Trip Report: Netherlands, January 24 - May 13, 1996

Denis Lepage, Département de Biologie, Pavillon Vachon, Université Laval (Qc) G1K 7P4, Canada, phone (418) 656-2131 ext#6327 / Fax: (418) 656-2043;


From 24 January to 13 May 1996 I went to Groningen, in the northeast of the Netherlands, to spend some time at the Departement of Biology (which is in fact located at Haren, just south of the city) of the R.U.G. (RijksUniversiteit Groningen). That stay was for me a very good opportunity to meet many people involved in the same type of work I've done with the Snow Geese during my PhD in the arctic and to complete the writing of my thesis. Indeed, their comments were all extremely helpful to me and my work progressed very well. So, thanks to all these people!

Of course, during the time I stayed there, I had many chances to escape from my work, binoculars in hand... Those who are only interested in birds seen may go directly to the table provided at the end.


Nothing unusual here, except for the mean of transportation in many occasions: a couldn't-be-more-typical Dutch bicycle. The most useful bird guide (at least my favorite) was Lars Johnson's Bird of Europe, but I never carried it onto the field, for many reasons, but mostly because it was to heavy. For the field-use, I rather had the very acceptable Heinzel et al's Birds of Britain and Europe in paperback. Using at least 2 field-guides should be a standard for any birders anyway in my opinion. I also had with me a set of 4 cassettes, All the bird songs of Europe, which must also be available on CD's. This is a very complete coverage of European birds, but may not be the best way to learn the songs for a particular region for someone who have little experience of European birds. I had no time to make a cassette with only the common birds, but it may have proved useful.

I found no complete bird-finding guide for the country and most of the information I gathered before I went there came from the Internet, either through contacts via the European Bird-Net (EBN) or through the WWW. There is a cyber-guide to some of the best birding sites in the Netherlands. The EBN is also a good way to keep up to date with the rarities, if you ever have internet access during your stay (or just before you leave). The Dutch Birdline is also worth mentioning (the number I had didn't work), but it is "in nederlands".

Afterward, I found a reference which may have been useful:

Where to Watch Birds in Holland, Belgium and Northern France AB Van den Berg and D Lafontaine. Due March 1996. 216 pages, col & b/w illus, maps. Hamlyn

A guide to 200 of the best birdwatching sites along the coast of northwestern continental Europe and the surrounding countries, and the species that can be seen there.

I don't know if it is now available, but you may inquire to NHBS Book Store Email: or check their catalog on the www. Their price is GBP 16.99.

A good source of information, is the Atlas van de Nederlandse Vogels (1987), in Dutch. It provides distribution maps for every month of the year for all species encountered in the country. Definitely not a field-book, but you should try to consult it if the Netherlands is one of your major destination.

The Atlas van de Nederlandse Broedvogels (1979) is a breeding atlas (in Dutch as well). Also a good reference, but only for a limited period of the year (getting old as well... so many things changed there in 15 years)

[NOTE: please, ask me if you need any supplementary informations about one of the references mentioned above]

RESULTS (in 17 sections)

1. The adaptation

When I was planning my stay in the Netherlands, I was really glad to be able to skip the worst part of our winter in Québec City. Of course, like most québecois, I usually enjoy the beauty of our winter, but like many I often wish it would be shorter (by, let's say, a few months!) and I probably wouldn't mind too much if temperature below -30 never existed! But, of course I forgot how mother nature likes to play tricks with us. When I left Montréal, on January 24th, it was raining like heck and the temperature was above +10 C. I arrive in Amsterdam only to find out that everything was solid frozen and the temperature was around -10 C! For a time, I was very convinced that I did the trip the other way around...

In fact, the winter stayed for quite a long period. One of the 10 hardest winter of the century, they said... well... Of course, it was still not too bad for me (except the odd combination "bicycle and snow", but after all I liked it!). The problem, so to speak, was with the birds. Nothing forced them to stay in that kind of weather, and they knew it very well! So numbers were deceivingly low for most migratory species and many resident also died overwinter. Spring arrived late, and it was quite a relief. We also had the driest winter ever recorded here and the effect was quite apparent on the vegetation.

For a time in February, everybody was much excited about a possible "Elfstatentorch" race. This major event, a 200-km skating race in the north-west of the country, only took place once in the past 20 years. Sadly, it didn't happen, but it was fun to see all the excitement about it (I hardly imagine what it would have been if it had happened!).

