Winter Birding in Maastricht – 10,000 Birds

Whereas I’ve visited a couple of birding websites across the Netherlands through the course of my Bachelor research, I didn’t go birding rather a lot across the metropolis the place I lived, Maastricht. This is sensible as the world isn’t that attention-grabbing for birding, however I additionally was not conscious of a number of the alternatives for some time, or all the time needed to many different issues occurring.
This winter, I used to be again in Maastricht to work on the college as a tutor. On the fowl recording website Waarneming, I noticed {that a} Nice Northern Diver (Frequent Loon) was discovered on a lake simply south of town. I needed to take a look at the location for the reason that fowl could be a lifer, however work all the time acquired in the way in which. I feared the diver would finally disappear however once I lastly discovered a while two weeks later, it had nonetheless been reported the day earlier than.

I acquired to the northern shores of the lake however scanning with a scope remained fruitless. After persevering with to cycle to the southern edge, I lastly picked out the Nice Northern Diver after a protracted search. Checking afterwards, I spotted it was 800 meters away in foggy climate, most likely one of many tougher birds I’ve situated to date (though after all this is able to have been far more spectacular had the fowl been self-found). I didn’t have good views in any respect, though after a very long time observing I had managed to choose up all of the ID options, and loved watching its totally different looking behaviour in comparison with the plentiful Nice Cormorants.

I used to be very completely happy about this lifer as I had been hoping to see this species in autumn throughout my keep on Heligoland. I nonetheless proceeded to examine the waterbirds within the nearer neighborhood, realising that getting close-up sightings additionally has its benefits. A suprising discover that made this go to much more price it was a Larger Scaup, which I had solely seen as soon as earlier than within the UK.

Larger Scaup

The feminine was fairly shy, however I used to be completely happy to match it to the numerous Tufted Geese that had been round as effectively. As well as, different typical species round included Eurasian Coot, Frequent Merganser, Mallard, and Nice Crested Grebe and Little Grebe. A Water Rail was hidden, calling from the reeds. Terrestrial species didn’t present themselves within the drizzle, however a bunch of Eurasian Siskins supplied a pleasant distraction.

Tufted Duck
Eurasian Siskin

Regardless of the horrible darkish, drizzly climate, this brief outing was thus remarkably rewarding – and I spotted that I shouldv’e been out birding extra steadily during the last three years. One thing particular can all the time flip up!

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