“The Bicycle of the Future” – Day 1

I made it to Holland in one piece, and after I arrived at my bosses place, I was able to reassemble my bicycle back into one piece, too. We even went out for a test ride yesterday afternoon, and there were so many birds on the water, that I could hardly wait to get out with my camera this morning. We’re in Rotterdam, home of the largest harbor in Europe, and there’s a nice little lake, called Kralingse Plas, a short walk from the apartment, so that’s where I went.

The first bird I came across was a Eurasian coot (Fulica atra), and they bear a striking resemblance to our American coots, but without the black ring near the end of their beak.

Here’s a hen with what must be one of the most unusual-looking chicks I have ever seen. I read that the bright colors are intended to help parents “work out which ones are the youngest and the most likely to need their help.”

Here are a pair of great crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus) showing a little PDA, but I didn’t get to see the whole dance yet.

Here’s a duck that looks for all the world like a mallard hen, but with a white patch low on her neck, and I have no further information at this time.

Here’s a healthy-looking gaggle of graylag geese (Anser anser) that appears to comprise two adults (foreground and background) and thirteen goslings. They seem to be about as plentiful as Canada geese in Estabrook, or even more so.

Here’s an Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca) with one gosling.

Not all the birds were waterfowl, of course, and here’s a great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) hard at work.

Here’s a female Eurasian blackbird (Turdus merula) who looks a lot like a sooty American robin, and her mate sings just like them. John Gurda would be so happy.

The most common bird on the ground this morning, however, was the Eurasian jackdaw (Corvus monedula), who looks like a slightly-smaller and slightly-more-colorful crow.

Finally, there doesn’t appear to be an equivalent to the plain-black American crow, so my best guess is that this is a common raven (Corvus corax) instead.

There were plenty of other birds, too, including swans, tufted ducks, herons, and even parrots, but I’d better pace myself.

Later today, while my gracious hosts, Jason and Umi, ride up to Delft for errands, I’m gonna try to open a bank account. Wish me luck!

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

7 thoughts on ““The Bicycle of the Future” – Day 1

  1. Wow! Hitting the ground running cycling and birding! Congrats on the successful transfer especially getting the bike through. Awesome to see and hear.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you made it safely to Delft! This post makes me so happy. Thanks for sharing.

    Take care, Michelle


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing photos of your new neighbors! All the best in busy Rotterdam.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

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  4. Cool finds on a first day! That crow looks like a carrion crow, they’re quite abundant in Europe. Compared to a raven their bill is smaller and they don’t have as rough of neck feathers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Been thinking about your trip and glad to see you’re safely on the ground with two wheels under you! How fun to see pictures of new critters! Looking forward to more.

    Liked by 1 person

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