Well, Anne and I did ride up to the coast this morning, to Oostduinpark in Scheveningen, and the dunes are huge, perhaps the highest points I’ve seen in the Netherlands so far. It was a beautiful morning with clear skies and calm winds, the bike ride up from Delft was pretty nice, and there are even a few ponds in the dunes, so there was plenty of nature to see.
Right off the bat, we spotted some completely new ducks for me, and they look like canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria). Here’s a male, who was pretty far out on the water and had the sun behind him, so just a perfect setting for a portrait.
And here’s a female in similar light.
After the ducks, I was thrilled to spot another speckled wood butterfly, which I first saw just yesterday, but only the ventral (outside) of its wings. Our hero today was willing to show us the pretty dorsal (inside) of its wings.
In the woods beside the trail, we could hear a wren chirping incessantly, and when we looked closer, we saw at least 4 individuals, perhaps two recent fledglings foraging with one parent, while the other parent warned them about us and/or told us to get lost.
Here’s a youngster, who seemed not quite sure what to do.
And here’s the chatter box, who seemed to have strong opinions about what we should do. We never stepped off of the path, let alone into the woods, and after I finally got some pictures, we gladly complied.
The dragonflies were plentiful by the coast, too, and this one appears to be an immature male common darter (Sympetrum striolatum)
Finally, as Anne and I were having a little refreshment at a concession stand before our ride home, this crow stopped by to bid us adieu, and this might be the best portrait a crow has ever allowed me to take.
I am happy to report that I have even more pictures, and when I eventually identify the critters in them, I’ll post them here for you.