Home  sweet home

On the news, I hear of so much misery, over and over again. It is so depressing that I have stopped following. Fortunately, in the tiny part of the world I call home life is peaceful. Here, I enjoy the good things in life as much as possible. Appreciating the beauty of nature forms a major part of it. To me, observing birds is a kind of escape. I enjoy every moment and realize how small my worries often are – a humbling experience.

On 3 May 2016, Jonelle and I got the keys of our new house, located in a suburb near Haarlem at c 11 km from the North Sea coast and on the bottom of what was once a lake. Since then I have recorded 113 species from the house and the adjacent little park, including the following numbers of sightings of raptors: Western Osprey (3), European Honey Buzzard (4), Western Marsh Harrier (12), Eurasian Sparrowhawk (150), Northern Goshawk (23), Common Buzzard (150), Common Kestrel (27), Merlin (1), Eurasian Hobby (13) and Peregrine Falcon (13). Among the many other remarkable sightings are Black Stork (1), White Stork (8), Eurasian Spoonbill (11), Pied Avocet (1), Black-tailed Godwit (1), Eurasian Woodcock (2), Mediterranean Gull (3), Common Barn Owl (1), Tawny Owl (1), Common Kingfisher (6), European Green Woodpecker (3), Common Firecrest (13), Icterine Warbler (2), Spotted Flycatcher (1), Black Redstart (1), Hawfinch (13) and Red Crossbill (7) (see Appendix 1 for the complete list). A group of at least 40 Mealy Redpolls in December 2017 arrived during an invasion. Two Yellow-browed Warblers at less than 300 m from the house on 3 October 2016 and one in the front garden on 8 October 2017 were wonderful too. So was a first-year Iceland Gull on 31 March 2019. It is surprising how much one can find at almost any given spot. 

Eurasian Collared Dove intobirding.com

Our home: a lake until the middle of the 19th century, nothing but farmland up until the early 1980’s and surrounded by more and more houses ever since. Eurasian Collared Dove is now a common resident.

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Published 6 March 2018  >  30 June 2019