2015 started where 2014 had ended, with the occurence of the fourth record of Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis for the Netherlands at Vlaardingen ZH. On 20 January Rob Halff was scrutinizing pictures of wintering Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos and found a good candidate for Spotted Sandpiper A macularius photographed by Pieter van Franeker near Medemblik NH the day before. It turned out the be the fourth record of Spotted Sandpiper for the Netherlands and for several birders who missed the bird of 2012 a very good new species.
On 2 February 2015 Jacob Bosma found a Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis at Beijum, Groningen Gr, not far away from the place where he had found two Pine Grosbeaks Pinicola enucleator in 2004. The bird was the second record for the Netherlands (the first was in 1962) and a new species for every birder in the Netherlands!
On 11 April Leon Edelaar found a 2nd-calenderyear Thayer's Gull Larus thayeri at Egmond aan Zee NH, a new species for the Netherlands and probably the best find together with Martijn Bot's find of the Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta in 2009 regarding most difficult bird to identify. The gull was also present the next day, disappeared the next day, but was relocated at Bergen aan Zee NH on 14 and seen till 21 April.
The rest of the year I did not see any new species, although good species like Great Snipe Gallinago media, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata, Asian Desert Warbler Sylvia nana and Pine Bunting Emberiza leucocephalos made the year a fairly good year.

Crowd at the Dark-eyed Junco, Beijum Gr, with me (with hat) and Alexander Buhr in the middle; © Wim van Zwieten.

Dark-eyed Junco
Thayer's Gull

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