For our second day in Texel, I managed to find a driver for the early morning. I couldn’t drive the rental car, so my dad came with me to the south-western corner of the island, the rising sun engulfing all land in its golden rays.
Our first close encounter was with a Common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus). We saw many of those birds on the island, but no hunter. Pheasants are not native to Europe; they originally come from Asia, but many are released in our countryside for the morbid pleasure of hunters. In a sense, if there is no hunting on Texel, it makes sense that pheasants thrive… but then, if there is no hunting, why are there pheasants there?
Far from those considerations, I enjoyed a moment with this very tame animal (definitely not wild), as it didn’t show any sign of fear when I closed in and stopped two meters away.
Along the dike, we stopped to look for Eurasian spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia). We saw a handful in the wetlands, but nothing very exciting, and all the birds were very far away. We left the car at the end of the road, and started to walk in the moor, following a small path that brought us near a colony of gulls, then along a few ponds, through the dunes, and back.
In the most remote area, I caught sight of a Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica), one of my favourite birds, but it didn’t show itself very long, and my dad didn’t see it. We met two bird photographers who carried heavy gear in suitcases piled in a hand-cart. I was impressed, until they didn’t reply to our greetings. It’s not as if we had bothered them during a hide session, there were having breakfast… grumpy folks. I hope I’m better than that when I meet people in the field.
The sun was high in the sky when we reached the car again, and it was about time: we hadn’t taken any water or snack with us, we had no idea the path would take us that far! I had a private photoshoot with a Meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis), then I watched some waders in the bay, then we went back home, had a second breakfast, and were off to more adventures in the fields of Texel…
Don’t miss the previous instalments in this series:
A WEEKEND IN TEXEL
See more pictures on Facebook: Samuel Bloch – Eiwar Photography