Sunday, October 23, 2016

Holland 2016 - 10 Konik horses

View of nature reserve the Blauwe Kamer, where wild Konik horses and cows roam free.
(Not the 5 in the foreground)

Every visit to the Netherlands I go looking for these wild horses in the reserve along the river Rijn. The first days they stayed out sight. I had a brief glimpse of them at a pond far away through my binoculars and thought that would be it. But then, at last I got lucky. The whole herd (50 or 60) came running towards the small grove were birders are allowed to go in order to watch a colony of herons and spoonbills from a hide. I watched the Koniks galloping by and eventually I got closed in by a curious group who wondered if my bag, shoes and tripod were edible... !!!

While I am trying to work my way back...

The young yearlings seem least shy and determined to sort me out.

Ho ho ho, what's happening!?!

 This little foal was about to walk towards me but protective elders prevented it gently. 
I was quite touched.

The horses share this area with Galloway cattle. The enormous cows are semi wild, meaning they are not domesticated to produce milk or beef, but graze the land and live a life of freedom. Lucky B...s

Disturbed in their midday dreams they moved out of the way of the excited horses and thus blocked my only way back - via the boardwalk. I had to pack up my stuff and wade through the water.

Below the Spoonbill colony. A bit too far for my travel gear

some too far, others too close for my liking

Not the kind of animal you easily brush off and
Yes, that's supposed to be my walkway out.
 Pffffff I won't forget this day in July 2016

Holland 2016 - 9 around Wageningen again

Cannot leave without seeing at least one Robin ( Erithacus rubecula, Roodborst) I wish I could spend more time with them.

An evening visit to the Blauwe Kamer. There is a restaurant that serves decent food and it's possible to eat outside on a wooden terrace overlooking a part of the wetlands bordering the river Rijn. Summer evenings are long and the sun didn't set till 9 pm. There is always something to see.

Holland has at least 3 different kinds of deer. This kind seems to be the Fallow deer, but I'm not sure. 

Pheasant, (Phasianus colchicus, Fazant)

Returning for a morning walk on another day I saw these 3 young ones 

On the riverbank of the Rijn: Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus, Nijlgans)


Holland 2016 - 8 Stonechats (Saxicola torquatus, Roodborsttappuit)

The Stonechats are spring and autumn visitors to Kyushu and I usually see their Siberian cousins around Fukuoka. The migrating juveniles are already quite strong and mature.
Here in the Netherlands I got to see a fledgeling. Cute!!! Straight from the cornfield:

Papa watching from a distance

In another field, also near corn:

There seemed to be quite a few around

Rozebottels, waiting to be picked

In the same fields we encountered a family of Roe deer. 


Holland 2016 - 7 Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis, Putter)

July, a little too early for apples. The fruit trees were full and some apples had fallen, but they were not edible yet. The Goldfinches stayed around, giving them a try every now and then.

I remember their nick name Distel vink and hoped for one to perch on a thistle, but these don't seem to be the right kind. I had to do with the butterflies.
Citroen vlinder

Roe deer, female