The nice thing about the department of Biology is that it is located just beside the Hortus (botanical garden), which attract a good variety of birds. In fact, while sitting at my desk, I often kept my binocs close by as the window was giving an excellent view on the Hortus. The SPARROWHAWK, many TITS (COAL, BLACK, BLUE, LONG-TAILED, CRESTED), JAYS and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS were some common distractions from my work. An EUROPEAN WOODCOCK, trying to find some food under the snow, was also a bird I truely enjoyed.

2. First time on Schiermonnikoog (27 January)

Two days after my arrival, I went with some people from here to the closest of the islands from Groningen for a day trip. My friends were quite amazed to see the Waddensee completely covered with ice! Despite the wind and the cold temperature, we managed to see some interesting birds (for me anyway). CURLEW, BARNACLE and BRANT GEESE, OYSTERCATCHERS, TWITE, a possible ROCK PIPIT, and a female SMEW.

3. Snow Storm at the Lauwersmeer (19 February)

The goal of the day was to count waterbirds (Swans, Geese and Ducks, etc.) with people from the University. We started the day in a snow storm! Despite the weather, we saw many birds. A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, many WHOOPER SWANS and SMEWS, a BITTERN, 2 GOSHAWK, etc.

4. Ameland (23-25 February)

I went there to participate in a bird count which is held several times every year at precise moments. Well, I was probably not the most efficient counter of the group, but I just clang to the REAL counters and saw some very nice birds!

The most common waders were OYSTERCATCHERS and CURLEWS (several thousands, but their numbers were about at half a usual count for that period!). We also saw DUNLIN, BAR-TAILED GODWIT, KNOT, REDSHANKS, GREY and RINGED PLOVERS in smaller numbers.

Gulls were very abundant (BLACK-HEADED and COMMON mostly, along with several HERRING and GREAT BLACK-BACKED). The count gave over 100 000 gulls along the north coast of the island. Given the length of the island it meant that every meter of cost, on all its length, was occupied by, ON AVERAGE, 10 gulls! Amazing... These birds were very likely attracted by the high numbers (also very impressive) of dead crabs and other marine animals (stars, sea-urchins, etc.), who apparently suffered a lot from the cold spells. Some other birds seen (though not all by me) were: MERLIN and SHORT-EARED OWL.

I also returned to Holwerd (where the boat leaves for Ameland) two weeks later and saw several REDSHANKS, RINGED PLOVERS, many BRANTS and my first RUFF.

5. Zwin (Belgium, 7 March)

In early March, I had the visit of my parents and we took a few days to travel around the country. We also combined a short visit to the beautiful city of Bruges (in Belgium) with a stop a the Zwin ornithological reserve, just close to the dutch border. A nice place, but there was "un vent a écorner un boeuf" (hmm... let's settle for very windy). WHITE STORKS were building their nests close to the visitor center. I also managed to see my first GREEN WOODPECKER and BLACK-TAILED GODWIT, some AVOCETS, and a few other waders. Also a HEDGESPARROW, my first for the trip.

6. South IJsselmeer (8 March)

On our way back from the south of the country, we made a few stops along the dike in the south of the IJsselmeer (in Flevoland). Large flocks of diving ducks were presents, among which SMEWS were not the less common... Hundreds of them I should say! Again, very nice!!! A quick stop at the Oostevaardeplatsen, one of the best known birding place, did not yield anything interesting, but it was just waiting to be awake from its winter dormancy!

7. Zuidlarmer Meer (17 March)

This lake is located about only 10 km south of Groningen center. It is usually a very good place to observe migrating birds and good numbers of geese and swans during the spring. In the hope to find some birds despite the late spring, I took a bicycle ride there. On the way, my first LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (not really a common bird around there) showed up. Nice little bird. Except for a flat tire as far as possible from home, nothing else is worth mentionning here.

8. The first signs of spring! (15-22 March)

Ok, nothing exciting about birds, but spring is always nice, especially after a winter like that. Crocuses were starting to flower, the first Chiff-Chaff were seen and many birds started singing (Robin, Song Thrush, Siskin, etc.)

