Monday, March 14, 2011

Amsterdam birding

Before going to Amsterdam, we'd contacted Flevo Birdwatching to take us on a tour. They'd know the spots to go and be able to help us with identification of European birds. We were a few weeks too early for the migrants, who were mostly still in Africa, but we did get to see quite a few waterbirds and we were able to add quite a few new species.

Walking around town, we also caught sight of different birds, especially the Eurasian Coot, which was practically ubiquitous on the canals, defending its territory:ETA: Here is a description with pictures of the differences. I can't really tell what the differences are, but they do have different latin names (Fulica americana vs. Fulica atra). The European coots seemed more aggressive than the American ones I've seen, but that could just be due to the fact that these guys are city coots and the American ones I've seen were country coots. Maybe that hardens them? :)

A few moorhens in the park:Here are a couple of Egyptian Geese walking in front of the IAmsterdam sign (the IAm was curiously missing):
While lunching with our birding guide, this tit flew on to our picnic table and attempted to get some food from us:
Just some of the ducks on the pond:
It was so beautiful! The cormorants were nesting:
And there were a bunch of grey herons in the same pond:
A pigeon and a couple of gulls near the Rijksmuseum:
Though we didn't get any decent pictures, we saw ringneck parakeets at several different locations throughout the city. At first we thought they were quakers, until we got a better look.

It's so great to be back, though we did have a great time. Spring is approaching and our current birding adventures will be much closer to home!


Elizabeth said...

What a fancy looking chickadee! Is the Eurasian Coot any different from the American Coot? They look identical based on your picture.

Mary said...

I added a link in the actual blog to another blog that showed the difference between them. I can't really tell (though I am quite the novice!) When I saw them, I knew immediately that it was a coot and wondered whether we could add a new species to our list, or if it was the same bird.

Meg said...

Looks like you had a great time! I love the pics. I am just enjoying all the migrating (and local) birds out enjoying the spring weather and the new food! My windows are close to the ground and the woods, so they come (seemingly) right up to me.