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.