2009 was a tough year with no new species in winter, spring or summer. The Green Heron Butorides virescens returned to it's summer grounds in June at Zaandam NH and a pair of Baillon's Crakes Porzana pusilla showed itself very well (I had heard only males and never saw one in the Netherlands).
On 3rd October there was a Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler Locustella certhiola on the Maasvlakte, but I was on Vlieland and was not able to connect with this most wanted species. Only a handfull of birders could see the bird and it was lost during the day. Now I became scared I was going to have a year without any new species, but fortunately in the late afternoon of 17th October a Caspian Plover Charadrius asiaticus was found on Texel. I managed to see this bird the next day on 18th October, so I still have a new species each year from the year 1976, when I started twitching.
Six days later, another mega-rarity made its first appearance: a Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta was found near Zwolle Ovl! I could not make it before dark, but the next day it was still present, so the second new species was 'in the bag'.
On 20 November a Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus was reported in Zeeuws Vlaanderen, but we could not relocate the bird on 21 November, the next day.

Birders on Texel having a Caspian Plover (photo by © Jan van der Laan).

Caspian Plover
Long-toed Stint

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