Wading bird paradise – a glut of Avocets and Spoonbills

I’ve been wanting to see Avocets (‘Kluut’ in Dutch) for years, and suddenly I got to watch and sketch not one but a whole family through Tineke’s telescope, ideally positioned in her attic. They are the most beautifully elegant birds, with ballerina legs and upturned beaks.

After that, we went to ‘de Blauwe Kamer’, a nature reserve with a birdhut where I got to gaze and gaze more at egrets, cormorants, herons, geese, shellducks, and my great favourites: Spoonbills (Lepelaars). About 30 spoonbills nesting in various little islands’ trees, taking off to hoover in the shallows, and young ones with shorter, pinkish beaks making sure they were being paid enough attention to. (click to see larger spoonbills!)

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3 Responses to Wading bird paradise – a glut of Avocets and Spoonbills

  1. Expression says:

    Lepelaars…what a great name for these birds, it even sounds better than spoonbills, nice field sketches as well.They really capture the jizz of the birds.

    • Thanks! These were a joy to do, I’d never seen so many spoonbills gathered together (with egrets and herons perched amiably among them) engaged in such activity! It’s great knowing their names in both Dutch and English – I like lepelaar better, but ‘kluut’ somehow doesn’t do justice to the elegance of avocets.

  2. K-chan says:

    ENCHANTING…. You can really see the spoonbills (bottom of the last sketch) do that typical ‘hoovering’ movement, sweeping their necks and heads ‘n all from side to side through the shallow water. Spot the shelduck chicks! And that wise old cormorant….

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