Siberian Rubythroat - Calliope calliope

On Friday 15 January 2016 at around 12:45 Wietze Janse checked one of his Facebook groups. His attention was drawn by a photograph posted by Hanneke de Boer, which showed clearly a male Siberian Rubythroat Calliope calliope! The caption under the picture was: "what is this bird, photographed in the garden of my son in Hoogwoud NH"? Wietze choked in his tea or coffee and he tried to contact Hanneke for more details, but he got no answer. In the meantime several groups tried to find out where the son of Hanneke lived, but that was not easy as there were at least 12 de Boers living in Hoogwoud as the telephone guide showed. Jaap Denee however found another son and the father who revealed the address to him.
From about 14:00 birders gathered in the area but no trace of the bird. At 17:25 when most birders had left the area, Ferry Ossendorp and Remco Hofland suddenly saw the bird perching in a tree in the garden at the opposite site of the origal spot! I was only a meter away, but I did not have a clear vision because of a larger tree, but the bird flew into a tree in the garden of the original spot. Now panic broke loose, but I was so lucky I could look over the fence and saw the bird perched for a short moment at close range. Then the bird flew into another garden where it obviously went to sleep.
Remco Hofland contacted the owner of the garden and made a deal birders could visit his living room the next day for a small fee ( 5 each). Next day the bird appeared in the garden and hundreds of birders had to queue up to catch a glimpse of the bird. Everything went very well and the bird showed itself very well. I returned at 16:00 and I had good views of the bird at the spot where Ferry and Remco had rediscovered the bird. The bird stayed at Hoogwoud till at least 14 April and was much appreciated by many birders from all parts of Europe.


Note the light edges on the greater coverts and the new inner greater covert; 20 January 2016, Hoogwoud NH; © Jan van der Laan.
Note the white submoustachial stripe and the small black line where the white stripe is attached to the bill; 20 January 2016, Hoogwoud NH; © Jan van der Laan.
Note the thin, long pinkish legs; 20 January 2016, Hoogwoud NH; © Jan van der Laan.
Note the new inner greater covert on the right wing; also note light buffy dots on the tertial tips; 20 January 2016, Hoogwoud NH; © Jan van der Laan.
Footage of the bird in the alley behind the famous garden; © Carl Derks.

It was accepted (very quickly I must admit) as the first record for the Netherlands. Siberian Rubythroat is a rare species in Europe, with 12 records in the UK (9-11 October 1975, 19 October 1997, 25 October 2001, 17-19 October 2003, 23-27 October 2005, 26-28 October 2006, 5 October 2007, 18 October 2011, 23 October 2012, 21 October 2013, 3 October 2014 and 20 October 2015), c six in Italy (1883, December 1886, October 1889, December 1898, March 1903 and December 1906), three in Finland (15 October 1991, 12 October 2000 and 27 October 2005), two in Denmark (20 October 1985 and 29 October to 2 November 1995), two in Norway (6 October 2005 and 1 November 2008) and two in Germany (5-12 November 1995 and 6 June 2011), Estonia (25 May 1974), Iceland (8 November 1943), Sweden (23 October 2012), Malta (25 January 2004) and Slovenia (24 October 2013) (source: Rare Birds Where and When by Russel Slack and WP birds on Tarsiger.com).

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