Bird watching, counting and sent

At the end of January we will again participate in the National Bird Count, organized by the Vogelbescherming, from Natuurkampen. The bird count is important to map the bird species and therefore better protect them. Will you join us?

The Bird Protection has developed a handy tool to determine together with the students in the class. With this counting form you can peat the common species and you will find images of the species for recognition. Download the bird count list here.

Podcast Luisteren (PodNL): De Vogelspotcast TIP: Would you like to gain more experience in identifying bird species? Then listen to the bird spot cast (free to listen to on Spotify), where bird watcher Arjan takes his childhood friend Gisbert, a beginner with no experience in bird watching, on a birding excursion. Highly recommended!

A Woolly Red List Species in the Schelphoek

It is a 16 cm mouse with a blunt head and brown fur. It is the oldest vole species in the Netherlands. It already inhabited our earth during the last ice age: it is the Arctic vole (Alexandromys oeconomus arenicola). Due to the closed delta works and the shifting of the polders and salt marshes, the animal in Schouwen has largely disappeared. The decrease in its habitat and the change in the water balance pose the greatest danger to this Red List species.

A new road has been built around our accommodation in the Schelphoek towards the Brouwersdam and 2 new roundabouts have been built. In this new landscape they have forgotten something important, the construction of a new nature reserve to compensate for the Arctic vole. In the Schelphoek live about ten Northern voles, and they are heavily protected. Van Burg, alderman of Schouwen, expects the compensation area to be ready by the end of next year.

Who knows, you might come across this beautiful animal in the Schelphoek nature reserve. That is quite special.

Sleeping Beauty

Did you know that some moths hibernate? Team Hei- en Boeicop encountered the herald (Scoliopteryx libatrix) during his winter sleep in the barn. The species seeks a dry place in early November where it stays until April-May. What is special about this species is that it hibernates with bats, which also hibernate in cellars and attics. The sedation is on the bat’s menu, yet they hibernate together in harmony.

The name of the herald has to do with the back of the wings. These look a bit like curtains ruffles, hence the name. The herald has completely adapted to the season, it feeds on the food that is available at that time. In the spring it drinks nectar from the willow catkins, in the summer overripe blackberry juice and in the autumn, it feeds on nectar from the ivy.

Other species that hibernate are the peacock eye (see photo above), the hackled aurelia and the little fox.