9. The "black" expedition (23 March)

One of my prefered excursions. I don't know the exact name of the reserve where we went, but it is located next to the town of Nijverdaal, in the Overijsel. This reserve hosts the last population of Black Grouse of the Netherlands. About 40 adults are still breeding there. The habitat is extremely nice and quite different from what I had seen so far. For once, I really had the impression to be in the real nature. The forest was planted and they must manage the open places to keep the trees from outgrowing the heather (where the grouse are lekking), but it was a wonderful place.

Birds seen were: BLACK GROUSE (10 MALES), BLACK REDSTART, BLACK WOODPECKER (many! about 5), (no BLACK FLIES, nor BLACK BEARS however), WOOD LARK (many. Their song is a real pleasure to hear), STONECHAT (3), WHITE WAGTAILS (a few). One of the friends who were with us returned later and saw (or heard?) a Nightjar, not an easy bird for the country.

I included below a part of a French report I sent to another list (ornitho-qc), which gives a little more details about my excursion.

Quelques mots sur ma petite sortie de la fin de semaine dernière (23 mars) ici en Hollande. Le temps était plutôt doux au départ vers 6 heures (environ 5 degrés). La brume est resté avec nous quelques temps, mais s'est dissipée avant 8 heures, malgré un ciel plutôt nuageux. Nous sommes allés dans une réserve ornithologique où se trouve le dernier bastion des Tétras-Lyre aux Pays-Bas. C'est en gros a environ une heure de voiture, en droite ligne au sud de Groningen (j'ai pas le nom de la place ici). C'était vraiment la premiere fois depuis mon séjour ici que j'avais un peu le sentiment d'être dans la "vraie" nature, avec aucune maison en vue, ni route qui passait trop près. La réserve est un mélange de forêts et de grandes zones de Bruyères (arbustes bas) qui sont maintenus par des aménagements réguliers (sinon la forêt envahirait le tout - en partie à cause de la polution par les phosphates parait-il). Bon, d'accord, les arbres étaient plutôt bien alignés ensemble, mais dans une moindre mesure que ce que j'ai vu ailleurs. De plus, le site est un peu valloneux, ce qui n'est pas un paysage typiquement hollandais selon mon expérience à date (en fait, le sud-est du pays est un peu plus valloneux que le reste). Donc, une très jolie place!

Il reste environ une 40ne de Tétras a cet endroit. Leur declin, partout en Europe fut soudain et largement inexplicable! Il y a à peine 10 ans, plusieurs centaines d'oiseaux vivaient encore aux Pays-Bas, dans plusieurs endroits distincts. Il ne semble pas que leur habitat ait été modifié de façon substantielle récemment (non, ils ne sont pas chassés ici... :)). Une épidémie est un des seuls phénomènes plausibles apparemment. Un peu déprimant. La population où je suis allé est apparemment stable est semble en plutôt bonne santé, ce qui est la seule lueur d'espoir pour cette espèce ici. Etrangement, le mème phénomène s'est produit un peu partout dans son aire de répartition.

Comme bien des gallinacées, les Tétras Lyre font leurs parades nuptiales sur des leks, genre "d'arènes virtuelles" où les males tentent de montrer aux femelles qui les regardent qu'ils sont les meilleurs partis. Leur comportement est alors plutôt exhuberant (ah, les hormones ce que ça peut faire faire). Ils étalent leur queue (en forme de lyre, d'où leur nom) en montrant leurs plumes blanches bien en évidence, baissent les ailes et se tournent les uns autours des autres en émettant leur cris caractèristiques (ne me demandez pas de vous decrire s.v.p.)... Les premiers males que nous avons vus faisaient ces parades, mais plutôt discrètement encore. La vraie "saison des amours" ne fait que commencer (en passant, on observe les oiseaux de loin, avec des téléscopes). En tout, durant l'avant-midi, nous avons vu environ 10 males (aucune femelle, mais des gens nous ont dit en avoir compter environ 15 au total ce matin là), soit environ 25% de la population totale au pays... Sur le bord de la route qui traverse la réserve, de petit panneaux triangulaires ("danger") sont illustrés avec un Tétras pour avertir les gens de faire attention (hm. Est-ce bien efficace? Il ne semble pas que les collisions soient fréquentes en tout cas). De plus la route est fermée aux automobiles entre l'aube et 9h am, quand les males sont les plus actifs.

