Saturday morning I arrive at 6.45 pm on the Kamperhoek. Ico is already there and he is counting with open trunk lid. This, however, offers little protection for the strong wind which is directly south. I put on my winter coat and that is certainly not a luxury. It feels cold and it's completely cloudy. In any case, it is dry and visibility is good. There are already quite a few numbers of birds migrating and especially the numbers of Wood Pigeons catch the eye.
A new month and there are still a few new month species to be done. This is always combined with a nice daytrip. Together with Pieter the species were selected and combined with a nice route. Target species were chosen as follows: Ferruginous Duck, Glaucous Gull, House Crow, Common Guillemot, Surf Scoter and American Wigeon. At 7 o'clock in the morning we met at a carpool near the town of De Meern and drove to Alphen aan den Rijn for the first species, the Ferruginous Duck.
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.