Saturday, 25 April 2009

Pochard pair

This cooperative Pochard (Aythya ferina/Tafeleend) pair made my day. They were probably curious what I was doing and came quite close.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Nest building

Together with my wife Judith I went to Zeeland, Colijnsplaat for a long weekend, just to relax a bit. In the early mornings (my wife was still sleeping), I concentrated on photographing Marsh Harriers (Circus aeruginosus/Bruine Kiekendief). Here is my best shot, a ♀ gathering material for her nest in the underlying reed bed. Just another sign of spring.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009


Spring is a time of rapid changes; trees blossom, flowers appear in the fields, migrant songbirds arrive, butterflies float in the air. But this year is really exceptional; I have never witnessed a spring that develops so quickly, it is almost explosive. There are just too many things happening at the same time.
For quite some time I have a photo in my mind of Orange Tips (Anthocharis cardamines/Oranjetip) in a field full of Cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis/Pinksterbloem) loaded with dewdrops in a backlit setting. Several mornings this week I got up early and went to such a Cuckooflower field near my home village Nuenen just before work. But unfortunately, I didn’t find any Orange Tips. However, at the end of the afternoon, while returning from work, I stopped again, put my bike against a tree, and could take this picture. I hope the mating makes up for the dewdrops and the promised against-the-light shot. Besides, it is always good to have some wishes open and unfulfilled for later.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Dutch Jurassic

Reptiles are air-breathing, cold-blooded vertebrates that have skin covered in scales as opposed to hair or feathers. In northern countries like The Netherlands there are a limited number of species that can survive; to be precise we have 3 snake species and 4 lizard species. They are all rare and hard to found. In the National Park “De Meinweg” I found 2 of them. The typical green ♂ Sand Lizard (Lacerta agilis/Zandhagedis) that looks like a miniature dragon and the aggressive and poisonous (!) ♀ Viper (Vipera berus/Adder). In cool summers the offspring will be born next year; the embryos hibernate inside the ♀ snake body.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


In my opinion Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa/Grutto) is the most beautiful stilt of the meadows. Unfortunately their numbers decline every year. Here is a portrait of a ♂ in a flooded grassland (coined ‘plas-dras’ in Dutch). The photo was taken from a hide; many thanks again to Astrid Kant.