Sunday, February 8, 2015

Dark-eyed Junco!

The city of Groningen holds an impressive list of rarities, with twitchable records of Alpine Accentor, Black-Throated Thrush, Iberian Chiffchaff, several Thrush Nightingales, Two-barred Crossbill, 2 Pine Grosbeaks and Laughing Gull. This week a Dark-eyed Junco was added, and attracted 500+ birders!
distant record shot in poor light

the crowd on the 6th day
A Red-necked Grebe was catching fish in the harbour of Lauwersoog. It will start to moult into spectaculair plumage soon.

Carefully checking the usual flock of Brent Geese on the dike yielded a Black Brant. This beautifull goose did not have a stable position in the group and was chased away frequently by the Black-bellieds.
note the whitish flanks, very dark back and belly, and extensive white neck-collar
incoming pair of Red-breasted Goose in very very dull light

Several 1st-winter Rosy Starlings are wintering in the Netherlands, which is exeptional. We visited the Kollum-bird which is frequenting a garden-feeder.
the usual suspects

Meanwhile the meadows in Fryslan are destroyed by an explosion of the mice-population. Speculations about the cause include the mild winter, drainage and the persecution of their predators (Fox and Common Buzzard).
the fields around Irnsum are almost black, this used to be grassland..

The new Nikon perfoms decent, autofocus is fast and it can track flying birds even with the TC, but when it looses focus it takes long time to regain. Sharpness is OK, but more on that later.