Masters of the pool

Last week, I spent a day in a hide again. In contrast to the previous hides, this one was not situated in a forest, but at the edge of a salt marsh with some small pools and islands. As the hide is partially burried, so it has a super low point of view, just above the water level. This gives the opportunity for beautiful pictures from a birds eye view (as long as the bird is on the ground, that is).


The hide is brand new, so it is difficult to predict what birds can be seen at which time of year, but in spring the Avocets are the Kings of the pond. They breed on the small islands and raise their chicks in the shallow pond. During this time, they are very aggressive to other bird species and they will chase away most birds the come close. We’ve seen them chase Godwits, Redshanks and even a young Spoonbill.

Ready for take off

Because of this, the number of species was limited. Usually this would be a bit of a bummer, but this was well compensated by the beauty of the Avocets. These birds are really stunning. It was great to see their behaviour and their interaction. The pair closest to the hide was still incubating their eggs and we could follow the parents take turns on the nest. They swapped places every other hour and it was nice to see the ritual they had before they changed.

Avocet in the rain on the nest

The weather forcast for the day wasn’t very good, with a lot of rain predicted. So while preparing for the day, I had an image in mind of an Avocet in the pouring rain. However, during the day, the weather wasn’t as bad as predicted. It was overcast, which is actually good as it made it easier to expose the black and white birds properly, but there was only little rain. Only a few moments it started to rain a bit, which resulted in the picture above.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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