The emperor of our pond

The emperor dragonfly (Anax imperator) is the largest common dragonfly in the Netherlands. With a length of over eight centimeters, it is an impressive appearance. It is one of the species that is present at our pond and also lays eggs there.

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The house sparrow

The house sparrow has been the most counted bird in the Netherlands during the Garden Bird Watch for 23 years. Will this species be able to continue to hold the leading position? The species is on the Dutch Red List as 'sensitive'.

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The wasp spider

The wasp spider is a Mediterranean species that has slowly expanded northwards in recent decades. It is now a common species in the Netherlands, but also in the UK.

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The map

The map is a special butterfly. The different generations in a year are different in colour. An example of seasonal dimorphism. I explain this further in this blog.

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Tawny owl

It may be hard to imagine, but some birds already have young. Like the tawny owl (Strix aluco). You may have never seen this owl. But you may have heard it more times than you think.

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There are four common butterflies in the Netherlands that hibernate as an adult. Besides the peacock, the comma butterly and the small tortoiseshell, the fourth species is the brimstone. A beautiful bright yellow butterfly which can be seen early in spring.

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Prickly animals

As with many other animal species, the hedgehog is not doing so well. Traffic, but also our way of gardening are to blame for this. 'Neat' short mowed, raked and snail-free gardens with a pond with a steep edge are disastrous for these prickly animals. So give them a helping hand.

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Comma butterfly

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 again, these hibernating butterflies are emerging from their hiding places.

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The herald

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 the house. If you come across one in the house, put it outside carefully. The moth survives the winter cold, to fly around again in the spring with the first heat.

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Bugs, bugs, bugs

Bugs come in different shapes, colors and sizes. About a thousand species occur in the Netherlands and Belgium. The number of species worldwide is estimated at several tens of thousands.

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The oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) is increasingly visiting the city to breed. While it is originally a true coastal inhabitant who, driven by various causes, sought and found a new habitat in the inland.

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

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Winter damsels

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 can find the common winter damselfly and the rare Siberian winter damselfly.

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Two different species?

I regularly receive questions from readers about animals that have been seen, usually to help identify the species. For example, I recently got two questions in quick succession that happened to be related to the same species: the gypsy moth. In this blog, more about this beautiful, but also feared species.

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