A bird I never expected at the hide: Eurasian eagle - owl (Oehoe)! It's one of the biggest owls in the world and rare in Belgium. Lately it's exceptionally hot for September and the pool probably attracted the owl. Hopefully he stays around and will use the pool more often. The trailcam also made photo's of 2 juvenile Red crossbills (Kruisbek), Red squirrels (Eekhoorn), Common buzzard (Buizerd), Eurasian jays (Gaai), Eurasian wren (Winterkoning), Eurasian nuthatch (Boomklever), Robin (Roodborst), Roe deer (Ree), Eurasian sparrowhawk (Sperwer) and Tawny owl (Bosuil).
Finally a Goshawk showed up at my 'new' forest hide. I had a Goshawk at my previous hide who was a regular visitor. Now 2 juvenile Goshawks came drinking/bathing at the pool. Lately you can hear them (or one of them) screaming frequently around the hide during the day. I hope they stay in the area and will be visiting the hide more often.
Wet wet wet. It's the wettest June ever. Almost rain every day, water everywhere. Normally this time of the year it's much dryer so birds will come over to drink at the pool in front of the hide. It's obvious conditions are not so good to attract birds. I even had 10cm of water inside my hide.
Luckily a family of Hawfinches (Appelvinken) is nesting close to the hide and are frequently visiting. At least 1 juvenile is already seen on the trailcam. I also had the opportunity to see for the first time a male Bullfinch (Goudvink) from the hide. Red squirrels (Eekhoorns) are also seen daily. Other daily visitors are Great tit (Koolmees), Blue tit (Pimpelmees), Chaffinch (Vink), Great spotted woodpecker (GB specht), European robin (Roodborst), Eurasian nuthatch (Boomklever), Eurasian jay (Gaai) and a Bank vole (Rosse woelmuis). Hopefully both the weather and the forest will be dryer the next few weeks.
Lately the weather was sunny and dry for a period so the forest is drying up. Not dry enough yet but I already have been able to see new species at the hide. A Roe deer (Ree) was passing by one morning and a Spotted flycatcher (Grauwe vliegenvanger) and a male Red crossbill (Kruisbek) were seen around the hide. The flycatcher flew off very quick, the Red crossbill sat down a short moment at the pool. The visit of the Red crossbill, on of my target species, made my day. A couple of Eurasian nuthatches (Boomklever) is also nesting in a tree a few meters from the hide and seen all the time at the hide. Two different Red squirrels are also seen on daily basis, drinking at the pool. The pool itself had 2 visitors too, a Common toad (Gewone pad) and a Edible frog (Groene kikker). Other regular visitors are still Chaffinch, Robin, Eurasian jay, Great tit and Great spotted woodpecker.
After I few months of inactivity due to medical circumstances and travel abroad I'm getting started again. At the moment the weather is really bad, temperatures between 5 and 10°c and a lot of rain. The forecast isn't giving anything better for the rest of the week.
The forest is too wet to attract a lot of birds at the pool. I'm waiting for sunny and dry weather.
Visitors 'trapped' by the trailcam the last couple of weeks are Great tit (Koolmees), Blue tit (Pimpelmees), Eurasian jay (Gaai), Chaffinch (Vink), Robin (Roodborst), Eurasian nuthatch (Boomklever), Eurasian wren (Winterkoning), Great spotted woodpecker (Grote bonte specht), Common buzzard (Buizerd), European hedgehog (Egel) and Red squirrel (Eekhoorn). Also 1 new bird species on the trailcam, Brambling (Keep) and a lot of Common chiffchaff (Tjiftjaf) singing around the hide.
Due to unexpected medical circumstances I've not been able to spend time in the hide the last couple of weeks. These photos are from my last session a few weeks ago. Hopefully I'll be able to go to hide the next few weeks to make new photos and see new visitors.
Finally the Red squirrel (Eekhoorn) appeared in front of the hide when I was there. Attracted by the hazelnuts he was visiting 2 to 3 times a week but never when I was there. Now I was lucky and he spend some time eating nuts. Besides the resident winter visitors at the feeders a small group of Eurasian siskins (Sijsje) came over briefly to drink at the pool. Common buzzards are still a daily visitors. More photos of the Red Squirrel on my website here.
Until now the winter wasn't a real winter. Last week we had a short period with freezing temperatures and at some places little snow. When I had some time to spend in the hide the snow was almost gone so no snowy photos yet. The amount of visitors at the hide is still building. I can hardly keep up filling the feeders with so many Great tits (Koolmees) and Blue tits (Pimpelmees). Other regular visitors I saw on my short 2 hour visit were Crested tit (Kuifmees), Coal tit (Zwarte mees), Robin (Roodborst), Chaffinch (Vink), Short toed treecreeper (Boomkruiper), Eurasian nuthatch (Boomklever) and Common buzzards (Buizerd). A Red squirrel is also visiting regulary but never wants to come to the hide when I'm there.
First of all my best wishes for 2016 !
Still no real winter in Belgium so no new species at the hide on my last visit of the year. No new birds but the 'common' birds kept me busy enough. Coal tit (Zwarte mees) is a daily visitor now. Red squirrel (Eekhoorn) is still showing up on the trailcam every now and then but I haven't seen him yet while in the hide.