Slender-billed Gull - Chroicocephalus genei

On Saturday 6 May 2006 I was checking marsh birds in the northeastern part of the country in preparation for our annual Big Day 2006. I was about to check a small lake for Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus, when my pager warned me there were two Slender-billed Gulls Chroicocephalus genei at De Blikken near Groede in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, Zeeland, a very long way from home for me. But a-man-has-to-do-what-a-man-is-gotta-do! I just passed Lelystad when another message got into my pager: two Slender-billed Gulls C genei near Enkhuizen, c 30 km from where I was at the moment! I decided to phone Klaas Haas from the Dutch Birdphone and he told me he did not know who it was who reported the gulls at Enkhuizen, but he noted the state of mind of the particular birders was in such state it had to be true!

When I arrived at Enkhuizen the birds were not there, but the two birders (Jan-Pieter de Krijger and his wife), who had discovered the birds were there with pictures of very obvious Slender-billed Gulls on the digicamera! After an half hour the birds re-appeared and could be observed till dusk. The birds at Zeeland (discovered by Peter Lindenburg) could be observed till dusk too. Later in the afternoon, two other birds were found by Kees Koffijberg in the Dollard, Groningen. These two birds stayed till 9 May.

6 May 2006, Enkhuizen NH; © Hans ter Haar (the bird on the left and the other left of the Avocet).

6 May 2006, Enkhuizen NH; © Hans ter Haar.

6 May 2006, Enkhuizen NH; © Michel Veldt.

It was accepted as the first record for the Netherlands. Later it became known there were already three birds seen by Bob Woets and Eelke Schoppers on the Kreupel, a small island north of Enkhuizen NH, on 5 May. Another bird - a first-summer - was reported at Den Oever, Noord-Holland, making to the total of reported birds to eight! (cf Dutch Birding 28 (3): page 195-198, 2006).

Now you can go to the main-index, the 2006-index or the next species, the Solitary Sandpiper?