Bonelli's Eagle - Aquila fasciata

Imagine: you are walking with your fellow birders on the beautiful island of Vlieland on a Sunday. It is sunny, the day before you observed a Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola and several Camberwell Beauties Nymphalis antiopa. It is already hot and suddenly your pager tells you there is a probable Bonelli's Eagle Aquila fasciata on the other side of the island? Anger, disbelief, a rope for the messenger to hang him in public and the only transport is a bike. You have to walk 5 miles in sand between exploded tanks and unexploded shells, because the area is for the Dutch Airforce to practice. Suddenly this bird appears and flies over your head. That was happening to us on September 17th 1995!

17 September 1995, Vliehors, Vlieland Fr; © Peter Waanders.

This bird was discovered by Peter Waanders, who worked for the summer on the island, doing a bird survey and was now looking for Kentish Plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus). He warned his friend Justin Jansen (the messenger, who was not hanged, but highly celebrated!), who put it on the pager-system. The bird stayed till September 20th, when it was seen from neighbouring Texel, flying south (cf Dutch Birding 17: 220-221 and 227, 1995) .
This was the second record for the Netherlands, the first being a juvenile found dead near Gendringen (Gelderland) on January 24th 1958 (cf Limosa 32: 107-110, 1958).

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