Ackerdijkse Plassen: winter birds excursion

Ackerdijkse Plassen: winter birds excursion

Last Saturday I joined a winter bird excursion by Natuurmonumenten at Ackerdijkse Plassen. This area is usually closed, but once a month you can join an excursion. I had cycled past the nature reserve several times, and was really curious to see more!

The night before it has snowed quite a lot, which made for beautiful white landscapes. The excursion started at an old farm building which can be hired for meetings etc.

We started with coffee and tea and a welcome talk, then they split the group in two and each group went for a walk in a different direction. It was a grey day, but I loved the pristine white snow…

After a while we came to a frozen lake, where we could see a big group of Western Great Egrets (Grote Zilverreiger) at their sleeping place. There were so many!

This is a zoomed in version of the photo above, to show how the egrets huddle together against the cold! Natuurmonumenten really liked these photos and they shared them in lots of news items about this quite special sight. See for example here and here (only in Dutch).

We also saw a fox, and this robin who came to greet us 🙂

Not all trees had survived the two big storms in January, and this meant we got to see the nesting hole of a woodpecker in a fallen down tree. It was really big!

Geese in flight…

Eurasian Siskins (Sijsjes) hanging upside down to get some food.

The group returning to the farm. From their we started another loop, and switched with the other group.

Most of the lakes were frozen, but wherever there was some open water there were lats of birds. This is a large group of Eurasian Wigeons (Smienten) flying up…

Finally a windmill in the distance, in the snowy fields…

It was the first time I joined an excursion by Natuurmonumenten, but definitely not the last time – I really loved it!

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