Vogelexcursie Fochteloerveen 13-05-2018

Birdwatching report private bird excursion Fochteloërveen May 13th 2018

Birdwatching report private bird excursion Fochteloërveen May 13th 2018

It was the turn of two people from the city of Groningen today to explore the birds of the Fochteloërveen. They had cycled through it, but they did not come by watching birds. Now we would look in 3.5 hours to see if we could find the species of birds that the Fochteloërveen is famous for: a falcon, a little river, a raven and a crane. We started at 9.00. It was then dry and calm again, but at the end of the afternoon it would start to thunder.

First listen and then search

From the parking lot we could already observe a good number of birds. We heard great tit, winter king, blackbird and yellowhammer. We also saw white wagtail, large Canada goose and gray goose. In the meantime house martin was hunting for insects above our heads. Moments later the participants got into my car and we drove to the first point, at the beginning of the peat. There was little on the water this time, only a tufted duck. Fortunately, there was more in the reeds: reed bunting, redbreasted tap and in the distance a bluethroat. Through the telescope the white spot on the blue chest was just visible. A moment later, a small black-backed gull flew over and a buzzard flew a little further.

Then it was hit: a fairly small bird of prey was clearly hunting in the air. A falcon, who caught dragonflies in the air and removed them from their wings on the spot. You could see that he was busy with something in his claws in the air. This bird species was new to the participants, a ‘lifer’. Then there was attention for a fitis, which showed nicely.

Whinchat? Yes!

At the next stop it was time for a walk through the peat. A tree pipper sang next to the path and a teal swam in the water. A black-headed gull flew over the water, where once there was a gull colony. This is no longer there, unfortunately. We scanned the tops of the bushes and the bare trees. Not without result: a beautiful male puppy appeared to be sitting on top of a bare branch. He showed himself beautifully through the telescope. The white eyebrow line was clearly visible. Fortunately, we managed to take a picture with the mobile phone through the telescope.

Birding tour Fochteloërveen Winchat


As we walked on, a skylark sang above our heads and we heard a cuckoo. And in the distance we saw another kestrel flying. A little further, at the parking lot, a blackcap sang its highest song. Then it was time for coffee and cake, and a sanitary stop.

Oriole, crane and raven

Then we went to the bird-watching hut. There was not much more to see here than some barn swallows on the nest in the hut. Outside the hut we heard a tree creeper and suddenly also the oriole! He was sitting behind a bush, so it did not work to get him in the spotlight. When we looked around a bit further we saw a yellow wagtail sitting. Then we drove to the observation tower ‘De Zeven’.

In the forest to the watchtower we heard goldhorns singing. Once at the top of the tower we of course enjoyed the view of the peat. Then it was searching for cranes. Yes, it was far away, but there was really one in the peat. He was recognizable by the telescope. When we took the path back through the forest, we saw a gray flycatcher. This flew from branch to branch, so it was too restless to get well into the telescope. Fortunately, he could also be seen through the binoculars. A bit further we suddenly heard a raven. At the same time we saw two overflies, nice! And before we were back at the car we heard a great spotted woodpecker and a black woodpecker calling.

It was high time to bring the participants back to their car. We had seen the distinctive species of birds for the Fochteloërveen, and a nice amount of other species. It was a successful excursion.


Observed species of birdwatching excursion

1 Greater Canada Goose – Branta canadensis
2 Greylag Goose – Anser anser
3 Egyptian goose – Alopochen aegyptiaca
4 Wild Duck – Anas platyrhynchos
5 Teal – Anas crecca
6 Tufted duck – Aythya fuligula
7 Blue Heron – Ardea cinerea
8 Buzzard – Buteo buteo
9 Coot – Fulica atra
10 Common Crane – Grus grus
11 Lapwing – Vanellus vanellus
12 Black-headed Gull – Chroicocephalus ridibundus
13 Lesser Black-backed Gull – Larus fuscus
14 Wood pigeon – Columba palumbus
15 Cuckoo – Cuculus canorus
16 Great Spotted Woodpecker – Dendrocopos major
17 Black Woodpecker – Dryocopus martius
18 Common Kestrel – Falco tinnunculus
19 Tree falcon – Falco subbuteo
20 Golden Oriole – Oriolus oriolus
21 Black Crow – Corvus corone
22 Raven – Corvus corax
23 Blue Tit – Cyanistes caeruleus
24 Great Tit – Parus major
25 Skylark – Alauda arvensis
26 Barn swallow – Hirundo rustica
27 House Martin – Delichon urbicum
28 Fitis – Phylloscopus trochilus
29 Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla
30 Warbler – Sylvia communis
31 Gold cock – Regulus regulus
32 Winter King – Troglodytes troglodytes
33 Tree creeper – Certhia brachydactyla
34 Starling – Sturnus vulgaris
35 Blackbird – Turdus merula
36 Song Thrush – Turdus philomelos
37 Gray Flycatcher – Muscicapa striata
38 European Robin – Erithacus rubecula
39 Bluethroat – Luscinia svecica
40 Paapje – Saxicola rubetra
41 Red-breasted steppe – Saxicola rubicola
42 Yellow Wagtail – Motacilla flava
43 White Wagtail – Motacilla alba
44 Tree Pipit – Anthus trivialis
45 Finch – Fringilla coelebs
46 Yellowhammer – Emberiza citrinella
47 Reed bunting – Emberiza schoeniclus