Birdingpals Trip Report

Birding with a Pal in the Netherlands July 2005
by Birdingpal Gray Carpenter Church

Last July, I made a trip to The Netherlands and had one of the best birding days of my life!
I was hosted by Kasper Hendriks, a college student in Delft, and sometimes courier, who knows birds like the back of his hand. I’m twice Kasper’s age and I’ve traveled quite a bit. But I don’t think I’ve ever birded with someone who has traveled as much or who is as bird-knowledgeable as Kasper—What a treat it was!
We started the day birding at De Putten, a small wetland inside of the dike. While there, Kasper’s Rare Bird Alert pager started going wild. A Red-Necked Stint, seen only once before in The Netherlands, had purported shown up about a 30 minutes drive from where we were. A couple of times before, Kasper had received pages about a RN Stint—they had all been misidentified. Despite the odds against this page being the real thing, we decided to make the trek to the Isle of Texel.
While waiting for the ferry to Texel, Kasper ran into several of his birding friends, all out to see if the stint was who they said he was. This was my first (and to date, only) twitching experience and I had a great time! The enthusiasm of all the guys there was infectious. I’m sure I’ll never be a bona fide twitcher but on this day, I got to rub elbows with some of the best.

Photos of the little guy—and us twitchers—can be seen at the Dutch Birding Association website
A photo of the little guy
A photo of us birders looking at the little guy

Other places we birded that day: the lighthouse at The Cocksdorp in the north; The Mokbaai in the south; next to the ferry; and another (although futile) twitching spree to see a Glossy Ibis at The Amstelmeer. Then we crossed the Markermeer to see the famous Oostvaardersplassen, where we saw various waterfowl and an uncommonly beautiful Common Kingfisher before we got rained out.

Altogether, Kasper spotted and identified for me 56 species that day. Here’s the list:
Pied Oystercatcher
Sandwich Tern
Common Tern
European Starling
Eurasian Jackdaw
Pied Avocet
Eurasian Spoonbill
Ruddy Turnstone
Greylag Goose
Mute Swan
Carrion Crow
Eurasian Magpie
Eurasian Kestrel
Common Wood-Pigeon
Black-headed Gull
Great Crested Grebe
Eurasian Coot
Egyptian Goose
Rock Dove
European Herring Gull
Great Cormorant
Gray Heron
Common Ringed Plover
Red-necked Stint
Little Stint
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Common Eider
Common Redshank
Bar-tailed Godwit
Red Knot
Curlew Sandpiper
Western Marsh-Harrier
White Wagtail
Barn Swallow
Common Shelduck
Northern Lapwing
European Golden-Plover
Eurasian Curlew
Little Grebe
Common Gull
Barnacle Goose
Common Snipe
Tufted Duck
Common Swift
Great Egret
Common Kingfisher
Common Moorhen
Eurasian Reed-Warbler
Eurasian Buzzard
Eurasian Blackbird
Song Thrush
Black-tailed Godwit

Thanks, Knud, for making BirdingPals—and my unforgettable birding adventure in Holland—possible.
Gray Carpenter Church
Temecula, California

Last update 01/01/2013