New Arrivals in the Dutch Countryside

I did make it out into the countryside this morning, and I was richly rewarded for my efforts, despite the grey skies.

I was stunned to spot a pair of bar-headed geese (Anser indicus), who are not from around here, at all. Instead, I read that they breed “in Central Asia in colonies of thousands near mountain lakes and winters in South Asia, as far south as peninsular India.” It appears that they have been “introduced” to Europe by “enthusiasts.” In other news, they are “one of the world’s highest-flying birds,” and have been tracked flying over the Himalayas as high as 6,540 meters (21,460 ft). Yikes!


There were also dozens of greater white-fronted geese,


Hundreds of graylag geese,


And hundreds of Canada geese. Here’s a pair showing more size variety than I believe I’ve ever seen before. It gave me hope that I might be looking at a cackling goose (Branta hutchinsii), but I doubt it.


There was also a single pair of northern pintails (Anas acuta), of which I’ve seen females in Estabrook a couple of times, but not a male before;


A dozen or so diminutive green-winged teals, of which here’s a pair who aren’t even as long as a single Canada goose when arranged end-to-end;


And a few dozen common shelducks, just like the ones we saw in Slovenia, but not nearly so far away.


Finally, the white storks are back, and this one has already claimed a nest.


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.

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