26 August 2021

The birds of Tiengemeten (4)

 video Eurasian Spoonbill, Lepelaar, foraging ©GK
Best viewed on youtube:


The most remarkable feature of the European Spoonbill is the spoon-like shape of bill and the way they use their bill. They typically use sideways sweeps of their beaks to filter out the tiny fish and shrimps in the water. The movements are very regular, with a fixed rate and width. It looks as if they do it blindly. While doing these movements the Spoonbill walks slowly with a regular tempo through the water. And this does not seem to be influenced by what he sees either. A really special and beautiful bird!

Spoonbill viewed from our garden ©GK

please note ornamental feathers on the head ©GK

spoonbill in flight with stretched neck ©GK

Lonely spoonbill in he evening in shallow water ©GK

Detail. Note light yellow spot. ©GK

Clearly, it is a sort of spoon! ©GK

Red-breasted Merganser,  Middelste Zaagbek ©GK

Egyptian goose, Nijlgans ©GK

European goldfinch, Putter ©GK

Eurasian tree sparrow, Ringmus ©GK

European stonechat, Roodborsttapuit ©GK

Northern shoveler, Slobeend ©GK

That's it for today... Next blog will be the last in this series ...

16 August 2021

The Birds of Tiengemeten (3)


Lesser black-backed gull (GB) Kleine mantelmeeuw (NL) ©GK

The Lesser black-backed gull (Kleine mantelmeeuw) is an impressive beast. It is larger than the European herring gull (Zilvermeeuw), but smaller than Great black-backed gull (Grote mantelmeeuw), which is the biggest gull in the world. Here he/she shows interest in a large dead fish! Probably they smell it from a distance. 

(detail) ©GK


Common linnet (GB) kneu (NL) ©GK

The Common linnet (kneu) is indeed a common bird. It's a songbird. Its song is rather unpretentious, but characteristic to identify the species. Often in groups. It is related to the chaffinch (vink) and canary (kanarie).

Mute swan (GB) knobbelzwaan (NL) ©GK

With 10 kg the Mute swan is the heaviest (flying) bird in the Netherlands. Remarkably, but not exceptional, this bird is vegetarian. Often seen in towns in public gardens. But on Tiengemeten there are neither gardens nor cities. These birds are wild birds. Note: the first bird (right) is shitting in flight.

Tufted duck ♀ (GB) kuifeend ♀ (NL) ©GK

For a change a picture of the female Tufted duck. Mostly males of this species are shown. The female has a chocolate brown head and neck colour with a beautiful intense yellow eye.

White wagtail (GB) witte kwikstaart (NL) ©GK

White wagtail (witte kwikstaart) in search for insects in grass with daisies. They are lively and funny birds.

I have seen where your nest is!!! ©GK

The nest of the wagtails was under the roof tiles of our holiday home. They get a little bit nervous when I watch them. Unfortunately our stay did not last long enough to see the young fly. I hope the owner is not going to renovate the roof in the future!

In the grass there are enough insects. ©GK

a mosquito and a fly? ©GK

a bee? a worm? a caterpillar? ©GK

click on images for larger size

09 August 2021

The birds of Tiengemeten (2)

Greylag goose (GB) Grauwe gans (NL) ©GK

I observed a Greylag goose pair with goslings in Tiengemeten (May 2021). It is always funny to see that the goslings swim in a straight line behind their parents. Geylag goose (Grauwe gans) is a very common species in the Netherlands.

Greylag goose (Grauwe gans) in flight ©GK

Canada goose (GB) Grote Canadese gans (NL) ©GK

The Canada goose is an invasive species (not naturally living in the Netherlands). It is bigger than most other goose species.

Stock dove (GB) Holenduif (NL) ©GK

The Stock dove (Holenduif) is less frequently seen than the Common wood pigeon (Houtduif). This dove is photographed through the window, hence the blueish colour.

original picture 6000x4000 with telephoto lens ©GK

Above is the original of a male Western marsh harrier (Bruine kiekendief) made with a telephoto lens. Below is a detail (cropped to 1500x1000 pixels):

 male Western marsh harrier (GB) Bruine kiekendief (NL) ©GK

 male Western marsh harrier (GB) Bruine kiekendief (NL) ©GK

Harriers are always far away. Hard to spot with the naked eye. Even with a telephoto lens is hard to get good pictures. You cannot approach them because they fly over open landscape, in this case reed beds (rietlanden). They do not rest on trees (there are few trees) like buzzards. So it is hard to get good pictures of them. In The Netherlands there are 3 harrier species. This is the Western marsh harrier (Bruine kiekendief). Males and females have different colours, and above that, adult, juvenile, first-, second- and third year birds have different colours. Quite complicated.

Lapwing (GB) kievit (NL) ©GK

The Lapwing (kievit) used to be a common bird in the Netherlands. But due to agricultural practices are now rare. I spotted a few during my stay on Tiengemeten. They seem to have fun in performing nosedives. You have to be quick! Always be ready!

cropped to 900x700 pixels ©GK

See you next blog!

Previous blog about Tiengemeten

The birds of Tiengemeten (1)



02 August 2021

The birds of Tiengemeten (1)

Bluethroat (GB) / Blauwborst (NL) ©GK

Early morning chance encounter: a singing bluethroat. That makes your day! A charming little bird. Has the size and look of a robin. He wasn't afraid. This bird is always close to water. His song is a mix of tones. No clear melody. That is for human ears...

Barn swallow, Boerenzwaluw ©GK

It is true: a barn swallow is always close to a barn. Even if it is a renovated farmhouse in this case. A nice bird, not afraid of humans.

Barnacle goose, Brandgans  ©GK

This pair of Barnacle geese (Brandgans) raise the alarm because a wildlife photographer comes too close... Probably they have young ...


T-form feathers on the head of a male Common pheasant. ©GK


I never observed it before: a pair of somewhat comical feathers on the head of the male pheasant. But, probably very attractive to females.

Great crested grebe, Fuut  ©GK
Common whitethroat, Grasmus ©GK

Singing Common whitethroats (Grasmus) can easily be spotted all over the island, but approaching them close enough for a picture is difficult. You have to be fast. Try again and again. They can be recognised from a great distance by their characteristic song.

All bird pictures are taken with the Sony 70-350mm lens.

Previous blog

Tiengemeten: a not widely known island in the Netherlands where nature rules.