2007 started with an mega-bird, a Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus at Zandvoort, Noord-Holland. For me that was not a new species, since I had seen the bird in September 1985 on Texel, Noord-Holland. In February I decided to pay a Lesse White-throat in Groningen a visit, since you could never know what any taxonomic new developments might bring...And that proved to be a good choice, since the Dutch Committe for Systematics decided to split the Lesser Whithtroat-complex into tow seperate species and the Groningen bird proved to be a Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia althaea halimodendri, the first record for the Netherlands.
But next, the year slowly developed with no new bird arriving. There was a large invasion of White-winged Back Terns Chlidonias leucoptera, resulting in at least 4 breeding pairs.

However in October, a real mega-rarity appeared, an Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronoatus, only the fourth for Europe. That birds stayed all day, so almost everyone had the opportunity to see Holland's best bird in history! Rest of autumn did bring only one new species, the very controversial Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus from the Harderbos. It was finally admitted to the Dutch List in 2012. However in 2023, it was removed from the Dutch List as numbers began to grow rapidly and this pattern fits probably better a feral population than genuine vagrancy.

Birders at Katwijk aan Zee (photo by © Casper Zuyderduyn), the girl in the right is Anne, the wife of Arnold Meijer, one of my birding mates during past travels (Alaska, California, Austria)

Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat
Eastern Crowned Warbler

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