A couple of surprises on a soggy Saturday

I haven’t been able to take pictures for a couple of weeks, sorry, but I have been able to pay attention to the birds around on my walk to and from work, and I’ve been hearing this guy, a European green woodpecker like the one we saw in Ljubljana, in nearly the same tree for about a week. Well, this morning, it chose to make its characteristic call from a slightly different tree, and I was finally able to spot it, way up high. Woo hoo, this is only the second time I’ve been able to see one, and the first time in South Holland.


A bit further south and a lot closer to the ground, I found a pair of long-tailed tits, also about where I’ve seen them before, but this time it was pretty clear that they are a pair. Here’s one, peeking out from a wall of climbing ivy.


And here’s the other one, with a much wider black eyebrow and maybe a bit more brown on its back, on a nearby tree branch. I got to watch the two flit back and forth between the ivy, that tree, and another tree behind me, and I’ve got dozens of blurry pictures to prove it.


Then, since I don’t have to go to work today, in fact I can’t because they keep the building locked all weekend, I continued south into the countryside where I was treated to the glorious sight of this ring-necked pheasant.


A little bit beyond the pheasant, I came to the stork nest, and both expecting parents were home this morning.


Finally, we’ve got a new bird this morning. There were three of them, and their jet-black back really made them stand out, but this is the one who stayed nice and still for the slow exposure that the gray skies required. Say hello to our first lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus). For my convenience, there were even a few helpful herring gulls around sporting their “pale gray backs and wings”.


Which reminds me, when I was down in Slovenia, another gull posed nicely for me, so I took the picture, of course, but I figured it was just another herring gull, so I never bothered to show you. I did, however, upload the picture to accompany my birding report on ebird, and a keen observer kindly emailed me to report that that was no herring gull. Instead, it is our first, and only so far, yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis). Cool, eh?

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

And that’s it for today, I’m afraid. There were a slew of birds out there, 51 species that I saw this morning, but the thick clouds just kept leaking, despite even letting the sun peek through once in a while, and I couldn’t get you any more pictures. Maybe next time.

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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