2013 had a dull winter, with the most exciting bird a White-billed Diver Gavia adamsii in Zeeland. A most welcome bird, as several younger birders never had the opportunity to twitch one. The last twitchable was in the winter of 1995-1996.
In April I visited the Philippines to look for the Whiskered Pitta Erythropitta kochi. A trip report can be found here. During my stay over there a Common Grackle was seen and photographed at Kamperhoek Fl and could be the first for the Netherlands if accepted. On 5 May a Cretzschmar's Bunting Emberiza caesia was found at Lauwersoog Gr and stayed from noon till dusk, so everyone had the opportunity to see the fourth record of this southeastern species. In July I visited Southern Thailand to look for one of the last Gurney's Pitta's Hydrornis gurneyi (trip report here). The first (or second) new species for the Netherlands was an unexpected Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin between Camperduin and Petten, Noord-Holland found on 25 September and staying till 27 September. September and October had several good species such as several Blyth's Reed Warblers (at least nine so far), two Paddyfiled Warblers (one twitchable),at least two Booted Warblers, a Lanceolated and a Pallasís Grasshopper Warbler (both trapped), three Red-flanked Bluetails, the second twitchable Long-legged Buzzard and on the same location an Arctic Warbler and an Isabelline Wheatear and a small invasion of Pallid Swifts in the last week of October. Also in October an influx of Parrot Crossbills. In November things did not slow down as a Hawk Owl was found in Zwolle Ovl and the best bird of the year (so far) the third (perhaps fourth) record of a Two-barred Warbler which was trapped at Kamperhoek Fl and was seen into December. Also in December was a Pygmy Owl found on 10 December near Deventer Ovl and a drake Baikal Teal west of Arnhem. In the last weeks of December a Siberian Lesser Whitethroat was found in the Eemshaven Gr. Anyhow 2013 will be the year with the most species recorded in one single year as a magic 375 species has been seen for the first time in Dutch history.

Crowd at the Cretzschmar's Bunting (photo by © Jan van der Laan).

Cretzschmar's Bunting
Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin
Pallid Swift
Two-barred Warbler
Siberian Lesser Whitethroat

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