Pour le reste, ce fut aussi une sortie très agréable! Les signes du printemps étaient partout! Les Alouettes des champs (Skylark) nous ont fait quelques démonstrations de leur savoir-faire musical... De mème, le chant des Alouettes lulu (Woodlark) est vraiment un délice pour les oreilles. J'ai aussi vu mes premiers Pics noirs, de mème genre (Dryocopus) que notre Grand Pic, mon premier Tarier pâtre (Traquet tarier ou "Stonechat" comme disent les hollandais... qui parlent anglais). Les Bergeronettes grises sont aussi arrivées, de mème que le Rouge-queue noir, splendide dans son plumage d'été.

10. Another quiet morning (or the quest for the Hawfinch) (4 April)

I went with a friend to a little wood (Vosbergen), not too far south of Groningen. The unofficial goal of the trip was to find my first HAWFINCH. ("I'm sure you will see them there", my friend said... of course, I was suspicious). We arrived there not too late (8ham). Weather was still below 0 degrees C and the sky was clear. Again, it was VERY quiet there... In fact, nothing really worth mentioning, except maybe a GOSHAWK, probably nesting around there. On the way back to work (eh, that's life!) a BLACK REDSTART proved to be the best bird of that little trip. You've guessed right, no Hawfinch yet.

11. Second time on Schiermonnikoog (6-8 April)

I took the long week-end of Easter to spend some nice time on "Schier". I arrived there on the Saturday morning and left the following monday.

BARNACLE GEESE, BRANT (with a few of the WHITE-BELLIED form) and OYSTERCATCHERS were the most common birds. Many fields were still "covered" with thrushes (REDWINGS and FIELDFARES) and some flocks of EURASIAN GOLDEN PLOVER. Other birds seen that day were MARSH HARRIER, GARGANEY, N. SHOVELER, RED-NECKED GREBE (with some nuptial displays! Nice!). I tried to see the Bearded tits, in the marsh near the village, but with no luck that time.

The day was almost over and I was relaxing somewhere in the salt marsh, watching the sunset and flocks of Barnacle Geese, when a SPOONBILL quietly flew over me! Waw. Let's call it a birding moment.

On Sunday I first made another try to locate BEARDED TIT in the reeds near the village. While I was trying to learn the song of a HEDGESPARROW singing nearby, a flock of 4 long-tailed little birds made a short flight over the reeds. I just had the time to spot one of them with my binocs: a gray bird with no apparent distinctive sign... hm. Then, they made another short move, but again too fast for me to see anything. On the third occasion, they flew directly in my direction and just pass overhead! As they were facing wind and flying slowly, I had plenty of time to clearly see two nice males with their little moustachial stripes leaving from pale eyes, their little rose beak, and even some of their blue colour on their head. Very nice!!! The other two birds were females, which I spotted on the first occasion (as they don't have the facial pattern of the males).

Passerines were still not very numerous. The CHIFFCHAFF was the only warbler to be seen. Some other birds seen during the day were: SNOW BUNTING, NORTHERN WHEATEAR, BLACK REDSTART, LINNET and TWITE.

On my way back on Monday morning on the ferry, a COMMON BLACK-HEADED GULL attracted my attention for its body was not white but a very nice and striking PINK! The kind of colour you would expect for a Ross' Gull or a Slender-billed Gull... (a sick Flamingo at the limit!). All the other caracteristics of that bird were typical of an adult BHGU in summer plumage. Weird. Like many pink birds, I assume that it has to do with the diet of that individual. Probably a consequence of a particular taste for some crustaceans. I've been told by some european birders that this was not very unusual and that some pink BHGU were seen from time to time. This is even more common in Little Gull I think. Two GULL-BILLED TERNS (rare) just passed by the ferry, about at the same time.

12. The Oostevaardeplassen (19 April)

I joined the ecology course of the department of Biology of RUG. It gave me the opportunity to go within the reserve, which is closed to the public. The weather was exceptionnally nice during that period, with summer temperatures and loads of sunshine. It was a day trip only from Groningen, so a little too short for my taste. This reserve is located just next to Lelystad, in the "new" province of Flevoland. It is about 40 km northeast of Amsterdam. It is a very huge marsh and potentially a very good place for rare birds.


13. To the Lauwersmeer again (24 April)

Below is an edited version of a report sent earlier to Birdchat.

Subject: GONE BIRDIN' (Netherlands trip report)
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 12:23:04

I took a day off yesterday and went to the Lauwersmeer, north of Groningen in the northeast of the Netherlands. I went there with Willem-Pier Vellinga, a birder living here.

