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.
On the evening after my uncle's funeral in Friesland we received a report of an European Roller near Dordrecht. The Roller is still new to our Dutch list and especially I have managed to dip this species every time.
That night we stayed in Friesland with my aunt and we'll see what happens the next day. Just like May 19, 2018 with the Top of Holland when an European Roller was reported at Oostellingwerf (Friesland) and we sat exhausted at my aunt's couch in the evenings. We'll do it tomorrow, we said.
All other possible European Rollers in the past had something that prevented me from having this species on my list. De European Roller of 10 July 2011, for example. I was in Groningen for a Great Spotted Cuckoo while there was an European Roller and a Least Sandpiper reported. I chose the Least Sandpiper all the way down in the Sophiapolder in Zeeuws Flanders. However, this bird turned out to be a Temminck's Stint. Because it was already quite late in the evening and I had already driven enough kilometers I decided to do the European Roller the next day. The Roller who was on Texel on September 25, 2018, I missed by 15 minutes. On June 14, 2015 there was an European Roller at Zandvoort. I never had to work on weekends but of course we had a huge outage that weekend. And so on by means of…
The next morning we woke up in Friesland by the report that the European Roller was still present nearby Dordrecht. There was no hesitation and we said goodbye to my aunt and started the 224 km ride. During the ride the bird was not found and when we arrived it seemed as if it had disappeared. In any case, we would to keep looking all day, that was the plan. After an hour or so, the bird was reported not far from where it was found this morning. We quickly drove to the location but the European Roller appeared to have already disappeared. We went to where he was last seen. While waiting, the bird suddenly was seen a few kilometers further. We were far from the car and a lift from Pieter Doorn was very welcome.
We drove quickly to the site of the report and here we saw the European Roller flying over a barn and almost immediately disappeared from view. That couldn't stop the fun and I even managed to take a few pictures.
With the European Roller finally in my pocket, my NL-list has grown to 471 species! Maartje's NL-list is now at 464 species.
Tuesday we get up at 4 o'clock in the morning and drive to Lelystad for a Thrush Nightingale reported there. Upon arrival at the site, we immediately hear the bird's strong song. He even shows itself. It is for me first time seeing one.
We don't stay long because we want to catch the boat at 7.30. We make it to the boat in plenty and we drive around 8 o'clock up the island. The Griffon Vulture has not yet been reported and on arrival at yesterday's place we only see 1 birder searching. We decide to drive around. About a kilometer further we see the Griffon Vulture sitting in the middle of a of a meadow. We report the bird via Dutch Birding and the local Texel app group. The vulture is sitting quietly in the meadow and flies for a few hundred meters to land again in another meadow.
Satisfied with the sighting and the photos, we drive back to the ferry for the departure at 10 o'clock. The destination is Oudwoude in Friesland. My uncle passed away last week and the funeral is at 2:30 this afternoon. We will stay overnight in Friesland.