I’m not much of a morning person. Something I often solve by skipping the morning altogether but sometimes I just get over it and get up anyhow. However, it’s a lot easier for me to go out in the evening. For a lot of things not the best time, but there are a few things that work well in the evening. Now, this spring has been unusually wet and cold so far in the Netherlands. So when we planned an evening visit to the Onlanden, our main focus was the weather forecast. Tuesday evening seemed fine, so off we went.

Find the River Warbler….

Our goal, apart from having a nice evening in the Onlanden, was a River Warbler that had been found the previous evening and we hoped to find some Corncrakes or some of the rarer rails. But first the River Warbler. The Onlanden is a good place for the various Locustella-warblers, with good numbers of Savi’s and Grasshopper Warblers. The third one, the River Warbler, is a rare species in the Netherlands, with only a few records each year. However, they do seem to like the Onlanden as wel, as we had one last year and two this year (both discovered this week). As soon as I arrived, I could hear him sing. In Dutch, the bird is called ‘Cricket Warbler’ (Krekelzanger) and the sound does resemble a cricket. Unfortunately, he stayed at quite some distance, so a good picture was not possible.

It’s easier to hear the River Warbler

After a while, we got a little cold, so we decided to go for a short bike ride to the place where the other River Warbler was found the day before. It turned out to be a bit colder as we expected and also not as dry as we hoped for. On the second spot, we could enjoy a nice sunset, but couldn’t find the second River Warbler. No big surprise, as it hadn’t been seen for a day, but one can always try. We did enjoy some hunting Hobbies in the late evening light, but it was getting too dark for pictures.

Sunset over some flowers

When we returned at the site of the first warbler, it really started to rain. As we were expecting it to stay dry, we were didn’t have the right clothes with us. We decided to leave the warbler behind and try to find a dry spot before we were completely soaked (too late, unfortunately). After this last shower, it stayed dry and could we enjoy a nice chorus of Marsh and Savi’s Warblers, many frogs and some Water Rails. The rarer species we hoped for kept quiet (or were absent). I was back home around 1.30am and in dire need for a very hot shower. But it had still been a great evening!

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.

One comment

  • I will always remember you as a evening person, those voyages we did together had several, to me, special moments, which I now can feel great about and I often smile thinking about those nice places and animals, and you, who it was un-necessary to look for befor later in the day :).

    Now here in Ostrobothnia, at my summerhouse in the archipelago, the birds has arrived, even the Terns, my favourite birds as you may recall, I wish you could be around here in the late night or early morning with me listening and watching all that sounds and spectacular seens the traveling birds create.

    it just happens to be spring time as its best, almost early summer, that is the liveliest time for birds here around and I enjoyi to full extent.

    Wishing you Arjen great time there in the Neatherlands

    Mika Appel

    Liked by 1 person

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