TEXEL - THE NETHERLANDS

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10-11-12 MAY 2001

 

This weekend in May brought us to the island of Texel which belongs to a string of islands in the Dutch Wadden Sea. The island measures about 25 km in length and is about 9 km wide. It has a wide variety of habitats and is very popular amongst Dutch birdwatchers. The type of habitats meanly consist of dune areas (along the western side), salt marshes, sandbanks, tidal pools, grasslands, forested areas, pasture lands and swampy areas surrounded by reed beds. The island can be reached via the town of Den Helder which is about 60km north of Amsterdam. The crossing from Den Helder to Texel takes only 30 minutes and the ferry runs about every hour. As a result of itís popularity the island has a wide variety of accomodations from campings to luxury hotels. We stayed in Den Burg which is actually the main town of the island. It has enough choice of hotels and restaurants, and is centrally located on the island. All birding spots (see descriptions below) can be easily reached by car or even by bicycle. For general info about the island you can check out the website of the Texel Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast at www.vacationtechnician.com/texellighthousebandb.htm. Other interesting reports about the island can be found at http://users.skynet.be/wielewaal/Texel%202001b.htm and at www.realbirder.com/Texelreport.htm. 

 

 

BIRDING SITES

 

It is not easy to point out the best birding spots of the island hence this is totally dependent on the time of the year and the weather conditions. However the map below shows an overview of some of the most interesting birding spots on the island. For every site a short description is given describing the habitat and the best time of the year for certain birds. Descriptions start in the northeast at Zeeburg following the coast clockwise and finally ending up with the sites located more inland.




 

 

 

Zeeburg: a farmhouse surrounded by extensive pieces of pasture land in the northeast. From October untill the beginning of June the area holds large groups of Brent Goose. During high tide the area holds a variety of roosting waders waiting for the return of low tide at the mudflats. The area holds good birds year round but is at its best during migration time.

 

De Schorren: these mudflats which can be overlooked from the coastal dike are an important year round food source for large numbers of waders. In winter it is also good for specialties like twite, rock pipit and snow bunting.

 

De Bol: grasslands and meadows which can be overlooked from the dike. Interesting site for roosting waders and breeding redshanks, avocet, oystercatchers etc. 

 

Wagejot: brakish pools on the east side of the island. From the road one can observe breeding birds like terns, avocet and several species of plovers at very close range.

 

Dijkmanshuizen: coastal bay wich can be overlooked from the dike. In spring it hosts terns and migrating waders. Autumn is a good time for grebes. In winter the site is very good for several duck species.

 

De Geul, Mokbaai and Horspolders: excellent year round birding site in the south of the island with a wide variety in habitats consisting of dunes, lakes, pools,reedbeds and coastal mudflats. Good for amongst ducks, herons, bittern, spoonbills, harriers and songbirds like bluethroat, reedwarblers etc especially during migration.

 

Bolle Kamer: an area consiting of old dunes covered with lots of scrubs, grasses and heather. Good for songbirds during migration. Two trails run through the area which makes bird observation fairly easy.

 

De Muy: lake surrounded by dunes. The lake is good for spoonbill and herons whilst the surrounding dunes are a good spot for songbirds during spring and summer.

 

De Slufter: a unique coastal inlet that floods during high tide. During low tide the pools and mudflats hold a variety of foraging waders, ducks and herons.

 

Eyerlandse Duinen: an area of old dry dunes with lots of vegetation in the north towards the lighthouse. Good for songbirds and short-eared owl.

 

De Dennen: an area with mixed forests good for breeding birds like oriole, sparrowhawk, hobby, cuckoo, crossbills etc.

 

Waal en Burg: typical polder landscape with meadows and canals in the middle of the island holding amongst breeding redshanks, godwits and snipe. In winter flooded areas are good for ducks and swans. Early spring itís a important feeding site for ruff and waders.

 

 

Species List

 

 

Between brackets = approx. number of birds recorded

 

NR.

ENGLISH NAME

NUMBERS

COMMENTS

1

Great Crested Grebe

10

several sites

2

Great Cormorant

15

several sites

3

Mute Swan

10

several sites

4

Pink-footed Goose

5

wagejot

5

Bean Goose

25

several sites

6

Greylag Goose

50

several sites

7

Brant

200

large groups at zeeburg

8

Egyptian Goose

5

horspolder

9

Common Shelduck

50

several sites

10

Mallard

100

several sites

11

Northern Shoveler

3

de dennen

12

Common Pochard

5

de bol

13

Common Eider

50

schorren and slufter

14

Gray Heron

15

several sites

15

Eurasian Spoonbill

15

schorren and slufter

16

Western Marsh-Harrier

25

de muy and slufter

17

Common Buzzard

1

forest at de dennen

18

Eurasian Kestrel

5

cultivated fields

19

Ring-necked Pheasant

15

several sites

20

Eurasian Coot

10

several sites

21

Black-tailed Godwit

50

pastures

22

Bar-tailed Godwit

8

schorren and slufter

23

Eurasian Curlew

6

de muy and wagejot

24

Common Redshank

25

schorren and wagejot

25

Common Greenshank

1

pastures near zeeburg and de bol

26

Common Sandpiper

1

wagejot

27

Ruddy Turnstone

6

wagejot

28

Eurasian Oystercatcher

100

common

29

Pied Avocet

15

schorren and wagejot

30

European Golden-Plover

4

schorren

31

Black-bellied Plover

3

schorren

32

Common Ringed Plover

10

schorren and de bol

33

Northern Lapwing

50

pastures

34

Great Black-backed Gull

20

common

35

Herring Gull

25

 

36

Lesser Black-backed Gull

10

schorren and slufter

37

Black-headed Gull

200

common

38

Common Tern

25

several nesting at de bol and wagejot

39

Common Wood Pigeon

10

forest at de dennen

40

Eurasian Collared-Dove

10

forest at de dennen

41

Common Cuckoo

1

de muy (feeding on caterpillar)

42

Common Swift

10

several sites

43

Eurasian Jay

3

forest at de dennen

44

Black-billed Magpie

15

common

45

Eurasian Jackdaw

15

common

46

Rook

10

pastures near zeeburg and de bol

47

Carrion Crow

15

common

48

Eurasian Blackbird

50

common

49

Song Thrush

1

forest at de dennen

50

European Starling

25

common

51

European Robin

5

forest at de dennen

52

Common Nightingale

1

horspolder

53

Stonechat

1

de muy

54

Northern Wheatear

1

slufter

55

Winter Wren

10

several sites

56

Bank Swallow

25

wagejot

57

Barn Swallow

10

several sites

58

Common House-Martin

10

several sites

59

Icterine Warbler

1

zeeburg

60

Willow Warbler

5

forest at de dennen

61

Common Chiffchaff

5

several sites

62

Greater Whitethroat

5

horspolder

63

Lesser Whitethroat

1

horspolder

64

Great Tit

10

forest at de dennen

65

Blue Tit

10

several sites

66

Sky Lark

5

de slufter

67

House Sparrow

100

common

68

White Wagtail

6

several sites

69

Yellow Wagtail

1

slufter

70

Meadow Pipit

5

de muy

71

Dunnock

1

de muy

72

Common Chaffinch

25

common

73

European Greenfinch

3

zeeburg

74

European Goldfinch

1

zeeburg

75

Eurasian Linnet

1

near ecomare

76

Red Crossbill

4

forest at de dennen

77

Reed Bunting

2

horspolder

 

                           


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