NICE DAY! We started with a little bicycle stroll to try the find a crested lark that was singing in a residential area. The bird was in fact very cooperative and even gave us a little aerial display that Willem was not aware they did (Lars Johnson says that they can sing from the air, but not like a Skylark.. anyway... funny bird).

We then took the bus to the Lauwersmeer. We started "en force" with a Lesser White-fronted Goose flying over us. We were aware of its presence in the sector, but we didn't manage to find it again.

Some other nice birds of the day were : Ruffs, Avocets, Bearded Tits (nice views), Bluethroats, Smew (late migrants), Nightingale (dull bird, but amazing song!) and one of my favorite, the Little Gull.

A total of 103 species for the day! Partial List is included below: Little Grebe, Whooper Swan, Barnacle Goose, Brent Goose, Garganey, Smew (2 pairs), Montagu's Harrier (very elegant bird!), Spotted Redshank, Ruff (never enough), Eurasian Golden-Plover, Little Ringed Plover (1), Pied Avocet (plenty), Little Gull (4), Sandwich Tern, Arctic Tern, Black Tern, Common Cuckoo (1 heard, 1 grey, 1 brown form), Common Swift, Common Nightingale, Bluethroat, Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Common Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Bearded Parrotbill (Tit), Eurasian Skylark, White Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail,

14. Third and last time on Schiermonnikoog (27-29 April)

Another very nice excursion to the island. Many passerines were arrived and weather was very nice. Best birds observed were: Spotted Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike, Ringed Ouzel (a pair), Little Tern and Garden Warbler. I gave a try for a Wryneck observed earlier, but with no luck.

15. Zuid Larderbos

This is one of the ... nature reserve of the country. It is not far from Groningen and easily reached by bicycle. Birds seen were: BULLFINCH (a superb male), PIED FLYCATCHER, COMMON REDSTART, and HAAAAWWWFINCH! (no comment).

16. Oostevaardersplassen - take 3 (7-9 May)

I returned to the Oostvaardersplassen for a last time. I camped two nights in a camping near the Knardijk and I rent a bicycle at the Lelystad Station. I had a very windy time and I didn't too many birds compared to what I was expecting. I however managed to see a few new species (TEMMINCK'S and LITTLE STINTS and ICTERINE, SAVI'S and MARSH WARBLERS). I was expecting to find a Golden Oriole, but no luck (I was probably too early for that species, especially in a late year like that).

17. Dollard and Eemshaven (12 May)

For my last day, I spent some time in the northeast corner of the country. KENTISH PLOVERS were very cooperative and this was definitely the best species of the day. The Dollard and the Eemshaven estuary are not easily reached other than by car. Nothing really exciting, but a very nice day.

Table 1: Full list of species observed during my stay (each month was divided in 4 periods starting on the 1st, 8th, 16th and 24th day) (This list was created from an output of Spizella, a little program I made to keep my bird observations). The table is best viewed with a fixed font like courier, rather than a proportional font like arial.

