Birthday Birding with Fangman and Friends

A couple of months back Derk Fangman contacted me because he wanted to organize something cool for his father’s birthday. Jaap told Derk that he wanted something outdoors and different than the usual get-together, so Derk opted to organize a tour with The Birding Experience!


On April 19, 6 AM sharp Jaap, his son Derk, 7 enthusiastic friends and myself enjoyed a much needed cup a coffee at the Fangman residence in Bussum. We loaded all the sandwiches, coffee and snacks prepared by Jaap’s wife Heleen in the van and we were off to the Hilversumse Bovenmeent! A lovely reserve just west of Bussum.




The weather was excellent with no rain and wind still conditions, which mend that warblers – (re)claiming their territory after a long flight from Africa – sang from every direction. We started off well with image-filling scope views of singing Bluethroat (Blauwborst), Grasshopper Warbler (Sprinkhaanzanger), Savi’s Warbler (Snor) and Sedge Warbler (Rietzanger). Swampy mudflats produced Little Ringed Plover (Kleine Plevier), Garganey (Zomertaling) and a variety of other ducks and waders. Best however were three Black-winged Stilts (Steltkluut) that stood like figures straight out of a Dali painting among a couple of Avocets (Kluut).



Black-winged Stilt


On the way back to the van a flyby Purple Heron (Purperreiger) and a Raven (Raaf) – a very scarce bird here – were welcome distractions. Really awesome and for some the sighting of the tour was the adult male Northern Goshawk (Havik) that flew past us with a Teal (Wintertaling) in its talons and landed momentarily in a bush 20 meters in front of us!


With already 60+ species in the bag we headed for the Oostvaardersplassen. On the Grote Praambult we scoped several Ravens (Raaf) and – very cool – two adult White-tailed Eagles (Zeearend) on their nest. On the Kleine Praambult we had a coffee break and some of Heleen’s much appreciated sandwiches. The boys unwillingly took their sandwiches aside for a few seconds to look at a perched Peregrine (Slechtvalk) and two Little Gulls (Dwergmeeuw).


I told Jaap and his friends that next we were gonna look for Ring Ouzel (Beflijster) which of course – given its Dutch name – caused much hilarity among the group. These cool thrushes with white Jabots – not with lighting fast tongues as Pieter suggested –  were soon found and while enjoying 6 of these typical April migrants two Kingfishers (IJsvogel) flew by!



Male Ring Ouzel



Female Ring Ouzel


Near observation hut ‘De Kleine Zilverreiger’ we had awesome scope views of no less than 3 singing Savi’s Warblers (Snor) and several Sedge Warblers (Rietzanger). While we drove to our last location, the Lepelaarsplassen, the participants nearly had a heart attack when I shouted ‘STOP!’ when a Caspian Tern (Reuzenstern) – a scarce spring visitor – migrated overhead.



Savi’s Warbler



Father and son birding


The nice walk to the observation hut at the Lepelaarsplassen produced two flyby Hawfinches (Appelvink) and two singing Willow Tits (Matkop) and from the observation hut we noted a pair of Goldeneyes (Brilduiker) and a calling Water Rail (Waterral). We finished with a bang when an adult White-tailed Eagle (Zeearend) flew overhead!




At 1 PM we were back in Bussum for a lovely Indian lunch. With 91 species recorded and several much wanted scarcities, this was an excellent tour!


If you want to organize a similar tour with The Birding Experience, don’t hessitate to contact me via this Link

Happy Birding!


Full species list:


