First though knowing my addiction to buying outdoor clothing Jim took me to what must be the biggest outdoor shop.....................................................................IN THE WORLD (that last bit should be read in the style of Clarkson).
It's unbelievable, it took us about an hour and a half to walk round it, they stock everything, even stuff for proper expeditions that I didn't even know existed like down lined boots for wearing in the tent when its about -300. I somehow managed to refrain from buying anything at all which I still can't quite believe, Jim bought a pair of down lined mittens which looked good, and apparently keep his hands warm, judging by how cold mine were later that day I should have maybe bought some too! Although judging by the prices trying stuff on then sourcing it back home here would be a better bet, a Mountain Equipment jacket was £80 more than it sells for here!!! Anyway here's the website if anyone fancies a nose. http://www.zwerfkei.nl/
Just round the corner from this shop was a big lake which had an American Wigeon on it but we couldn't find it despite looking for about 5 minutes. As time was getting on Jim had to set off for his survey site so we said our emotional farewells and I headed to Rotterdam.
Once in Rotterdam I quickly found this
And a couple of these
The Buffleheed has been returning each winter for about the last 4 or 5 and sometimes shows really close to the bank, obviously it didn't this time.
From here it was a short drive to the site for Lesser White Fronts which were in the exact field Jim had told me they would be in, also here were about 20 unphotogenic Buzzards and millions of Barnacles and White fronts. Jim had said there would be Great White Egrets in the ditches next to the tracks at this site, well they aren't great and they weren't there either!
Within 10 minutes of arriving I'd connected with about 60 lessers which got flushed pretty quickly by two women on hosses and then all the other gooses started to drift off so with almost 2 hours of light left there was nothing to see! I made my way back to the ferry terminal and had a kip.
So 4 days winter birding in Holland,I think you'd have to say it's a pretty good list of tackle. I really was surprised by how good the birding was it's such a small country as well that we covered most of it in the 4 days and I've almost forgotten about my experience on Texel, it certainly beats birding in Britain in winter, I was even impressed with the Gooses!