Hello December 🙂 and Happy 1st advent!
This afternoon I was in Muiden, a cute little town about 15 km south-east of Amsterdam. Weather conditions weren’t great for photography, but a friendly sheep posed nicely in front of the Muidersloot 🙂 This castle was built in 1280 but demolished in the year 1300, then rebuilt about a hundred years later. (If you’re interested, you can download free ebooks with more information here.)
The beautiful sunny autumn weather we enjoyed last week is gone. Amsterdam is grey and cold now… Winter is coming!
Cute little fallow deer (Dama dama) I saw in the Waterleidingduinen outside Amsterdam today 🙂
Happy New Year!
I’m a day late for week 52’s post, but here it is anyway – New shots taken with Fuji 60 mm a few days ago:
A Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) sitting on a waste basket. Isn’t he beautiful! Look at those coloured feathers and intelligent eyes.
Magpies are often maligned as pests, but they’re actually very interesting birds that are usually overlooked for both their beauty and their intelligence. They are closely related to crows, jays, and ravens; thus among the most intelligent family of birds (Corvidae). And after studying them, I’m convinced that magpies have a great sense of humour too! 🙂
Because magpies are often misunderstood, here are 3 interesting facts about them:
(ii) Magpies recognize themselves in mirrors. European magpies have demonstrated the remarkable ability to recognize their own reflections in mirrors, something that was once thought to be a defining characteristic belonging only to humans. This might not sound that amazing, but out of countless species tested, only four ape species, bottlenose dolphins and Asian elephants have demonstrated this ability.
(iii) A group of magpies is called “a parliament”. They earned this title from often appearing in large groups, looking stately and cawing at each other.
And a little flower…
Week 43! Two photographs of Grey heron (Ardea cinerea), the first one shows a juvenile individual and the second one an adult.
The grey heron is very common here in The Netherlands, also in urban environments. Here in Amsterdam, they are ever present and well adapted to modern city life. They hunt as usual, but also visit street markets and snackbars.
The rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri) is a common bird here in Amsterdam. There’s a group of them in my backyard, and they wake me up every morning! It’s a noisy species with an unmistakable squawking call. Without exaggerating, there can be 30 of them (sometimes more, especially in the winter) in one tree. They’re nice to look at, but I do wish I had mute button (or at least a snooze button) for them 😉
Here’s a cute little female, she didn’t scream but just sat there talking to herself (who doesn’t sometimes) which seem to be typical for them.
Going on an egg hunt 🙂 Happy Easter everyone!
A sweet moment between mother and child ❤
Photographed today in the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen
Despite the abundance in photographs (see previous post), I still think there’s room for more. 🙂 Even a photo of a cat! To add to the trillions out there already.
Actually, I’ve been wanting to use my new camera, Fujifilm X-T1, but due to lack of time and horrid weather I haven’t been able to get out. So, my cat Odd has been forced to model for me at home. This picture was taken in low light without flash
A Harris’s Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus), photographed in Lanzarote
A male Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus), photographed in wetlands outside Amsterdam yesterday
Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius)
A Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), photographed outside St Petersburg, Russia a few weeks ago
It got its scientific name “rudibundus” which means “laughing” even though its cry doesn’t sound like laughing. The background story to the name is that when Linné named it, he used information from Ornithologia (written by Brisson in 1760) because the Black-headed gull didn’t breed in Sweden at the time so Linné wasn’t very familiar with it. In Ornithologia, Brisson described the Black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) and the Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) as sub-species of the same art (Gavis ridibunda). Unlike the Black-headed gull though, the Laughing gull’s cry does sound like laughing- despite missing “rudibundus” in its scientific name.
If you only get a quick look at one of these gulls and want to know which one you saw, it might help you to know that the Black-headed Gull lives in Europe and Asia and the Laughing Gull in North and South America.
A Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) standing on one foot.
This bird is also known as the Peewit or Pewit (imitative of its cry), Green Plover (emphasizing the color of the plumage) or (in the British Isles) just Lapwing (which refers to its peculiar, erratic way of flying).
Dealing with tree branches is a ‘nice’ challenge for a bird photographer! Here are three photographs of various branches….. and some birds 😉
1. Dunnock (Prunella modularis). Could’ve been a nice photo if he had posed elsewhere-
2. European Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis). A very shy bird, photographed from afar-
3. Long-tailed Bushtit (Aegithalos caudatus). One of my favorite birds but I’ve never managed to get a good, sharp photo of any-
A Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica), photographed in Amsterdam today 🙂 A rare sight as they’re usually quite secretive, flicking into the cover of low bushes with a flash of their chestnut tail patches.
Even though the white isn’t clearly visible, this one is of the race L. svecica cyanecula (white-spotted bluethroat)
Since 1962 the Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) is the national bird of Sweden, but that might change this year- there’s a voting process going on and on the 31st of August this year the new national bird will be announced. There are currently 30 species left in the competition, and the Blackbird is still in the race 🙂
PS. I’m taking a break from blogging, but I’ll be back 😉
A Black Kite (Milvus migrans), photographed in Lanzarote
A Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) singing praise to Spring 😉
Springtime in Amsterdam! The sun is shining and the birds are singing. If this Robin’s (Erithacus rubecula) song had lyrics, I bet the chorus would be “It’s Spring! It’s Spring!”
Perhaps the most beautiful owl in the whole world.. The Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa lapponica )
A female Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major), drumming high up in the tree tops.. Zoomed in with my SX60