which is a new Dutch daily record. On September 19, a Barred Warbler was visited at the Maasvlakte. September 26 we were back on Texel. Now for an American Golden Plover which still counted for Maartje's monthly list and of course the annual list. A White-rumped Sandpiper present was also picked up. Our annual list had now grown to 318 species. With only 3 new ones for the September list, it now stands at 314 species.
We started October 1 with another attempt for the Golden Eagle. The bird had not been reported for a while. We didn't see him this time and in the end the Golden Eagle turned out to be no longer present. We were able to write him down a total of 6 times for the monthly list. While we were at the migration site on October 2, a Lesser Spotted Eagle was reported near Werkendam. This bird was reported a day earlier with a photo in the Flevopolder. After half an hour, the bird was reported again and was found to be hanging out near Waspik. A nervous ride started but after 45 minutes we saw the Lesser Spotted Eagle sitting in a field. Later on beautiful flight plates could be made of this new species for our Dutch list. On October 4, the Pygmy Cormorant was visited, which was still present near Utrecht. A northwest storm lured us back to Westkapelle. It turned out to be a very nice day with species such as; Leach's Storm Petrel, Manx- and Sooty Shearwater, Long-tailed Jaeger, Parasitic Jaeger, Pomarine Jaeger, Great Skua and Light-bellied Brent Goose. October 8 we left for Texel for our annual Dutch Birding Texel weekend. On October 9, however, we had to go to Schiermonnikoog for a reported Black Scoter that still counts for our Dutch list. We had to search for a while but in the end we got to see the duck nicely. Happy we drove back to Texel. The next day a Daurian Shrike was found here that still counted for the annual list. On October 11 we drove from Texel to the Maasvlakte for a Two-barred Warbler. The Two-barred Warbler could be viewed and photographed beautifully. October 15 a tour of Zeeland was done. A Zitting Cisticola for the monthly list was visited in the Braakman. At Westkapelle we visited a Red-breasted Flycatcher for the annual list. October 17 we drove from the migration site to Ouddorp for a reported Red-flanked Bluetail and Pallas's Leaf Warbler. Both birds were found after quite a bit of searching. On October 20 we saw a Black-winged Kite at the migration site. That same evening a report came through of a possible Eastern Olivaceous Warbler in Nieuwvliet-Bad. We decided to wait the next day to see if the bird would be found. The Eastern Olivaceous Warbler was indeed found early in the morning the next day and the identification also turned out to be fine. Immediately after the report, we drove in the direction of Nieuwvliet-Bad where we joined more than a hundred nervous birders. It took a long time and we almost gave up but the Eastern Olivaceous Warbler was rediscovered. With this completely new species for the Netherlands and therefore for our list, we drove back to Uden with satisfaction. On October 24 I was at the migration site with Maartje. The other counters were on Terschelling. The Common Wood Pigeons flew in large numbers and other species also did very well. An European Shag was reported in Brabant at 2.30 pm and this is a good species for the province. However, we were at almost 100,000 Common Wood Pigeons so the European Shag had to wait a little longer, that was the plan. Then at 3 pm there was a report of a real Cream-coloured Courser in the dunes near Bergen. We couldn't believe it but the stuff was thrown into the car and we started the nervous ride of about 1.5 hours. The Cream-coloured Courser was in a restricted area, but the grounds managers agreed to an organized excursion at 5 pm. We had the traffic with us and at 4.40 pm I parked the car and we joined a large group of birders. After a short walk we saw the Cream-coloured Courser sitting in the low evening sun. What a mega species that I never expected to see in the Netherlands. After entering the count of that day it turned out that we had counted 102,688 Common Wood Pigeons, a new migration site record. We also counted 471 Common Buzzards, all in all a busy day. For a complete overview of the count click here. The next day the European Shag was done that was near Helmond. The Black-winged Kite that was briefly seen at our migration site a few days earlier returned on October 25 and lingered for a few days. I managed to get a good photo of him. The month was not over yet and on October 31 we visited a Dartford Warbler at the Hondsbossche Zeewering and on the way back a hybrid Black Kite x Eastern Black Kite. It had become an extremely good month with no fewer than 4 new species for our Dutch list. The annual list now stood at 333 species. The October list grew with 7 species to 331 species.
November 1 we started with a Zitting Cisticola in the Braakman that still counts for our monthly list. We now have the Zitting Cisticola round in all months in the Netherlands. The Eastern Olivaceous Warbler that was not far from the Braakman was wanted but after a long search it was not found. On November 3 the Pygmy Cormorant was done which was still present near Utrecht. The Eastern Olivaceous Warbler was seen again so on November 5 we went to make another attempt. This time we also found the bird. On October 11 we drove to the Hondsbossche Zeewering near Camperduin. Here was a Radde's Warbler who still counted for our monthly and yearly list. The Dartford Warbler was also still present and of course this was also done. A Little Auk near Andijk was visited for the annual list. A Pied Wheatear on Texel was visited on November 28. On November 29 we were very happy with a Eurasian Dotterel for the monthly list at Ouddorp. On November 30, we drove to the Eemspolder for a Caspian Plover for the monthly list. Despite posting for a long time, we did not find the bird. The annual list at the end of November stood at 336 species. The November list grew with 5 new ones to 291 species.
