Friday, 21 March 2008

Dutch Limosa

Almost 75% of the Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa/Grutto) population, at least the nominate race, breed in The Netherlands. Unfortunately, numbers of this elegant species are declining rapidly for several reasons. Intensive and large-scale farming is the most important one I guess. When they return, the birds are very much bound to water (after all, they are waders!), later in the season you can see them more and more on wet meadows, preferable those below sea level. I took these photos on a cold afternoon from a hide, together with Astrid Kant. There were many snow showers interspersed with a few sunny periods. Top: ♀. Bottom: ♂.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Blue frog

Ever seen a blue frog? The first time I saw them I could not believe my eyes. In early spring Moor Frog (Rana arvalis/Heikikker) males gather in ‘plopping’ mating choires in shallow water (which is slightly warmer) and turn bluish by a hormonal process. This lasts only for a couple of days. Weird!
The photo below shows the miniature world of frogspawn. The pale colour of the water is caused by the reflection of dry grass which is illuminated by warm sunlight.