A gull bonanza in Amsterdam

After a long night of bartending – and the inevitable shots that come with the territory -there is nothing better than an afternoon of bird watching to cure the hangover, especially when there are some quality birds right at your doorstep!


So around noon Camilla and I arrived at the Gerbrandypark where a 1st winter Iceland Gull (Kleine Burgemeester) had been recorded over the last couple a days. Upon arrival we found a large flock of gulls that contained a 1st winter Caspian Gull (Pontische meeuw) and a 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull (Geelpootmeeuw), both new species for Camilla! Even more interesting was a 1st winter gull that either was a very light 1st winter Herring Gull (Zilvermeeuw) or a hybrid Glaucous Gull (Grote Burgemeester) x Herring Gull, the gull-experts will have to give a verdict on this one…


caspian 1

First winter Caspian Gull, by Camilla Dreef


Yellow-legged Gull

First winter Yellow Legged Gull, by Camilla Dreef



Pale Herring Gull or hybrid Glaucous x Herring Gull, by Camilla Dreef, comments welcome!



Showing the striking pale wingtips, by Camilla Dreef


Herring Gull

Pale first winter Herring Gull for compansation, by Camilla Dreef


About half an hour later suddenly the 1st winter Iceland Gull put in an appearance; although I’ve seen them many times before, it again and again proves to be one of my favorite large gulls! The bird gave a fantastic show and at one point even swam in the same scope-view as another 1st winter Caspian Gull!


caspian 2

First winter Caspian Gull, by Camilla Dreef



Iceland Gull with Black-headed Gulls, by Camilla Dreef


iceland & caspian

Iceland Gull and Caspian Gull side by side! by Camilla Dreef


After this Gull-bonanza we had some well deserved fries before we drove to the Kennemerduinen. Here we had an easy target as a fantastic adult Black-throated Loon (Parelduiker) had chosen the Oosterplas as its wintering grounds. Upon arrival we immediately located the bird that actively foraged on the tiny lake. Loons in general and Black-throated Loons especially are beautiful birds and observing this stunning grebe on steroids was a real treat!



Black-throated Loon, by Camilla Dreef


Happy Birding!

Arjan Dwarshuis
Arjan Dwarshuis