Mapping breeding birds

Like in 2016 and 2017, I am spending quite some time in the dunes along the coast of North Holland for a bird survey this spring. Yesterday (2 May 2018) I visited an area just north of Wijk aan Zee. It was still dark when I arrived. Under a clear sky the temperature had dropped to about six degrees Celsius. Common Nightingales Luscinia megarhynchos were the only birds singing their hearts out. Otherwise it was very quiet.

However, more and more birds started singing within the next hour: an impressive dawn chorus unfolded. With the use of a tablet and Avimap, mapping every single bird was intensive but fun. 
Altogether, I recorded 450 sightings of 55 species. Most numerous were Common Nightingale (68 sightings), Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis (47), Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus (36), Common Linnet Linaria cannabina (31) and Eurasian Blackcap S atricapilla (19). Noteworthy were a Long-eared Owl Asio otus, a Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo and a Wood Warbler P sibilatrix. Some birds were busy collecting food for their young (for example Meadow Pipits Anthus pratensis). Others have only recently returned from their wintering grounds (like Eurasian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus). Depicted below is a map of the song posts of 29 of the Common Nightingales I observed.


After about eight hours the battery of my tablet ran out. By then, I could use some energy myself too, so I headed home. But what a lovely morning it was!


The moon at 04:50 on 2 May 2018.


Noordhollands Duinreservaat at 05:36 on 2 May 2018 (about half an hour before sunrise).

European Stonechat intobirding.com

A male European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola overlooking its territory at Noordhollands Duinreservaat on 2 May 2018.

Common Whitethroat intobirding.com

A Common Whitethroat singing its song at Noordhollands Duinreservaat on 2 May 2018.


Noordhollands Duinreservaat at 08:53 on 2 May 2018.

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Published 3 May 2018