American Robin - Turdus migratorius

In the morning of Sunday 27 April 2014 Lonnie Bregman found an unknown thrush turdus-spec in the dunes west of Heemskerk NH. He made some pictures, but had some trouble to pass the news as his cell phone was out of reach in this particular area. Finally he was able to pass the news at around 10:37 with a picture on the Dutch Birding Alert system. The picture made very clear it was an American Robin Turdus migratorius, a species that was never recorded in the Netherlands before! The first birders were already there an half hour later and found it immediately. The normal pattern was that the bird was seen feeding in the grass and next perched on top of bush in the company of several Ring Ouzels Turdus torquatus. I arrived at around 12:00 and missed the bird in just a minute. After an hour wait the bird suddenly appeared from nowhere and alightened on a bush (see Arnoud's photo below). Next it flew back past us (see Hans Brink's photo) and disappeared from more than an hour. More and more birders appeared and the bird was rediscovered and subsequently seen continuously for an hour. It was intermittently seen till around 21:00 hours.

American Robin perched on a bush 27 April 2014; © Arnoud van den Berg.

American Robin passing by as we saw it on 27 April 2014; © Hans Brinks.

27 April 2014, Heemskerk NH; © Vincent Hart.

It was accepted as the first record for the Netherlands. Till 2007, there were 24 records in the UK, 10 in Ireland, five in Iceland, two in Sweden, one in Norway, one in Denmark, six from Germany, one in Spain and two in Belgium. There were also 19th century records in Austria and the Czech republic (Rare Birds Where and When by Russel Slack, 2007).

Do you want to go to the main-index, the 2014-index or the next interesting species of 2014, the White-crowned Wheatear?