. = Not observed, X = Observed during that period

Species observed                               J FEB  MAR  APR  MAY
Little Grebe             T. ruficollis         .|....|....|X...|XX
Red-necked Grebe         P. grisegena          .|....|....|X...|..
Gr. Crested Grebe        P. cristatus          .|...X|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Red-throated Loon        G. stellata           .|...X|....|....|..
Great Cormorant          P. carbo              .|....|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Grey Heron               A. cinerea            .|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Great Bittern            B. stellaris          .|..X.|....|....|..
Eurasian Spoonbill       P. leucorodia         .|....|....|X.XX|.X
White Stork              C. ciconia            .|....|X...|....|..
Mute Swan                C. olor               .|X.X.|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Whooper Swan             C. cygnus             .|X.XX|X...|...X|..
Bewick's Swan            C. bewickii           X|X..X|....|....|..
Bean Goose               A. fabalis            .|X...|....|....|..
G. Wh.-fronted Goose     A. albifrons          .|X.X.|XXXX|XX..|..
L. Wh.-fronted Goose     A. erythropus         .|....|....|...X|..
Greylag Goose            A. anser              .|..XX|XXX.|X.XX|XX
Canada Goose             B. canadensis         .|...X|X..X|XXX.|..
Barnacle Goose           B. leucopsis          X|...X|X.X.|XXXX|.X
Brent Goose              B. bernicla           X|...X|X...|XX.X|..
Egyptian Goose           A. aegypticus         .|..X.|.XX.|XXX.|X.
Common Shelduck          T. tadorna            X|...X|XX..|XXXX|XX
Eurasian Wigeon          A. penelope           X|..XX|XX.X|XXXX|XX
Gadwall                  A. strepera           .|....|....|X.XX|XX
Common Teal              A. crecca             X|..XX|X...|XXXX|XX
Mallard                  A. platyrhynchos      X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Northern Pintail         A. acuta              .|..XX|XXX.|XXXX|XX
Garganey                 A. querquedula        .|....|....|X.XX|.X
Northern Shoveler        A. clypeata           .|....|....|XXXX|XX
Common Pochard           A. ferina             X|.XXX|XXXX|XXXX|.X
Tufted Duck              A. fuligula           X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Greater Scaup            A. marilla            .|..XX|....|...X|..
Common Eider             S. mollissima         X|...X|X...|XX.X|..
Black Scoter             M. nigra              .|...X|....|....|..
Wh.-winged Scoter        M. fusca              .|...X|....|....|..
Common Goldeneye         B. clangula           X|XXXX|XXX.|XX.X|..
Smew                     M. albellus           X|..X.|XXX.|...X|..
Red-br. Merganser        M. serrator           .|...X|....|XX.X|..
Common Merganser         M. merganser          X|.XX.|XXXX|XXX.|..
Marsh Harrier            C. aeruginosus        .|....|....|X.XX|XX
Northern Harrier         C. cyaneus            X|X.XX|X..X|X.XX|..
Montagu's Harrier        C. pygargus           .|....|....|...X|..
Euras. Sparrowhawk       A. nisus              X|XXXX|.X.X|XXXX|XX
Northern Goshawk         A. gentilis           .|..X.|.XXX|XX.X|..
Common Buzzard           B. buteo              X|X.XX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Rough-legged Hawk        B. lagopus            .|..XX|....|....|..
Common Kestrel           F. tinnunculus        X|X.XX|XXX.|.XXX|XX
Merlin                   F. columbarius        .|...X|....|....|..
Black Grouse             T. tetrix             .|....|..X.|....|..
Grey Partridge           P. perdix             .|X...|....|....|.X
Common Pheasant          P. colchicus          X|..XX|XXX.|XXXX|XX
Common Moorhen           G. chloropus          .|.XX.|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Common Coot              F. atra               X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Eurasian Woodcock        S. rusticola          .|.X..|....|....|..
Common Snipe             G. gallinago          .|....|..X.|XXXX|..
Bl.-tailed Godwit        L. limosa             .|....|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Bar-tailed Godwit        L. lapponica          .|...X|....|...X|.X
Whimbrel                 N. phaeopus           .|....|....|..XX|.X
Eurasian Curlew          N. arquata            X|..XX|XXX.|X.XX|.X
Spotted Redshank         T. erythropus         .|....|....|..XX|XX
Common Redshank          T. totanus            .|...X|X.X.|XXXX|XX
Common Greenshank        T. nebularia          .|....|....|..XX|XX
Green Sandpiper          T. ochropus           .|....|....|..X.|..
Wood Sandpiper           T. glareola           .|....|....|..X.|XX
Common Sandpiper         T. hypoleuca          .|....|....|....|XX
Ruddy Turnstone          A. interpres          X|...X|X...|X..X|.X
Red Knot                 C. canutus            .|...X|....|....|.X
Sanderling               C. alba               .|...X|....|....|..
Little Stint             C. minuta             .|....|....|....|.X
Temminck's Stint         C. temminckii         .|....|....|....|.X
Dunlin                   C. alpina             .|...X|X...|X..X|XX
Ruff                     P. pugnax             .|....|X...|..XX|XX
Eur. Golden-Plover       P. apricaria          .|....|....|XX.X|.X
Grey Plover              P. squatarola         .|...X|X...|...X|.X
Kentish Plover           C. alexandrinus       .|....|....|....|.X
Com. Ringed Plover       C. hiaticula          .|...X|X...|X..X|XX
Lit. Ringed Plover       C. dubius             .|....|....|..XX|XX
Northern Lapwing         V. vanellus           .|..XX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Eur. Oystercatcher       H. ostralegus         X|...X|X.XX|XXXX|XX
Pied Avocet              R. avosetta           .|....|XX..|..XX|XX
Mew Gull                 L. canus              X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Gr. Bl.-backed Gull      L. marinus            X|..XX|XX..|XXXX|XX
Herring Gull             L. argentatus         X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
L. Bl.-backed Gull       L. fuscus             .|...X|X...|XXXX|XX
C. Black-headed Gull     L. ridibundus         X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Mediterranean Gull       L. melanocephalus     .|....|.XX.|....|..
Little Gull              L. minutus            .|....|....|...X|XX
Gull-billed Tern         S. nilotica           .|....|....|.X..|..
Sandwich Tern            S. sandvicensis       .|....|....|...X|..
Common Tern              S. hirundo            .|....|....|...X|XX
Arctic Tern              S. paradisaea         .|....|....|...X|.X
