Arnhem AEB413

18 October 2014, Meijendel, Wassenaar, the Netherlands

© 2018 by Vincent van der Spek

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20 Oct 2019

Sound track advice: Stormy weather - Billie Holiday 

I’ve always considered myself a birder with a camera, rather than a bird photographer. What I do is functional, not aesthetic. I’m not particularly gifted in this department, nor am I interested in learning all about camera settings.

But once in a while even an amateur like me makes a decent picture: for the first time one of my shots made it to t...

27 Nov 2018

In many respects autumn was remarkably slow. But November turned everything upside down!

Like in spring (with an Alpine Swift), the girls from De Wulp delivered the highlight of the season (year!).

On 5 November Lizzy sent me a WhatsApp message. She asked if I knew which species was just taken into care. Despite the pics showed a wet and scruffy bird, my pulse raised and I missed a heartbeat or two...

13 Nov 2018

pics © Marijn van Oss & Jorrit Vlot
sound © Thijs Fijen

Earlier I wrote about Siberian Chiffchaffs with common Chiffchaff calls (here). That bird (mostly) looked like a Siberian Chiffchaff, and after analyses it indeed showed Siberian mtDNA - but in the field didn't utter the characteristic

peep.

No, it called like a Common Chiffchaff!


Now the following bird, observed on Vlieland on 25 October by Th...

10 Nov 2018

There's a big if  - but another big redpoll invasion could be in the making.

The if depends on stuff like weather conditions, and the exact turn the majority of the wandering birds in Europe will take. But it's obvious that at the moment, a higher number of birds than usual is passing through. And they are early! 

The thought alone is thrilling - two large invasions in a row would be unprecedented ...

11 Jun 2018

The ID article on Eastern Black Redstart ID that I wrote with Nicolas Martinez has been published!

It was published in the latest  Dutch Birding issue (40:3). 

Check these samples:

Check out the article

Check it out here

FREE bonus material!

Bonus material can be found here (in English) and includes an Excel document with our sample, more pics of the birds that feature in the article, pics of anal...

23 May 2018

Early May I spent a week on the lovely island of Sardinia. I was of course keen to see Balearic Shrike, the endemic west Mediterranean island ssp (badius) of the Woodchat Shrike. 

Now I'm learning by thinking out loud here, so comments are welcome.

The most important difference with the other 3 ssp. is - of course - the (near) lack of a visible white primary patch: about 2/3 of all birds have n...

19 May 2018

I just spent a lovely week on Sardinia. The recently split Mediterranean Flycatcher (Muscicapa tyrrhenica tyrrhenica) is pleasantly common there.

It seems to occur in a much wider range of habitats than Spotted Fly in NW Europe. From macchia to hill forests and from quiet farmland with scattered trees to village gardens: they seemed to be everywhere below the tree line.    

They differ from Spotted...

8 Mar 2018

Probable Russian Common Gull, 5 February 2012, Meijendel, Wassenaar, the Netherlands

I don't like using measurements as a diagnostic feature to ID sexes or subspecies. Last week was no exception.

After another mild winter, an unusual late cold spell hit the country early March. Temperatures dropped to minus 8 C, combined with a 7 Bft easterly. At the very end of winter... that's just killing. Litter...

25 Feb 2018

Eastern Black Redstart, 1 cy male, October 2008, Kazakhstan (Arend Wassink) 

Redstart articles coming up!

The ID article on Eastern Black Redstart vs. hybrids that I wrote with Nicolas Martinez (check his site for interesting info on redstarts and other stuff) for Dutch Birding is still on the desk of the editors. EDIT June 2018: it has now been published

Nicolas, Bernd Nicolai and myself (as the 3rd...

16 Jan 2018

With the current redpoll invasion in Europe, it was time to spend some words and pics on these wonderful birds.

Redpolls all the way from China

Even though it's already been 12 years since we trapped a Mealy Redpoll with a Chinese ring in Meijendel, I stil cherish that moment! Triggered by a recent control of a Chinese ring in Denmark, I made an overview of all European - Chinese recoveries of Meal...

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