Beavers in de Biesbosch

Last Wednesday I went on a trip in National Park de Biesbosch hoping to see and capture the Beavers that are living there.  We had fantastic weather and left around 17:30 from the harbour. The Beavers are only becoming active from dusk so first we did a very relaxed tour in de Biesbosch to see what else we would come across. We were very lucky with the birds we met, Osprey, Hobby, two young Peregrine Falcons, Marsh Harrier, Buzzards, lots of Spoonbills, Kingfishers, Common Tern and many other birds. We even saw a Cuckoo flying which you hardly ever see. 

No complaints about the birds in any way. But then the main course for the night, the Beavers. First the older Beavers come to the water to check if everything is safe. Then in a couple of minutes more Beavers are coming into the water and start foraging and interacting with each other. One Beaver swam towards a willow and just snapped a branch from the tree so easily and then continued to the shore to eat his freshly harvested willow branch. Click on the images to open a lightbox.

After a couple of minutes he was joined by another beaver that started to wash itself and doing some skincare. It sort of rubbed itself with its front paws. They seemed very comfortable like this together.

The big one decided to head back to the water and left the smaller one alone.

After a couple of minutes we left them alone to head back to the harbour very, very satisfied. 

I can highly recommend this trip with Bas Breetveld from He knows the area very well since has been spending time there almost daily for years already. He also knows the behaviour of the Beavers and approaches them with respect, giving them the space they require. This creates a unique opportunity to observe and capture these wonderful animals. Bas is a very knowledgeable guy and he is very laid back. For those of you who may think this blog is very positive and may be sponsored, I got this trip as a birthday gift from my wife. 



This morning I first went to the Rietputten in Vlaardingen. It was very chilly and later on the wind was picking up. Most birds did not show themselves and kept low in the reeds. I did manage to get some nice pictures still, manual focus did the job today. A Wren was quite cooperative and I caught some glimpses of a Bearded Tit, a Reed Warbler and a Greenfinch. Later I went to the Hitland area and saw a Willow Warbler and some Gadwalls. Click on the images for a larger image.


At the beginning of March I went out to one of my favorite birding spots nearby my house. To my surprise they completely cut down a big part of the reedbed where lots of birds breed every year. I think they did this to rejuvenate the reed and the trees so it should be beneficial on the long term. But for this spring I don't think there is any breeding going to happen there. I took some panorama pictures with my phone just to show how it looked. I will go back regularly since I am curious how fast the reed and the trees (mainly willow and berch) grow back. Later in the season I will post some new pictures as a follow up. The pictures below are respectively from 8 March, 16 March and 14 April. As from 16 March I also took pictures from the other side of the area.

Bearded tits endangered in vlaardingen

Today I went out early to photograph the bearded tits, at least so I hoped. I went to an area in Vlaardingen where these birds are abundant. Today   I did hear them, but was not able to take any pictures as they did not come close enough. This area is being endangered because a tunnel is planned to go through this area. This is one of the few places in The Netherlands where these birds breed in these numbers. The area is also known for bluethroats, water rail, bittern and many waterbirds. If you are also against this tunnel please go to the website and let your voice hear.

Below some pictures of signs that are in the area right now and some pictures of the bearded tits that I made a couple of years ago in the same area. The males were shot in the mist, hence the foggy appearance in the pictures.

Mating grebes

Today I went out to the Hitland area and I found a couple of Grebes that were displaying and mating. They did not mind me watching their love affair. I also made a short video of them.