Caspian Gulls in the Netherlands

A work trip to the Netherlands took a brilliant turn when I met up with Mars Muusse to look at Caspian Gulls on my day off. Mars met me at the Amsterdam Centraal and took me to a few sites just west of the Caspian Gull Breeding grounds in Lelystad. The first large gull of the day was a Casp and every group we looked at held many individuals, I think we saw over 100 during the day. the sound of so many long calls and casps calling in general was a sound bath of joy for me. My host was very generous driving me around and great fun to be around, thanks Mars! It was beyond my expectations and the breeding birds had only just began to return to the area.

Much like the thames sites in London the birds were moving between a few locations, back and forth, which we checked during the day. The most productive perhaps was some kind of processing/recycling plant which we gained access to by buying Donuts for the staff and just being friendly, It just wouldn’t work like that in the uk!

The weather was wet and cold and I mostly pointed the camera at 1st winters but all ages were in present in good numbers. Later We were joined by Thijs Horst and all together clocked 20+ Rings, including birds from Germany, Poland, Belarus and Czech although I didnt see a Dutch ringed Casp!

Enjoy the photo dump.

Above and below images Mars M

I missed out photographing so many birds, i just didnt know where to point the camera but also didnt want to be looking through a viewfinder all day. Hopefully this group of images gives an impression.

Im going to return at some point, id love to see the breeding colony in full swing but also to see numbers of juveniles too. The record I think is 800 Caspian gulls counted in a day in late summer, presumably the entire 108 breeding pairs plus juveniles, non breeders and migrants, mostly feeding on dead and dying fish with a few white tailed eagles here and there. Must have been a sight.

For info on the breeding colonies and the work that Mars etc are conducting follow link


Author: Jamie Partridge

Birding South East Kent: Langdon Hole to South Foreland

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: