Smile! The world is a beautiful place (^_^)

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS


Wishing you all HAPPY HOLIDAYS!! As usual this time of the year, I’m off to Sweden 🙂 See you again in 2015!



The Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) is a quite common bird, but they are shy and difficult to get close to.  Their favorite food is acorn (oak seeds) so I went to a place where there are many oak trees and, this time of the year, many acorns on the ground. I was lucky! Got to see and study several jays, they were eating acorns and also burying acorns in the ground for later use during the winter. Smart little birdies, thinking forward. 😉

I was hiding on the ground quite far away, making sure I didn't disturb or scare him away

I was hiding on the ground quite far away, making sure I didn’t disturb or scare him away

Look at his throat! He just swallowed an acorn and looked like he was choking, but he was fine

Look at his throat! He just swallowed an acorn and for a scary second it looked like he was choking, but later he was fine


A juvenile European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), seen in Diemerpark in Amsterdam. Juveniles are duller than adults and lacks face pattern. Soon though (~October), it will be one of the most colorful birds around. I will try to get a new picture then, to show what a big difference a couple of months make!

In the past, European Goldfinch’s populations declined due to illegal trapping for cage-birds trade and also by poisoning due to the pesticides. But now it’s a protected species and the populations are stabilized. I was happy to see a flock of ~20 birds the other day!



Birds I photographed during my vacation in Washington state:

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As you can see, not all are identified. If you have any information, please use the comment field below!


Two pictures of a grey heron (Ardea cinerea), one from the front and one from the side. Doesn’t it look like a completely different bird, depending on what angle you look at it from?




Two pictures of a great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major), taken in the Waterleidingduinen outside Amsterdam this week. You can tell it’s a juvenile because the top of the head is crimson, when it gets older that part will become black and if it’s a male he will get a crimson spot on his nape instead.




A picture of the supermoon last night, taken handheld with PS




Is it just me or does it look like this little Blue Tit -seen in my backyard yesterday- is channeling Marilyn Monroe in that famous scene above a subway vent.? 😉 At least the hair style is ‘normal’ this time (not like the punk rocker Blue Tit..)

Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)


A Dunnock (Prunella modularis) visited my backyard today, I haven’t seen this one before so it was a nice surprise 🙂


Other common names of the Dunnock include the Hedge Accentor, Hedge Sparrow, or Hedge Warbler.


A Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), photographed in the Amsterdamse Bos



Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) in Sweden


Meeting high up in the trees


Squirrel on a swing


A male Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula), stretching after eating sunflower seeds on the balcony railing.



A male House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) posing on the rooftop



A Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), sitting in a transmission tower in Diemerpark, Amsterdam today.

It’s not the sharpest capture, but if you scroll down you’ll understand why… 🙂


This is why I love the SX50!



A European Robin (Erithacus rubecula), enjoying a moment by the creek.

Note: The European Robin is a small passerine bird of the flycatcher family. It’s not closely related to the American Robin (Turdus migratorius), which is a songbird of the thrush family- see picture on Talains photography blog here.

Rödhake - European Robin

Rödhake – European Robin




A few warbler pictures I took yesterday in Amsterdam: Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis), Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus), and Eurasian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)

TörnsÄngare - Common Whitethroat

TörnsĂ„ngare – Common Whitethroat

TörnsÄngare - Common Whitethroat

TörnsĂ„ngare – Common Whitethroat

LövsÄngare - Willow Warbler

LövsĂ„ngare – Willow Warbler

RörsÄngare - Eurasian Reed Warbler

RörsĂ„ngare – Eurasian Reed Warbler


This little bird was difficult to identify! I googled, I looked in bird books, I asked friends who might know, but alas. The bird remained unknown until I contacted Tomas, an ornithologist in Finland who writes one of my favourite bird blogs- I learned that the bird is a Common Linnet (Carduelis cannabina), usually the chest is more red but apparently that can vary. Click here to visit Tomas’s blog


And speaking of Common Linnet- Last month, the Dutch entry for the Eurovision Song Contest was named the Common Linnets. Many of you have probably not heard the song , or might not even have heard of the ESC, but you can watch it/listen here:




A rare sight! The Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) is shy and usually hides on top of high branches in the forest. Lucky for me, they couldn’t resist a treat (“bribe”) of yummy sunflower seeds, so I got two pictures- first one is a male and second one is a female






A European pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca)  singing outside his home*, while his wife is indoors incubating the eggs

*a birdhouse in my parent’s pear tree



A Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus), with a slicked back hairstyle after a flight in the rain



The Great Tit (Parus major) didn’t let the wind and rain mess him up, he looks handsome dressed in a yellow vest and a black tie



Two pictures of a Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus or Parus caeruleus), photographed on a rainy and windy (hence the Mohawk-like hairstyle..) day last week




White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)