|The National Park Oosterschelde near Zuidkaap|
Another wonderful day in typical Dutch countryside and this time exploring the bird sites north and south of the National Park Oosterschelde - basically, the Schelde estuary since recovering after the disastrous floods of 1953, the same floods that decimated the British east coast. Up and down the dikes with the road sometimes on top but mostly behind and protected from the sea. A wonderful experience for those trying to understand the meaning of a "polder." All this visiting polders, I even said to Marieke that we were undertaking a "poldering" only to discover that there is already such a verb as used in the Dutch Parliament when the heated debates get under way!
|Hundreds of waders driven across the sea dike by the rising tide|
We spent some considerable time looking at the pools on the land side of the sea wall and with the sea racing on towards high tide we were able to witness not just the birds already resting on the small lagoons but the regular arrivals for the sea side of the dike. Lots of Greylag Geese but also a score or more of Barnacle Geese along with a handful of Egyptian Geese. A few Mute Swans but at least a score of Spoonbill and a small number of Little Egret and Grey Heron. Mainly Mallards but we also recorded Shelduck. Not so many Coots and Moorhens but loads, hundreds, of Oystercatchers. A few Redshank and also Herring Gull present but then hundreds of Curlew taking a good, long sleep. Also good to record Great Black-backed Gull. A Meadow Pipit put in a brief appearance by way of a change form the Barn Swallows feeding around us and always the occasional Cormorant to be seen..
|Barnacle Geese Barnacla Cariblanca Branta leucopsis|
|The delightful site at Colijnsplaat|
|A large flock of Spoonbill Espatula Comun Platalea leucorodia|
Also present were a few Gadwall in with the Teal and Mallard plus a small number of Black-tailed Godwit and a handful of Dunlin. Interesting to suddenly find a small flock of Canada Geese which were revealed when a score of Barnacle Geese took to the air but also leaving behind the Greylag Geese. Then the distinct call of a Water Rail below us near the water's edge, a bird that was to be quite persistent so almost certainly a juvenile demanding food.
|Barnacle Geese Barnacla Cariblanca Branta leucopsis and accompanying waders|
|Spoonbill Espatula Comun Platalea leucorodia accompanied by Canada Geese Barnacla canadiense Branta canadensis and waders|
Greylag Goose, Barnacle Goose, Mute Swan, Egyptian Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Spoonbill, Osprey, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Green Sandpiper, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern, Wood Pigeon, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow.
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