  1. Mute Swan (Knobbelzwaan)
  2. Graylag Goose (Grauw gans)
  3. Greater Canada Goose (Grote Canadese gans)
  4. Barnacle Goose (Brandgans)
  5. Common Shellduck (Bergeend)
  6. Mallard (Wilde eend)
  7. Gadwall (Krakeend)
  8. Pintail (Pijlstaart)
  9. Eurasian Shoveler (Slobeend)
  10. Eurasian Teal (Wintertaling)
  11. Garganey (Zomertaling)                                5 birds at the Hilversumse Bovenmeent
  12. Common Pochard (Tafeleend)
  13. Tufted Duck (Kuifeend)
  14. Common Goldeneye (Brilduiker)                                2 birds at the Lepelaarsplassen
  15. Great Crested Grebe (Fuut)
  16. Great Cormorant (Aalscholver)
  17. Great White Egret (Grote zilverreiger)
  18. Purple Heron (Purperreiger)                                1 bird overhead at the Hilversumse Bovenmeent
  19. Grey Heron (Blauwe reiger)
  20. White Stork (Ooievaar)
  21. White-tailed Eagle (Zeearend)                                2 birds at nest in the Oostvaardersplassen and 1 overhead at the Lepelaarsplassen
  22. Marsh Harrier (Bruine Kiekendief)
  23. Common Buzzard (Buizerd)
  24. Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Sperwer)
  25. Northern Goshawk (Havik)                                1 male with a Teal in its Tallons at Hilversumse Bovenmeent
  26. Peregrine (Slechtvalk)                                1 male Oostvaardersplassen
  27. Common Kestrel (Torenvalk)
  28. Water Rail (Waterral)                                 1 calling at Lepelaarsplassen
  29. Common Moorhen (Waterhoen)
  30. Eurasian Coot (Meerkoet)
  31. Eurasian Oystercatcher (Scholekster)
  32. Avocet (Kluut)
  33. Black-winged Stilt (Steltkluut)                                3 birds at Hilversumse Bovenmeent
  34. Little Ringed Plover (Kleine Plevier)                                1 bird at Hilversumse Bovenmeent
  35. Northern Lapwing (Kievit)
  36. Common Redshank (Tureluur)
  37. Spotted Redshank (Zwarte ruiter)                                3 birds at Oostvaardersplassen
  38. Black-tailed Godwit (Grutto)
  39. Common Snipe (Watersnip)
  40. Black-headed Gull (Kokmeeuw)
  41. Little Gull (Dwergmeeuw)                                2 birds at Hilversumse Bovenmeent and Oostvaardersplassen
  42. Mew Gull (Stormmeeuw)
  43. Lesser Black-backed Gull (Kleine Mantelmeeuw)
  44. Herring Gull (Zilvermeeuw)
  45. Common Tern (Visdief)
  46. Caspian Tern (Reuzenstern)                                1 bird overhead at Oostvaardersplassen
  47. Stock Dove (Holenduif)
  48. Wood Pigeon (Houtduif)
  49. Long-eared Owl (Ransuil)                                  1 heard 6 AM in Bussum
  50. Common Swift (Gierzwaluw)
  51. Common Kingfisher (Ijsvogel)                                2 birds at Oostvaardersplassen
  52. Great Spotted Woodpecker (Grote bonte specht)
  53. Sand Martin (Oeverzwaluw)
  54. House Martin (Huiszwaluw)
  55. Barn Swallow (Boerenzwaluw)
  56. Meadow Pipit (Graspieper)
  57. White Wagtail (Witte Kwikstaart)
  58. Dunnock (Heggenmus)
  59. European Robin (Roodborst)
  60. Bluethroat (Blauwborst)                                     several singing males at Hilversumse Bovenmeent
  61. Common wheatear (Tapuit)
  62. Song Thrush (Zanglijster)
  63. Common Blackbird (Merel)
  64. Ring Ouzel (Beflijster)                                      6 birds at Ooostvaardersplassen
  65. Common Blackcap (Zwartkop)
  66. Common whitethroat (Grasmus)
  67. Sedge Warbler (Rietzanger)
  68. Grasshopper Warbler (Sprinkhaanzanger)                       several singing at Hilversumse Bovenmeent
  69. Savi’s Warbler (Snor)                                                               several singing at Hilversumse Bovenmeent and Oostvaardersplassen
  70. Common chiffchaff (Tjiftjaf)
  71. Willow Warbler (Fitis)
  72. Winter Wren (Winterkoning)
  73. Blue Tit (Pimpelmees)
  74. Great Tit (Koolmees)
  75. Willow Tit (Matkop)
  76. Bearded Readling (Baardman)                                             heard at Oostvaardersplassen
  77. Eurasian Nuthatch (Boomklever)                                        1 in Bussum
  78. Short-toed Treecreeper (Boomkruiper)
  79. Common Magpie (Ekster)
  80. Eurasian Jay (Gaai)
  81. Common Jackdaw (Kauw)
  82. Carrion Crow (Zwarte kraai)
  83. Raven (Raaf)                                                                              1 at Hilversumse Bovenmeent and several at Oostvaardersplassen
  84. Common Starling (Spreeuw)
  85. House Sparrow (Huismus)
  86. Common chaffinch (Vink)
  87. Common Linnet (Kneu)
  88. European Goldfinch (Putter)
  89. Common Greenfinch (Groenling)
  90. Hawfinch (Appelvink)                                                2 at Lepelaarsplassen
  91. Reed Bunting (Rietgors)
Arjan Dwarshuis
Arjan Dwarshuis