Little Tern              S. albifrons          .|....|....|...X|..
Black Tern               C. niger              .|....|....|..XX|XX
Rock Pigeon              C. livia              X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Stock Pigeon             C. oenas              X|...X|..X.|XXXX|.X
Common Wood-Pigeon       C. palumbus           X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Eur. Turtle Dove         S. turtur             .|....|....|....|.X
Eur. Collared-Dove       S. decaocto           X|..XX|XXX.|XXXX|..
Common Cuckoo            C. canorus            .|....|....|..XX|XX
Common Swift             A. apus               .|....|....|..XX|XX
L. Spot. Woodpecker      D. minor              .|....|..X.|..X.|..
G. Spot. Woodpecker      D. major              .|...X|XXXX|XXX.|XX
Black Woodpecker         D. martius            .|....|..X.|....|..
Green Woodpecker         P. viridis            .|....|X...|....|..
Red-backed Shrike        L. collurio           .|....|....|...X|..
Eurasian Jay             G. glandarius         X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Bl.-billed Magpie        P. pica               X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Eurasian Jackdaw         C. monedula           X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Rook                     C. frugilegus         .|X.X.|XXX.|XXX.|XX
Carrion Crow             C. corone             X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Hooded Crow              C. cornix             X|..X.|XXX.|....|..
Common Raven             C. corax              .|....|..X.|....|..
Bohemian Waxwing         B. garrulus           X|....|....|....|..
Ring Ouzel               T. torquatus          .|....|....|...X|..
Eurasian Blackbird       T. merula             X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Fieldfare                T. pilaris            X|XXXX|XXXX|XX.X|..
Redwing                  T. iliacus            X|XXX.|X.XX|XXX.|..
Song Thrush              T. philomelos         X|..X.|X.XX|XXXX|XX
Mistle Thrush            T. viscivorus         .|XX..|..X.|XX..|X.
Spotted Flycatcher       M. striata            .|....|....|...X|..
Pied Flycatcher          F. hypoleuca          .|....|....|..X.|..
European Robin           E. rubecula           X|XX.X|X.XX|XXXX|XX
Common Nightingale       L. megarhynchos       .|....|....|...X|XX
Bluethroat               L. svecica            .|....|....|.XXX|XX
Black Redstart           P. ochruros           .|....|..X.|XXXX|XX
Common Redstart          P. phoenicurus        .|....|....|..XX|X.
Whinchat                 S. rubetra            .|....|....|....|.X
Common Stonechat         S. torquata           .|....|..X.|...X|..
Northern Wheatear        O. oenanthe           .|....|....|XXXX|XX
Common Starling          S. vulgaris           X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Wood Nuthatch            S. europaea           .|..X.|....|XXXX|X.
Sh.-toed Tree-Cr.        C. brachydactyla      X|..X.|.X.X|XXXX|X.
Winter Wren              T. troglodytes        X|XXX.|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Penduline Tit            R. pendulinus         .|....|....|.XX.|X.
Marsh Tit                P. palustris          .|....|.X..|....|..
Willow Tit               P. montanus           .|....|.XXX|XXXX|XX
Coal Tit                 P. ater               X|....|XXXX|XX.X|X.
Crested Tit              P. cristatus          .|...X|..X.|X...|..
Great Tit                P. major              X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Blue Tit                 P. caeruleus          X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Long-tailed Tit          A. caudatus           X|.XX.|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Sand Martin              R. riparia            .|....|....|..XX|XX
Barn Swallow             H. rustica            .|....|....|.XXX|XX
House Martin             D. urbica             .|....|....|...X|XX
Goldcrest                R. regulus            X|....|..XX|XXX.|XX
Firecrest                R. ignicapillus       .|....|.X..|X..X|..
Grasshopper Warbler      L. naevia             .|....|....|..XX|XX
Savi's Warbler           L. luscinioides       .|....|....|....|XX
Sedge Warbler            A. schoenobaenus      .|....|....|..XX|XX
Reed Warbler             A. scirpaceus         .|....|....|...X|XX
Marsh Warbler            A. palustris          .|....|....|....|.X
Icterine Warbler         H. icterina           .|....|....|....|.X
Willow Warbler           P. trochilus          .|....|....|.XXX|XX
Common Chiffchaff        P. collybita          .|....|..XX|XXXX|XX
Blackcap                 S. atricapilla        .|....|....|..XX|XX
Garden Warbler           S. borin              .|....|....|...X|XX
Common Whitethroat       S. communis           .|....|....|...X|XX
Lesser Whitethroat       S. curruca            .|....|....|...X|XX
Bearded Parrotbill       P. biarmicus          .|....|....|X..X|..
Crested Lark             G. cristata           .|....|....|...X|..
Wood Lark                L. arborea            .|....|..X.|....|..
Eurasian Skylark         A. arvensis           X|..XX|X.X.|XX.X|.X
House Sparrow            P. domesticus         X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Eur. Tree Sparrow        P. montanus           .|..X.|X.X.|XXXX|X.
White Wagtail            M. alba               .|....|..X.|XXXX|XX
Yellow Wagtail           M. flava              .|....|....|...X|XX
Tree Pipit               A. trivialis          .|....|....|...X|X.
Meadow Pipit             A. pratensis          X|....|XXX.|XXXX|.X
Rock Pipit               A. petrosus           X|...X|....|....|..
Water Pipit              A. spinoletta         .|..X.|....|....|..
Hedge Accentor           P. modularis          .|....|X...|XXXX|XX
Chaffinch                F. coelebs            X|XXXX|XXXX|XXXX|XX
Brambling                F. montifringilla     .|.XX.|X.X.|XXX.|..
European Greenfinch      C. chloris            X|X.X.|....|XXXX|XX
Eurasian Siskin          C. spinus             X|.X..|.XX.|....|..
European Goldfinch       C. carduelis          .|..X.|..X.|XXXX|XX
Common Redpoll           C. flammea            X|.XX.|.XXX|XXXX|..
Twite                    C. flavirostris       X|...X|....|X...|..
Eurasian Linnet          C. cannabina          .|....|....|X..X|.X
Eurasian Bullfinch       P. pyrrhula           .|..X.|...X|..X.|XX
Hawfinch                 C. coccothraustes     .|....|....|..X.|XX
Reed Bunting             E. schoeniclus        .|..XX|..XX|XXXX|XX
Snow Bunting             P. nivalis            .|....|....|X...|..