On December 1 the weather was so bad that we didn't even went to see the Pygmy Cormorant that was still there. The next day it was better and we found the Pygmy Cormorant quite easily. On the way back to Uden we received a tip that there was an Eurasian Reed Warbler in Papendrecht. This was almost on the route and not much later we were at the location in a huge downpour that lasted 45 minutes. The Eurasian Reed Warbler was eventually found. This is a very good month species and we drove to Uden with satisfaction with this unexpected sighting. The Caspian Plover was still there so we drove back to the Eemspolder on December 3. After more than an hour of posting on the spot, I found an Eurasian Dotterel that hadn't been reported here before. It took a few more hours but luckily the Caspian Plover flew in with a Dunlin. A very late Red-backed Shrike was visited for the monthly list in the Flevopolder. The bird was in bad condition and was not seen again after a day, which does not bode well for the bird. The Eastern Olivaceous Warbler had not been reported since November 29, but on December 8 we gave it a try. We were therefore very surprised when we found the bird at a short distance after 15 minutes. He looked fit and who knows, he might last until January. On December 10 we visited a Ring-necked Duck near Appingedam for the annual list. We then searched for reported Taiga Bean Geese but we did not get further than 1 possible candidate. We did see a number of Pink-footed Geese here that still count for the annual list. On December 11, a Siberian Lesser Whitethroat and a Dusky Warbler were entered for the annual list. This also applied to a Snow Goose on December 16. That evening there was a report of a Western Swamphen in Alblasserdam. The next morning we were at the site of the report with the first light. After about half an hour, the Western Swamphen was found. If this bird is accepted, then this is a new species for the Netherlands and therefore for our Dutch list. The Dartford Warbler also turned out to be still present and it was visited for the monthly list on December 18. On the way back to Uden a Siberian Lesser Whitethroat was done in Overveen. On December 22, another Western Swamphen was discovered near Zevenhuizen. The day before, a Richard's Pipit was seen near Utrecht. We are still missing the Richard's Pipit on the annual list, so this was a nice combination. We decided to visit the Western Swamphen first. On arrival we could immediately join the birdwatchers already present. The bird showed itself beautifully and even flew over us. Happy with the photos, we now drove to Utrecht for the Richard's Pipit. Despite a search of a few hours, it was not found. On December 27, a Short-eared Owl was reported in the Vughtse Gement. We immediately got in the car and drove to Den Bosch. The Short-eared Owl is also still missing from the annual list. After a little more than half an hour of searching we found the bird. A flight picture could even be made. On December 28, a Bohemian Waxwing was discovered in Noordwijk. The bird was visited the next day. The Bohemian Waxwing was still missing from the annual list. While we were driving to a Iceland Gull, a report came in from an American Wigeon near Grijpskerke in the province of Zeeland. This was a new month type so we immediately drove to Zeeland. Along the way, an Pacific Golden Plover was also reported at Grijpskerke, which still counts for the annual list. That was not wrong. The American Wigeon was easily found but the Pacific Golden Plover did not cooperate. After December 28, there was no more birding done. December was a good month with 1 new species for our Dutch list. At least if the Western Swamphen is accepted. The final standings are 445 species. I had 8 new ones for the december list which is now at 274 species.
With 345 species on the list for 2021, it is a match of my best year list ever. There are still a few doubtful species on the list; Cinereous Vulture, Stilt Sandpiper, Demoiselle Crane and Hume's Whitethroat. We have to wait and see if these will be accepted. In 2014 I also had 345 species. It is also the 15th year in a row that I have scored more than 300 species in a year. Both Maartje and I noted 9 new species for our Dutch list. The monthly list also performed well. The world list has been virtually on the back burner for 2 years because of the Corona. The growth that was there is mainly due to splits. We have no new trips planned abroad and we are waiting to see how the situation develops. Here's an overview of the lists we maintain.
New for the Netherlands
- Golden Eagle
- Marmora's Warbler
- Demoiselle Crane (still to be accepted)
- Little Swift
- Lesser Spotted Eagle
- Black Scoter
- Eastern Olivaceous Warbler (still to be accepted)
- Cream-coloured Courser
- Western Swamphen (still to be accepted)
An overview of the lists that we keep
- Life list the Netherlands 469 species (increase of 9 compared to 2020)
- Life list World 3757 species (increase of 10compared to. 2020)
- Total eternal monthly list 3599 (increase of 70 compared to 2020)
- Year list 2021 345 species
New for the Netherlands
- Golden Eagle
- Marmora's Warbler
- Demoiselle Crane (still to be accepted)
- Little Swift
- Lesser Spotted Eagle
- Black Scoter
- Eastern Olivaceous Warbler (still to be accepted)
- Cream-coloured Courser
- Western Swamphen (still to be accepted)
An overview of the lists that we keep
- Life list the Netherlands 462 species (increase of 9 compared to 2020)
- Life list World 4483 species (increase of 9 compared to 2020)
- Total eternal monthly list 3565 (increase of 75 compared to 2020)
- Year list 2021 345 species