On Thursday, there were few birds but a yellow-browed warbler was found by Johan Buckens in The Hedge of Heist. I decided to not search it because it’ll be difficult to relocate and I thought I'll see several the next three days! Result of the afternoon : 6 green sandpiper (from the train), 8 chiffchaff, 1 fire and 20 goldcrest, 25 song trush, 36 robins, 1 late pied flycatcher, 7 dunnocks and 5 siskins.
On Friday, it’s still dark when I arrived in Zeebrugge but I could already heard lots of call of song trush, firecrest and robin. I walked along the jetty, more than 10 birds in the very little shrubs (goldcrests, robins and 1 reed bunting) wow looks good! In the bushes on the beach of Zeebrugge and the parking of the station, lots of goldcrest, robin, song trush, chiffchaff,…Then I did the line of trees near the Strandwijk tram stop : nothing! Birds are really coming from the sea! A Barred warbler was found in the bushes on the beach of Heist and I decided to have a quick look. En route a red-backed shrike was also found near the beach of Heist. When I arrived I immediately saw Patrick Beirens taking pictures of the shrike and he told me that he hasn’t seen the barred warbler and that someone claimed a red-breasted flycatcher in The Hedge of Heist. I decided to go first in the Hedge but like other birders no flycatcher… I went to the beach of Heist, It’s incredible, maybe 40 birds in that little bush, mostly goldcrest and robin but no barred warbler. Strange hundreds of birds and still no yellow-browed warbler found anywhere…. I went to the beach of Duinbergen and in the park behind thinking that there will be lots of birds there too and maybe no birder... in fact there were very few birds there but at least 5 other birders! still no YB warbler anywhere and I decided to do the best spot for this species, the Fishers Cross Park. This park and also the nearby Navy base park were full of goldcrests also somes chiffchaff, 2 wilow warbler, 10 blackcap, 1 garden warbler, 1 reed warbler and 3 common redstart but still no YB warbler...I thought that maybe no birders went to Blankenberge yet and decided to go there... And finally a Yellow-Browed was found in the little Sea-Life Park in Blankenberge when I was waiting for the tram. When I arrived , the finder was still there and said to me that the bird has just flew behind somes little shrubs. We searched but didn't found the bird again and I thought the only place it could be are the shrubs behind a fence...to see it better I went nearthe swimming pool and saw 4 dead song trushes along the windows, sad view! But there was also a little bird...I went closer : shit it's the YB warbler!! fucking swimming pool!!!!!!! I Finally went to the dunes between Blankenberge and Wenduine in the evening…lots of birds there too : goldcrest, chiffy, robins,…and then : oh that's a flycatcher! shit it flew off after half a second and was against the sun…but that looked good for a red-breasted. The area was really difficult to see and after somes times I decided to phone Johan and Billyan not normally accessible place..what to do ? waiting here that the bird come again in the little shrubs or find a way to enter the area ? I waited a bit but the bird didn’t show again and I found a way to enter the area a few hundreds meters from the sightings. I phoned Johan Buckens and Billy but they were already at home thus I’s alone and the sunset was in 1 hour…I didn’t saw anything else than robins, song thrushes and goldcrests…shit !
dead yellow-browed warbler, Sealife - Blankenberge :-(
Goldcrest, Beach of Heist
Willow warbler, Navy Base - Zeebrugge
Result of the day : 1 red-backed shrike, 1 dead YB warbler, 5 coal tits, 1 reed warbler, 30 chiffchaff, 2 wilow warblers, 10 blackcap, 1 garden warbler, 20 firecrest, 200+ goldcrest, 30 redwings, 150+ robins, 3 common redstart, 5 brambling and 5 siskin + somes migrating skylarks, meadows and 1 tree pipits
Saturday was the same as Friday but with a bit less new birds and nothing of note. No more common redstart but my first 2 fieldfare of the autumn.
friendly Siskin, dunes between Blankenberge and Wenduine
Goldcrest , dunes between Blankenberge and Wenduine
Sunday, I was with Jean Wauters and Christine Leroux, Very few new birds exept somes song trushes and redwings. I just saw 4 late northern wheatear in the Front Harbour, a species I hadn’t see the previous days. There were also somes big groups of migrating cormorant. In the Afternoon I finally went to Uitkerkse Polder to see the Cattle Egret that's there since mid-september. The team of Peter Adrieans, Hans Matheve and Pieter Vantieghem had more luck with late tawny pipit and lapland bunting in the Zwin and a Richard’s pipit in the back harbour...
migrating Great Cormorant, Sashul - Heist
Cattle Egret, Camping - Uitkerkse polder - Blankenberge