FW: New birds in The Netherlands

 

 

From: Wim Vader <wjm.vader@gmail.com&gt;
Sent: tirsdag 13. oktober 2020 17:04
To: Willem Jan Marinus Vader <wim.vader@uit.no&gt;
Cc: Riet Keuchenius <mmkeuchenius@gmail.com&gt;; Jan Willem Vader <jw.vader@chello.nl&gt;; Lena de Vries <lenajee@ziggo.nl&gt;; Anja Kroodsma <anja.kroodsma@xs4all.nl&gt;
Subject: New birds in The Netherlands

 

‘New ‘ birds in The Netherlands

 

I grew up in The Netherlands, but emigrated to Norway in 1965, having ‘met this girl’. 

Just now I have again spent 2 weeks in The Netherlands, visiting my present LAT partner Riet. Our movements were quite restricted by the current pandemic (and our age), but we were on a couple of walks and drove to visit family. Once more it struck me forcefully that there have been clear changes in the avifauna in these 50 years.

On every drive one now sees a couple of egrets, here in the centre of the country mostly Great Egrets, while in the areas with brackish or salt water there are mostly Little Egrets. Of course these are quite conspicuous birds, but I had never seen one while I still lived in Holland. (Once I had high hopes, as I glimpsed white wings at the other side of a small woodland; but on arriving out of breath at the rim of the woodland, it turned out to be somebody’s cockatoo!). Now there are 1000’s of egrets in the Netherlands, probably caused by global warming, coupled with cessation of persecution.

Another ‘new’ bird that has become all too common, is the Egyptian Goose. (Canada Geese there were already while I lived in Holland). In Odijk you see them on nearly every walk, often with goslings and they seem to increase in numbers year for year.

New in a way are also Barnacle Geese; they always have wintered in the country in large numbers, but now they also breed many places. Both geese species’ populations no doubt derive from park birds.

There are now also large numbers of parrots in The Netherlands, mainly Rose-ringed Parakeets, but they are to a large degree city birds and they have not yet made it to Odijk.

A pleasant change, although not a new bird as such, is the greatly increased numbers of White Storks.They had almost disappeared as a breeding bird, but a concerted effort has saved them and this stately bird is once again quite common.We saw one on one of the street lamps along the motorway, also a beloved perch for the cormorants.

Then there are the still more uncommon strangers. Last year my usual walk along the Kromme Rijn yielded a Black Swan, the year before I surprised a Sacred Ibis in nearby Houten, and along the Rhine at Wijk bij Duurstede, also less than 15 km from Odijk, I know a place where one often can find Bar-headed Geese. All birds I had never seen in the country before 1965. There also flamingos now.

 

The globalisation, that brings so many exotic plants and animals to our countries, some of which develop into minor or even major pests, therefore also clearly shows in the avifauna. For some reason I heartily dislike the Egyptian Geese, while I feel much more positive about the egrets.

Wim Vader, Tromso, Norway

 

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