Waterbird survey surprise

Last Thursday (17 January 2019), I spent a day counting waterbirds in the port of Rotterdam. The area is known as Europoort and is one of the worlds busiest ports. Being dominated by industry (petrochemical, iron and coal) and container terminals, it is not a place associated with large numbers of waterbirds. Nevertheless, colleagues of mine come here almost every month to do a survey. 

But it was only the first time that I visited Europoort for a waterbird survey. The weather was not great, with a cold north-west wind and the occasional shower, but most of the time the visibility was good. By the end of the day I had seen over 6000 waterbirds of 29 different species. Most common were European Herring Gull, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Black-headed Gull. On my last stop of the day, I even added a new species to my self-found list!

Eurasian Wigeons dealing  with trafic at the Nieuwe Waterweg.

Great Cormorants, European Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls resting between Hoek van Holland and  the Maasvlakte.

Black-legged Kittiwake giving great views.

Common Murre on its way back to sea.

Hartelhaven and Mississippihaven holding a few Red-breasted Mergansers and a Common Seal.

Little Grebe and Gadwall side by side.

Ducks gathering at a food processing plant at Dintelhaven.

Good numbers of Tufted Ducks and Common Pochards to look through...

...and then all of a sudden I saw this beauty!

A drake Ring-necked Duck! If accepted, it will be the 44th record for the Netherlands.

Just before dark it did some wing-stretching.

Then it was time to call it a day.

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Published 23 January 2019