Last week we spend a family holiday in the Ardennes. It was a wonderful week and has fantastic weather. The colors on the trees really gave it the Indian Summer impression and almost every morning we had mist hanging in the vallies.
Previously Joost and I hosted a workshop Landscape Photography. With such workshops you have to hope for good weather conditions but for the rest it's not such challenge because the subject isn't running or flying away from you. We also organized a workshop macro and wildlife photography. To put the theorie (first half of the workshop an evening presentation) into practice we went to a reserve where there's large group of Scottish Highland Cows and Konik Horses.
We had to manage a group of 30 participants so we split up the group. With such a group it's hard to photograph wildlife such as birds, hares and Roe Deer that also occur in the area. Even when we walked up to these domestic cows the were [...]
For the local library I hosted two workshops. One focussed on landscape photography and the other on wildlife photography. On the first evening Joost and I give a presentation about the theory and the next week we meet in the field so the participants can put the theory into practice.
On the evening the evening we planned the landscape photography it was raining cats and dogs so we agreed to meet the next Monday. After the grey and raining evening we where treated with a fantastic sunset. It was slightly clouded but at the horizon the setting sun illuminated the sky in many colors.
I used the 10-20mm Sigma wide angle on the 7D (1.7 magnification) and took a low angle position. Actually I just [...]
In the east part of the Netherlands you can fiend some really nice forests teeming with wildlife and all kinds of flora. Early spring is the best time to see woodpeckers as there are no leaves on the trees and the woodpeckers are setting their territory. Near Winterswijk there's the river Boven Slinge crosses the forest of Bekendelle and sometimes overflows parts of the woodland. That creates a unique swamp forest and even better, the dead and fallen trees are not removed. We where very lucky with the weather and arrived at sunset. The forest was overloaded with a dawn chorus which added the the wonderful atmosphere.
Wouter and I visited the Biesbosch National Parc last Saturday the 18th of February. We left Leiden early in the morning and drove off into the mist. We arrived before sunset and hoped for Beaver at a site where they've seen the days before. No trace of the Beavers but we enjoyed the scenery with Great Cormorants perched in dead trees in the mist and found a second winter Yellow-legged Gull.
At polder Hardenbroek we saw our first Black-tailed Godwits for this year and heard several calling Water Rails, views of White-tailed Eagle could be forgotten as we couldn't see more then 300 meters because of the mist. We did see the Blyth's Pipit briefly as it was flushed by another birder, other attempt to [...]
Together with Hans Overduin we went to the province of Zeeland in the southwest of the Netherlands. Forecasts weren't great but as one would like but still we went out as we hadn't spoken each other for a while. So it would be more of a "socialising" and focus on birding day. We started at the Krammersluizen where we hoped to find a large flock of Snow Buntings and Twites, sadly we couldn't find the birds but where happy with a distant White-tailed Eagle and some Black-necked and Slavonian Grebe.
We then headed south to Yerseke where a family of 8 Red-breasted Geese where seen but the tide was low and the birds where probably far away on the mudflats foraging of sea lettuce with [...]
Winter is my favorite season, at least when it really feels like winter. Frost, ice, snow are getting scarcer in the Netherlands so when it occurs I get restless. Still with two young boys (1 and 3 years) it's not always easy to get out. Luckily sunrise is about the time they had their breakfast so the join dad. I can't take them for hours into the cold so I'm limited to site that I can access by car of stay within a short walking distance
Every autumn 10.000s Cranes (Grus grus) migrate from their Scandinavian breeding grounds south to winter in France and Spain. During their migration they stop over on several sites of which Diepholz area is one of them. It's 3,5 hour drive from The Hague. At the end of October the numbers peak with over 50.000 birds in the area. They come here to forage on the corn- and grain fields for the leftovers during the day. In the area are several moors where they are roosting.
We went in the second weekend of November, starting just south of Vechta and searched the fields in this area heading to the Goldenstedter Moor. Around mid-day we headed towards the Rhedener Moor, west of Wagenfeld where we waited for [...]
After nine years I'm finally going to merry my girl. Therefore my (birding) friends threw me a bachelor party in birding style. With a tropics hat, fake beard, army pants we went birding and in the afternoon visited the Nieuwkoopse Plassen. Wouter and Kasper new a good site where we parked the car and ate a pizza. Three juvenile Marsh Harriers just fledged and we witness the male bringing food to the juveniles.
We waited for another hour when he returned with a young coot and the interchange took place right in front of us!
It has been a while since I updated my website and same goes for my photography. With two young kids and a full time job spare time is scarce. Good thing is that the days are getting longer and I can squeeze out in the early morning before I have to go to work if the conditions are good.
Last week the forecast were good for a misty morning so I got out early, well Sven got out early for his milk before my alarm clock went of ;) So after he was asleep again I went to the dunes before sunrise. It was a bit cloudy and therefore the mist was not so thick. Even though it was a wonderful morning with singing Wood [...]
My birding friend Maarten Wielstra is also proud father of a one year old boy named Bodi. Last thursday we met with our boys and spent a couple of hours birding. We enjoyed being outdoor with our sons and soon forgot that our target was to find an Icelandic Redwing. As soon as we started walking we saw the first Fallow Deers. Even more deers where grazing on a field covered in mist. After a two hour walk Bodi and Thijs where getting hungry and just before we where back at the car we found this lovely Grey Heron in a nice setting.
Winter is coming. After a warm and sunny autumn it looks like winter has arrived. November is known to be a wet and clouded month and when the wind comes from the North West it often results in hail. When there's a strong wind you get beautiful dark clouds illuminated by the sun. I was lucky that at this precise moment a group of Eurasian Wigeons flew by.