Scenes from the Dutch countryside.

I’ve had to work this week, if you can believe it, and so I haven’t gotten to go looking for wildlife. On the commute, however, from Rotterdam, where my boss and his wife are graciously putting me up until I can find my own place, to Delft, where we work, I was seeing some amazing creatures. Therefore, on Wednesday, when my boss was going to work from home for a bit in the morning, I set out on my own and brought my camera along with.

Just about as soon as I got out of Rotterdam and into the countryside, I spotted this Eurasian oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) hunting for tidbits in a newly mown field. It is about the size of a big crow, but with a bright red beak at least twice as long, and I don’t think it’s gonna find any oysters there.

Soon after the oystercatcher, this Northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) caught my eye in another mown field. I read that they are in the same family as the killdeer in Estabrook, and I only looked that up because their beaks are so similar.

Finally, just around the corner from the lapwing was this godwit (Limosa) hiding in the tall grass, but I can’t tell if it is a bar-tailed or black-tailed godwit. Maybe next time it will forage in a mown field and let us get a better look.

Those are the pictures from Wednesday, and today I went out even earlier to see if I could find something new. This is what I’ve got to show for it.

First is this handsome black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) perched on a rooftop.

Next is a pair of common shelducks (Tadorna tadorna) who are dabblers, like mallards, and they kept their bodies on the surface, but they held their heads under water a long time, like diving ducks.

Finally, I will thrilled to spot this ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) hiding on the other side of a thicket and glowing in the early morning light.

I read on the Pedia of Wik that “It is native to Asia and parts of Europe like the northern foothills of the Caucasus and the Balkans. It has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. In parts of its range, namely in places where none of its relatives occur such as in Europe, where it is naturalized, it is simply known as the “pheasant“. Ring-necked pheasant is both the name used for the species as a whole in North America and also the collective name for a number of subspecies and their intergrades that have white neck rings.”

I also saw a few little birds, but I have yet to identify them, so they will just have to wait for the next report.

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.

2 thoughts on “Scenes from the Dutch countryside.

  1. I bet you’re enjoying the new critters you’re seeing – I know I am! BTW – back wall of driveway painted this week. It looks good.


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