The weather forecast for the weekend seemed very good. Northeast wind, and it would be warm, a classic spring migration weekend. The expectations were high, how different would it be. Saturday morning at 5 am I drove toward the Kamperhoek where I agreed with Alwin.
Around 6 am I arrived at the migration site and there was a cold northeast wind. The telescope was set up and in the meantime the first Yellow Wagtails flew over me. It was not long before Alwin arrived. A beautiful male Merlin passed at a short distance and some pictures were made. The first hour passed quickly and the numbers of birds were still very disappointing. The second hour the migration rose somewhat and groups of Little Gulls passed. A Black Swan flew along the pylons heading north and this was my first for the Kamperhoek. The next hour was very quiet and a Little Egret and a Purple Heron are the only noteworthy birds. We stopped at 13.30 pm and in total we counted 1834 birds spread over 56 species. For a complete overview of the census click here
The day was not over yet and the first target specie was the Spotted Sandpiper that is present since January at Medemblik. The bird is almost in breeding plumage and invites for a photo session. Arriving at the place we found the bird almost immediately and he could be photographed at close range. The bird was indeed now almost in summer plumage and its beak begins to change colour. I hope he continues to stay until he's completely moulted. Next stop was the Ring-necked Duck who was also sitting nearby, hopes were again for a photo opportunity. We did some searching but eventually found the Duck between some Tufted Ducks. The Ducks were very shy and a picture was not possible. A hunting Peregrine chased the Ring-necked Duck away so it was time to move on.
A Yellow-browed Warbler in Hoorn was the next destination. This was also fairly close and after a short search we found the bird perched in the treetops. Occasionally he was somewhat lower and there were some pictures made. It was now five o'clock and I left Alwin and drove back to Uden. The day ended with a big T-Bone Steak at Marc's BBQ.
The next day I drove back to the Kamperhoek, now with Harry. Around 6 o'clock the telescopes were prepared and we witnessed a spectacular sunrise. Less was made with the birds and beside some Yellow Wagtails the first hour there was not much counted. The following hours also remained very quiet. Best was a Red Kite who flew heading south around 10:30 am. With just over 1000 birds we decided to stop 11.30 am and drove direction Zealand where a Citrine Wagtail was discovered. For a complete overview of the census click here
After a long drive we arrived at t 'Vroon near Westkapelle where the bird was seen. There were some well-known bird watchers and the news was that the bird was gone for some a time now. We joined the group and went looking for it. At the old spot a group of Yellow Wagtails was discovered and there were also four British Wagtails that could be put nicely in the picture. A beautiful male Pied Wagtail was also here. The Citrine lacked any trace. After a few hours of searching, we called it a day and headed back to Uden.
I wonder what the spring migration season will bring, so far this is my worst spring count at Kamperhoek ever. With only two weeks to go it must begin soon, we wait patiently..........