The best birds in winter of 2018/2019 were an Oriental Turle Dove Streptopelia orientalis at Limmen NH, a Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax at Hillegom ZH and a Black-thoated Thrush Turdus atrogularis at Coevorden Gr. On 18 April an Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii flew past Kanaalpark, 's-Hertogenbosch NB and on 19 April a Lesser Spotted Eagle Clanga pomarina was seen near Maashorst NB. On 25 April a Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra was discovered near Ouddorp ZH and this bird stayed till 26 April, giving good opportunities to be twitched by anybody. Cinereous Vultures Aegypius monachus were seen in a short period in May and one (unmarked and unringed) on 24 May stayed overnight and gave birders the opportunity to twitch the species. On 22 May a Pied Crow Corvus albus was found at Den Oever and subsequently seen on Texel NH, Leens Gr and on Schiermonnikoog Fr and re-appeared at Birdaard Fr. A Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus at De Keent on 5 and 6 June was very popular under many birders. A Balearic Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator badius made a short appearance on 14 June in Flevoland and would be the second record for the Netherlands if accepted. A rather peculiar record was of a Red-Wattled Plover Vanellus indicus on 19 June on Texel NH and 23 June on Ameland Fr, but it was only seen be a few birders. A Green Warbler Phylloscopus nitidus was seen and heard by a dozen of birders on 24 June at Vlaardingen ZH.
The best bird however was found on 27 June, a Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus at Workum Fr causing a lot of panic among birders. This bird stayed till 28 June only and was seen flying west. July continued with another new species for the Netherlands, a juvenile Saker Falcon Falco cherrug from 18-20 July on Wieringen NH. This bird was seen by only a dozen birders (I was in Italy unfortunately on a family holiday). In August the fifth Stilt Sandpiper Calidris micropalamus for the Netherlands was found at Wavershoek U. On 15 August a Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri, another new species for the Netherlands was found at Westhoek Fr, making 2019 already a legendary year.
In September a totally unexpected Horus Swift Apus horus was found on 26 September 2019 and stayed till the next day; the bird was finally accepted in 2023.
The month October was even more spectacular with a Myrtle Warbler Setophaga coronata on 12 October on Schiermonnikoog fr, followed by an unbelievable first Upcher's Warbler Hippolais languida from 12 to 14 October at Wijdewormer NH. On 25 October a real Dusky Thrush Turdus eunomus was found on Vlieland during the third Deception Tours weekend, for lots of birders - including me - to improve or unblock the 2016 sighting. On Sunday 27 October a White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis was found on the Maasvlakte ZH, the sixth record for the Netherlands. The year was not over yet when a Little Whimbrel Numenius minuta was found near Schagen NH on 23 December, another first for the Netherlands!

29 March 2019, Puffin at Sterrenburg, Dordrecht ZH; © Jan van der Laan.

Crowd 'having' a Western Sandpiper, 16 August 2019, Westhoek Fr; © Gijs van der bent.

Happy birders at the Little Whimbrel at Poolland NH on 23 December 2019; © Jan van der Laan (made with Wim Nap's smartphone).

Calandra Lark
Grey-headed Lapwing
Western Sandpiper
Upcher's Warbler
Dusky Thrush
White-throated Sparrow
Little Whimbrel

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