August 2016, Maltese birder Edward Bonavia visited the
Netherlands for work. On his first day, he had a full
afternoon to go birding and I was more than happy to be his host. The
plan was to pick him up from the airport and to start ticking off
his target birds. Things did not go that smoothly, however. A one-hour
flight delay, a damaged camera, too much wind for scanning the reeds for Aquatic Warblers and
a Bufflehead dip were all unforeseen. Nonetheless, we had a
splendid time, watching good numbers of waders (23 species,
a Red-necked Phalarope) and two White-winged Terns.
Three months later, Edward came over from Malta one more time and again we met up. This time, we visited IJmuiden, where some
phenomenal birds were waiting for us. After
watching (and photographing) a Long-tailed
Duck, Purple Sandpipers, a Little Auk, a Caspian Gull, a flock of c 50 Bohemian Waxwings and three Snow Buntings, there was just enough time to go for one more target bird. The choice was between a Red
Phalarope and the long-staying Bufflehead. Without hesitation Edward chose the former. By
the time we arrived the sun had just set and light was fading, but
luckily the phalarope was still showing. Just five hours after having
picked Edward up from the airport, I dropped him off again. Time well
spent, I would say!
the years, many people have also helped me on my journeys, both in the
Netherlands and abroad, sharing information on where to find
specific birds, arranging transportation or accompanying me in the field.
One of the wonderful things of birding is meeting so many great