Too soon came the end of this trip. On Monday morning, the sun stayed hidden as we cleaned the house and visited the small harbour of Oudeschild. There was nothing to see there save for some impressive construction work, and shortly after we found ourselves waiting for the ferry under a drizzle. Noone fed the bird on the trip back, but gulls kept playing in the wind, following the ship without a wingbeat.
Most of our day was devoted to birdwatching along the Utopia wetland, a large area made of sand and water that hosts lots of geese, waders and spoonbills. The path is restricted to pedestrians and bikers, therefore birding is quite relaxed, and the distance still allows some quality observations; I was happy to show some spoonbills to the whole family, especially when one started to fish right in front of us.
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.
We started this sunny day by a visit to the beach. It was not so warm along the shore, especially with the wind blowing hard, so we only walked in the sand, jackets and gloves on. There were people of all ages, surfers, and even a carriage pulled by two horses. Over the sea, I spotted sea birds travelling north, following the shoreline like they often do.
We had barely settled in our cottage that I was already planning an early adventure for the morning to come. No one in the house dared follow me, so I left alone, before sunrise. In a tree, a Common blackbird (Turdus merula) sung.
Texel, in the Netherlands, is the first of the Frisian Islands, a series of isles that dot the coast of the North Sea, all the way up to South-West Jutland, in Denmark.
This trip, in the end of April, was a family reunion. Kevin was studying in Delft this year, and my parents spent a week in the region. I joined them for the three-day weekend, meeting them at the airport before driving to Texel. On the way, I was astonished by the sheer number of birds along the road: swans, geese, ducks, coots or grebes were everywhere! At that time, it was still pretty much winter in Finland (chilly weather lingered very late this year), so this abundance was a shock. Oh, and you’ll notice those birds I listed are all waterfowl: that’s because the Netherlands are a wet country. It’s obvious as soon as the plane goes down a little bit: canals, lakes, rivers… there’s water everywhere.