Number of species for the trip: 182
Number of new species for Europe: 94
Number of new species for the World: 59

Some birds missed (Why I didn't reached 200 species)

There's nothing really easy, but these were probably the easiest:
Arctic Diver, Pink-footed Goose, Water Rail, Honey Buzzard, Purple Heron, Tawny Owl, Golden Oriole (later), Corn Crake, Spotted Crake, Nightjar, Great Reed-Warbler, Ortolan

These were even harder:
Common Crane, Eurasian Dotterel, Black-winged Stilt, Ring-necked Parakeet, Black-winged Tern, Whiskered Tern, Jack Snipe, Little Bittern, Wryneck, Black Stork, Curlew Sandpiper, Common Rosefinch (later), Red-breasted Goose, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Red-footed Falcon, Red-throated Pipit, Cetti's Warbler, White-tailed Eagle

Among birds I have already seen (in Europe or North Amer.) and missed that time:
Horned Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Gannet, Shag, Glossy Ibis, Little Egret, Common Kingfisher (most probably died overwinter), Whinchat, Osprey, Corn Bunting (declined), Red Kite, Black Kite, Eurasian Hobby, Northern Shrike (localised), Wood Warbler (easier south), Horned Lark, Serin, Grey Wagtail, Yellowhammer

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This page served by Urs Geiser;; July 24, 1996