Private birding excursion Fochteloërveen 26 May 2018
For a group of friends of 4 people the birding excursion Fochteloërveen was on the program today. They had booked the afternoon, and would like to start at noon. It promised to be a warm afternoon, with lots of sun and a temperature of 26 degrees Celsius. The ladies came from different places in the Netherlands and also had different experience with bird watching.
The first gray flycatcher
We had agreed on a parking lot, where we could immediately enjoy house martins, the sounds of a number of songbirds and an overflying stork. A gray flycatcher also showed himself to a number of us. Because there was a locust singing in the distance, we walked a bit in that direction. He seemed to hold his beak, but at some point he went off again. For some ladies this was the first introduction to this bird. On his way back, a fitis heard his sound, and a few large Canadian geese walked through the country.
The ladies chose to ride with me in the car. We first looked at the beginning of the area, maybe there were still tree falcons. Unfortunately, they did not fly today. We did see buzzard, barn swallow, yellowhammer, tufted duck and coot and we saw a reed bunting nicely through the telescope.
Who spots the Whinchat?
Then it was time for the walk through the peat: here we could come across the Whinchat. With the instruction in the pocket where and how they could search for the Whinchat, we went to hike. We saw linnets sitting in a tree, heard a tree pipper singing and saw a kestrel in the air. Two brown harriers were also seen above the peat. Meanwhile, a look was thrown across the field, looking for the Whinchat. He should be there, but he might not show up in the heat. Fortunately, at that moment one of the ladies discovered the animal in a bush, a bit further away. Through the telescope there was already some heat vibration, but he was clearly recognizable. Fun, now the most advanced participant also had a lifer!
Further on we saw putters and suddenly a cuckoo came flying in front of us, which went down a bit further into a rough pine. This was also nice to see through the telescope, with lines and all. And then the Whinchat came closer in the picture. Quickly aim the telescope at it and all enjoy this beautiful man. As we walked back along the cycle path we discovered another male Stonechat in a tree. He sang the highest song and showed himself well.
Then it was time for the bird-watching hut, which was actually only visible inside birds. On the lake in front of the hut was only a wild duck. A barn swallow was waiting inside the hut with a large insect in the beak until we were out again. In the nest two youngsters were waiting for the tasty snack. The benches in the cabin turned out to have become quite white, last weeks … Time for a cup of tea and a piece of Drentse Turf.
Where did the cranes go?
On the way to the starting place, the ladies had already seen four cranes in the country. They stood in a place where cranes are more often. That was already a few hours ago, so I wondered if the birds would still be there. Not so, the field turned out empty, except for a whitish stain, that far away that could be quite different from a crane. Due to the heat vibration the telescope offered no solution in this case. When we stopped a bit further, we saw a yellow wagtail, a small black-backed gull and a black-headed gull. A blue heron also flew by. In the village we could add starling and house sparrow to the list and there was still a Turkish dove on the roof.
Squeaky little bird in the 7
During the walk to the watchtower we heard a great spotted woodpecker, song thrush and robin and high in the trees goldheads let themselves be heard. At one point we saw a pied flycatcher, and soon also two gray flycatchers. From the tree creeper we only heard the vocals. During the climb up in the lookout tower “The 7” we heard a young bird squealing, we saw the beast sitting on a ledge, and sometimes flopped a little bit up, sitting in the middle of the tower, and did not seem to be there. One of the participants tried to take the animal carefully with her hat, but unfortunately it did not work, but then all the way up, too much stress can be fatal for such a creature.
At the top of the tower more people appeared to be standing, and they were already seeing if they could find cranes. We discovered two that were in the peat. A little later they flew away together, towards the lake at the bike path. Fortunately, everyone could see them through the telescope, and it was also a nice sight to see them in flight. Furthermore, there was little to see from the tower at that moment.
On the way down we looked if we could still see the young bird. We heard the squeaking, but he was sitting in a corner of the tower, where he might have come himself. We just hoped that fate would be favorable to the creature. We ourselves went back to the car. As we drove back to the cars of the participants, we saw another meadow piper and a oystercatcher. We were a bit later than originally planned at the starting place, but the ladies had already indicated that they would have no problem with that.
Although it had been a very hot afternoon, the number of observed species of birds was still 49 species. All ladies had seen one or more lifers, and had a good time.
Observed bird species
1 Greater Canada Goose – Branta canadensis
2 Greylag Goose – Anser anser
3 Egyptian goose – Alopochen aegyptiaca
4 Wild Duck – Anas platyrhynchos
5 Tufted duck – Aythya fuligula
6 Stork – Ciconia ciconia
7 Blue Heron – Ardea cinerea
8 Marsh Harrier – Circus aeruginosus
9 Buzzard – Buteo buteo
10 Coot – Fulica atra
11 Common Crane – Grus grus
12 Oystercatcher – Haematopus ostralegus
13 Lapwing – Vanellus vanellus
14 Black-headed Gull – Chroicocephalus ridibundus
15 Lesser Black-backed Gull – Larus fuscus
16 Wood pigeon – Columba palumbus
17 Collared Dove – Streptopelia decaocto
18 Cuckoo – Cuculus canorus
19 Great Spotted Woodpecker – Dendrocopos major
20 Common Kestrel – Falco tinnunculus
21 Black Crow – Corvus corone
22 Blue Tit – Cyanistes caeruleus
23 Great Tit – Parus major
24 barn swallow – Hirundo rustica
25 House Martin – Delichon urbicum
26 Fitis – Phylloscopus trochilus
27 Grasshopper singer – Locustella naevia
28 Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla
29 Warbler – Sylvia communis
30 Goudhaan – Regulus regulus
31 Winter King – Troglodytes troglodytes
32 Tree creeper – Certhia brachydactyla
33 Starling – Sturnus vulgaris
34 Blackbird – Turdus merula
35 Song Thrush – Turdus philomelos
36 Gray Flycatcher – Muscicapa striata
37 European Robin – Erithacus rubecula
38 Pied Flycatcher – Ficedula hypoleuca
39 Paapje – Saxicola rubetra
40 Red-breasted steppe – Saxicola rubicola
41 House Sparrow – Passer domesticus
42 Yellow Wagtail – Motacilla flava
43 Meadow Pipit – Anthus pratensis
44 Tree Pipit – Anthus trivialis
45 Finch – Fringilla coelebs
46 Kneu – Linaria cannabina
47 Putter – Carduelis carduelis
48 Yellowhammer – Emberiza citrinella
49 Reed bunting – Emberiza schoeniclus