New Arrivals at TU Delft

It is not even the middle of February yet, but there are already big changes afoot in South Holland. Flowers are beginning to blossom all over campus, including snowdrops, crocuses, and daffodils; and birds that we haven’t seen for months are starting to appear. Sure, the skies are dark and grey today, but some pictures you’ve just gotta take with the light you have and not wait for the light you wish you had.

I spotted my first oyster catcher of the year yesterday during my walk to work, but I didn’t have my camera with me, so I let it be, and you can imagine my relief when I returned with my camera this morning, and I found two of them on campus busily digging breakfast out of the ground. I guess earth worms are just as nutritious as oysters, but then, I read that “despite its name, oysters do not form a large part of its diet,” anyway.


I’ve been seeing gadwalls since Thursday, mostly drakes, and this morning I was lucky enough to find this handsome pair cruising together.


I saw tufted ducks on Thursday but not Friday, and I was afraid I’d missed my chance, so I was especially glad to find them again this morning. Here’s a drake.


And here’s a hen.


Not all the returnees are water birds, and here’s a long-tailed tit to help me prove that point.


Finally, here is a second hatch of Egyptian goose goslings, three of them this time.


When I first came across them, at the south end of the same body of water on which the ones I showed you Wednesday were camped, I thought they were the same birds but now one short. If the sun were shining this morning, these would literally have been in the shadow of the tower with the clock on which falcons hang out, and there was even a falcon in the six o’clock slot at the time.


Thus, I thought I was putting two and two together when I figured a falcon was responsible for there being only three goslings instead of four, but I am happy to report that the batch of four from Wednesday was safely napping at the north end, where they’ve probably been all along, and this batch of three at the south end was brand new. Phew! Let the falcons eat pigeons, and leave the goslings alone, right? Anyway, here’s a close up of two of the three little puffballs.


So that’s who’s shown up this week, just on campus, and maybe tomorrow I’ll venture further afield to see who else might be around.

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.

4 thoughts on “New Arrivals at TU Delft

  1. Hi Andrew, just want you to know that your posts and photos from South Holland brighten my life. Thank you so much for reporting your great finds and sharing them with all of us here in Wisconsin (and other places??). Except right now I’ve just arrived in Amelia Island FL, a first for me, on the Atlantic, just south of S. Carolina. Take care, your Shorewood friend, Jean Gurney

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean,

      Thanks for your kind words. I’m very glad to learn that my efforts make a difference for you. Have a great time on Amelia Island, and I hope you get to see some of the “abundant native wildlife” this is reported to be there.



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