The first 100,000

We have now been counting for 12 days and yesterday we passed the first milestone of the season: we have counted the first 100,000 birds! The start of the season has been everything but standard this autumn. Species diversity is already quite high and some species are unusually numerous. Whether this will continue to be the case for the rest of the season will remain to be seen, but the start so far has been very promising. Read the descriptions of the photos below for some highlights.

Season Highlights (August 17th - August 28th)

High numbers of Black Kites

Juvenile Black Kite. Photo by Bart Hoekstra.

At the time of writing, we've already counted 7500 Black Kites, with hourly averages much higher than the usual 5-10 birds.

Early Pallid Harriers

Immature Pallid female (left) and immature Pallid male (right). Photos by Frits Hoogeveen (left) and Bart Hoekstra (right).

We're already getting good numbers of Pallid Harriers on most days. Contrary to other seasons, many of the birds are still moulting their feathers while on migration. Is this early migration, before finishing the moult cycle, a sign of bad conditions up north?

Early Imperial Eagle

Immature Imperial Eagle. Photo by Frits Hoogeveen.

We had our first Imperial Eagle of the season already on the 21st of August. The earliest previous record was from the 2nd of September, 2013.

White Storks

A large flock of White Storks. Photo by Bart Hoekstra.

A large flock of White Storks. Photo by Bart Hoekstra.

One — for the bottleneck — massive flock of White Storks, totalling 423 birds, just 160 birds shy of our season average.

Impressive numbers of MonPals

Juvenile Montagu's Harrier. Photo by Bart Hoekstra.

We counted more than 1000 ‘MonPals’ on the 24th of August, one of our best days ever.

A gull

An adult Pallas' Gull flew right over the heads of many counters on the 23rd of August. Many bimbo-bells rung that moment!

Improvements to Station 2

Photo by Triin Kaasiku.

The beginning of the season has been dry and hot so cloudy moments like this on Station 2 are much welcome. The new tarp frame, funded by the department of tourism, functions perfectly!