Over 340,000 birds spotted during international bird count, starling at the top
More than 340,000 birds were counted on Saturday during the annual international bird count. According to the organization Vogelbescherming Nederland, "certainly no records were broken", but the result is "not bad" given the weather conditions. As is often the case, the starling topped the count list in the Netherlands with over 77,000 sightings.
Counters were stationed at some 130 locations across the Netherlands to collect data for the Euro Birdwatch, which was held for the 28th time. In total, birdwatchers in 33 countries were on the lookout. Last year, 232,192 birds were sighted during bird counting day in the Netherlands. This was slightly less than in previous years due to stormy weather.
A striking feature of this edition was that several species of finches were sighted, such as linnets, crossbills, and siskins. Conditions in the countries of origin, particularly Scandinavia, were ideal for the birds' southward migration last week, according to the organization. "A slight headwind in the Netherlands then caused these species to fly low, making them easier to see and hear.
In almost the entire country bird enthusiasts were able to experience the bird migration, but along the North Sea coast, it was most enjoyable. Typical seabirds such as the little skua, great tern, and gannet flew by in above-average numbers last week, Vogelbescherming Nederland reported.
Special birds spotted included four gray shearwaters, a short-toed eagle, two red-footed falcons, a red phalarope, and a pale kingfisher. Overall, never before have so many gannets been counted as this year: nearly 3,500.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times