26-05-2022 - Day in the province of Limburg
We still need a few annual varieties that we can find in Limburg. We meet with Alwin and Donny for a day in Strolling around Limburg.
At 6 o'clock in the morning we are picked up in Uden and drive to Kerkrade for a walk along the stream de Worm. Target species here is the White-throated Dipper. We arrive around 7.15 am and walk into the Wormdal. It's been a few years since I've been here and I see that the flooding of 2 years ago has also taken its toll here. Some banks have been knocked away and there are many trees around. Beaver tracks can also be seen on some trees. We walk quietly south along the stream and see a Eurasian Beaver. Several Grey Wagtails fly along the bank and a Common Kingfisher is seen. Unfortunately, despite a lot of searching, no Dipper.
We decide to continue and drive to the Geul valley. Here we have seen several White-throated Dippers in the past. We park the car and walk to the Geul. A lot of changes here too, but now in the form of a lot of barbed wire to protect the banks. We walk down the Geul to the border of Belgium. Here we see 2 Black Storks overflying that still count for the annual list. Unfortunately no trace of Dippers. We walk back the same way and see an Eurasian Hobby that has just struck a House Sparrow. The Eurasian Hobby is sitting in a tree picking its prey. Also on the on the way back, no Dippers are seen.
We now drive on to the Vijlenerbos for an Eurasian Treecreeper that we also quickly find. We are having fun with a loudly singing Common Firecrest that is nice photographed. We are still looking for a Dipper on a few other places but without success.
It's time to go to Koningsbosch for the European Bee-eater. Again changes here. Last year's place is excavated. We go to the old place from previous years and find 2 Bee-eaters here. One of the Bee-eaters is seen together with a male Red-backed Shrike on a branch of a birch. Something I don't have seen in the Netherlands yet. An overflying European Honey Buzzard still counted for Alwin's and Donny's annual list.
It was now around 2.30 pm and Alwin and Donny suggested we try a White-faced Darter. For them a new species. I don't usually go after dragonflies or butterflies but I thought it was a great idea. After a 50 km ride km we arrived at the Deurnse Peel. The White-faced Darter was actually found almost immediately. 2 present Germans who were also hunting dragonflies pointed out the presence of the Crescent Bluet. A new strain for Alwin, Donny and Maartje (and of course for me). They couldn't believe their luck. In the meantime I took a lot of pictures of the dragonflies. We saw the following species; Four-spotted Chaser, Banded Demoiselle, Azure Bluet, Variable Bluet, Large Red Damselfly, Crescent Bluet, Common Bluet, Black-tailed Skimmer and White-faced Darter.
It turned out to be a successful day with 3 new year varieties for Maartje and me. The year list is now at 295 types. The day traditionally ended with a steak at Marc's BBQ in Uden.