The eleventh month of 2023 produced some nice species. Two Richard's Pipits stayed on the dike at the Utopia nature reserve for a few days. Another surprise was the discovery of a Iceland Gull on the North Sea beach at pole 12. This Arctic gull breeds in Greenland and often winters in very limited number in the Netherlands. A young Black-throated Loon could be admired for several days in the harbor of Oudeschild.

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Grote Pieper / Richard's Pipit Anthus ricardi, Utopia, Texel, 16-11-2023


Parelduiker / Black-throated Loon Gavia arctica, 1cy, haven Oudeschild, Texel, 15-11-2023


Rosse Grutto / Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, 1cy, Volharding, Texel, 18-11-2023

Algemene wintergast / Common wintervisitor

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Zwarte Zee-eend / Black scoter Melanitta nigra, ♀, Volharding, Texel, 16-11-2023

Buiten het broedseizoen verblijven duizenden Zwarte Zee-eenden op de Noordzee / Outside the breeding season, thousands of Black Scoters stay in the North Sea


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Kleine Burgemeester / Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides, 2cy, Paal 12, Texel, 26-11-2023

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Middelste Zaagbek / Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator, ♂, Volharding, Texel, 26-11-2023

Algemene wintergast / Common wintervisitor

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Weather conditions often have a major influence on the migratory behavior of birds. In the first days of November, large numbers of Little Gulls migrating south were seen in the Wadden Sea. Several Leach's Storm Petrels and some European Storm Petrels also chose this route. These species usually migrate south over the North Sea. The strong southerly storm Ciarán was most likely responsible for this 'deviating' migration route.

Waxwings have also been seen again in recent weeks. The largest number was a group of no fewer than twenty-six birds, which flew onto the island near the lighthouse. Two Isabelline Wheatears have already been recorded this autumn. The first sighting was on October 22 and the second on October 31. This vagrant from southeastern Europe and Asia had only been seen on Texel three times before. In recent years, Pallid Swifts have been seen every autumn. Also this year several birds of this southern European breeding bird visited Texel. A rare Alpine Swift flew over the island on the first of November. 


Izabeltapuit / Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina, waarschijnlijk 1cy ♂, Texel, 31-10-2023

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Dwergmeeuw / Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus, ad winter, Texel, 04-11-2023

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Dwergmeeuw / Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus, 1cy winter, Texel, 04-11-2023


Pestvogel / Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus, Texel, 28-10-2023



Blauwborst / Bluethroat Luscinia svecica, ♂, Texel, 25-08-2023

Bluethroats are now difficult to see. With an estimated number of breeding pairs of at least one hundred and twenty-five, this species is well represented on Texel. Early in spring, often around mid-March, the first birds return from Africa. After September, sightings of this species are very rare.


Blauwe Kiekendief / Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus, 1 cy ♀, Texel, 04-09-2023 

This year, 'three pairs' of Hen Harriers once again bred on Texel. It concerned two females with one male and a pair. A total of eight young birds fledged. Also nationally, this bird of prey with only about ten pairs is an extremely scarce breeding bird. Unfortunately, many young Hen Harriers do not survive their first winter. The photo above shows a young female that fledged on Texel this year. A transmitter is placed on her back. By tagging birds, researchers hope to gain more insight into the decline of this beautiful bird. (source; Lieuwe Dijksen)

In September, two American Golden Plovers, two Booted Warblers and several Red-footed Falcons were seen on Texel. Vagrants from the US and Eastern Europe. October is the peak month for thrush migration. Redwings, Song Thrushes, Blackbirds and Fieldfares in particular can be seen in large numbers. Cattle Egrets are frequently seen this year, with the maximum number being a group of six birds on October 7. This southern European species is on the rise north. A typical autumn species is Barred Warbler. This year too, some birds were seen, but fewer than average. Several Little Buntings and Richard's Pipits have passed over Texel. This week some Waxwings have settled on berry-bearing shrubs and trees. Unfortunately, sightings of Northern European and Siberian vagrants are still lagging behind, but autumn is not over yet. The record of a Red-flanked Bluetail on October 8 is the highlight so far.

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Pestvogel / Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus, Texel, 17-10-2023


Amerikaanse Goudplevier / American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica, bird below, adult, Texel, 11-09-2023


Roodpootvalk / Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, 1cy, Texel, 16-09-2023


Koereigers / Cattle Egrets Bubulcus ibis, what's in a name!?, Texel, 08-10-2023


Dwerggors / Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla, Texel, 11-10-2023 


Sperwergrasmus / Barred warbler Sylvia nisoria, 1cy, Texel, 16-10-2023


Koperwiek / Redwing Turdus iliacus, Texel, 17-10-2023


Pestvogel / Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus, Texel, 17-10-2023


Smaller than a starling and hyperactive. When you see this wader looking for food, it almost makes you restless. Spinning on the water, the Red-necked Phalerope searches for food. On fresh water, this consists mainly of insects. At sea, he feasts on animal plankton. Its breeding ground is in the arctic regions of the entire Northern Hemisphere. This tough bird spends the winter on the oceans in the tropics. In the Netherlands it is a scarce migrant, especially in May, September and October.


Grauwe Franjepoot / Red-necked Phalerope Phalaropus lobatus, ♂, Texel, 06-08-2023



Over de auteur/fotograaf

Jos van den Berg is een bekende Texelse vogelaar en fotograaf. Hij is dagelijks in het veld te vinden en schrijft regelmatig een blog over nieuwe vogelsoorten, excursies op Texel en andere wetenswaardigheden.

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