The comma butterfly is one of the four common butterfly species in the Netherlands that overwinter as imago. Now that the spring sun is showing itself...

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Comma butterfly

Did you participate in the Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of January? Or does that take place at a different time in your country or perhaps there is...

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Blackbirds

In the coming weeks, garden birds will be counted all over the world again. In the Netherlands, the chaffinch has been in the top six for years. ...

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Counting birds

The herald (Scoliopteryx libatrix) is one of the few moths that hibernate as imago. Somewhere in a dark and draft-free place, but sometimes also in th...

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The herald

While we have already experienced the first frost and our pond has frozen over, I am writing a blog about the peacock (Aglais io). Not the graceful bi...

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The peacock

Bugs come in different shapes, colors and sizes. About a thousand species occur in the Netherlands and Belgium. The number of species worldwide is est...

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Bugs, bugs, bugs

The oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) is increasingly visiting the city to breed. While it is originally a true coastal inhabitant who, driven by ...

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Oystercatcher

Ladybirds, who doesn't know them? Funny little beetles often with dots on their backs. And a predilection for aphids....

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Ladybirds

The bearded reedling (Panurus biarmicus) is a beautiful reed bird with a distinctive sound, which adapts itself in winter to the food supply....

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Birds with beards

The time of peace on earth has arrived, including Christmas cards with the lovely robin. Although, lovely? Read about its true nature in my blog....

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Peace on earth

Bruine winterjuffer

You may not believe it, but you can find damselflies in winter too, even when it’s freezing! The winterdamsels to be precise. In the Netherlands you...

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Winter damsels

Zwartbuikwaterspreeuw

The dipper is a rare bird in the Netherlands that forages for food while swimming and walking across the bottom of a fast-flowing stream....

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Underwaterbird

The caterpillar is the larva of a butterfly or moth. But there are also larvae that look a lot like a caterpillar, but are not. They belong to sawflie...

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A caterpillar or not?

Plakker / Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar)

I regularly receive questions from readers about animals that have been seen, usually to help identify the species. For example, I recently got two qu...

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Two different species?

Carnivorous plants are often depicted in a cartoonish way as bloodthirsty stems with a head with dangerous teeth on top. However, reality looks differ...

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Murderous plants

The dragonfly season starts mid-April. With slender damsels to sturdy, heavily built dragons. What is the difference between the two? My latest blog i...

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Of Damsels and Dragons

In the winter period the chance that you see a butterfly is very small. Probably one will pop up once the warm winter sun shines and the temperature i...

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Sugaring for moths

This time we shine the spotlight on one of the prettiest (in my opinion) and most graceful (that too is personal) birds of prey of the Netherlands: th...

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Praying before meals?

In recent weeks I have been out in the evenings regularly. Looking for females. With my wife’s approval, don’t worry. Armed with a decent ...

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Chasing the women…

This time a somewhat longer story about a beautiful bird: the Montagu’s harrier (Circus pygargus). Towards the end of the last century this spe...

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Almost disappeared …

Last week I was strolling along the canal in my hometown, looking for butterflies, wasp spiders, bees and other insects. Countless grasshoppers jumped...

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Pink grasshoppers

Upside-down T In my youth, a bird I would often see foraging in the fields when I was cycling to and from school, was the northern wheatear (Oena...

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About wheatears and rabbits

Green, brown, but blue? Ask the average Dutchman or woman what colour a frog has and the answer will most likely be “green”. Probably insp...

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Blue guys

I hope my previous blog brought you a clear picture (how appropriate :-)) about how one bird can estimate distances very well while other birds hardly...

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The eyes of birds – part 2

In my previous blog I wrote about the woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) and why this bird sometimes literally crash into buildings. Some readers wondered...

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The eyes of birds – part 1

Spring is in the air, nature is ready for it. Great tits (Parus major) are doing their utmost and are singing like squeaky bicycle pumps and the ...

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Master in camouflage

Spring is in the air. Although last weekend it was still snowing, you can sense that spring is coming. Perhaps a few night frosts, a bit of snow and t...

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Squeaking bicycle pumps

So, it’s winter. Birds leave the colder, northern parts of the continent and migrate southwards in the hope that there will still be enough food for...

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A forerunner of winter

One of the bird species that reside in the Netherlands during winter is the great grey shrike (Lanius excubitor). It is not a common winter guest...

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A masked winter guest

When we had just moved to our current residence, I had a chat with our new neighbor Klaas. At a certain moment we got talking about nature and birds. ...

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The talkative silk-tail

Sometimes, mainly in January, media report on large quantities of long-eared owls (Asio otus) in trees. They may report about groups of five to nine o...

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Roosting owls

A bird that always comes last during my lectures about birds of prey is one you don’t often see. Although, at this time of the year your chances to ...

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Little troublemaker

On the extraordinary achievements of an ordinary bird One of these days I hope to find one in my mailbox, a postcard from Ivory Coast. Or Angola, or t...

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Greetings from Ivory Coast

Recently new residents have moved into our garden. Flying residents to be more specific. It has always been busy in our garden, especially in the wint...

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New residents in our garden

Slowly but surely everything starts to turn green again, the trees are budding, the plants are awaking from their hibernation and the first migratory ...

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They’re back!

Recently I was on the Ballooërveld, a beautiful nature reserve in the province of Drenthe in the northern part of the Netherlands. The Ballooërveld ...

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Vipers on the Ballooërveld

Nature photography is often a matter of patience. Waiting at a spot where that one particular bird regularly returns. Or scout an area because a speci...

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A bit of luck

Sometimes your garden is flooded with cheerful and busy tweeting from a little flock of birds. This time not that of sparrows. It’s much more subtle...

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Flying lollypops

An impressive bird of prey, the buzzard (Buteo buteo). It’s the most common raptor species in the Netherlands. It’s often seen on poles and traffi...

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A lazy hunter

I don’t know when and where it started, but as a young boy I was already interested in nature. Behind our house there was a small park and behind it...

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My first steps…

The whole of the Netherlands seems to be captivated by the kingfisher (Alcedo atthis). Photos regularly appear on Facebook and Instagram. That’s not...

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The blue flash

Although it’s hard to believe with the current weather conditions (-3 °C with a strong easterly wind, 7 on the scale of Beaufort, on March 17th), s...

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The first one of this year