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DIJK AJ VAN, HUSTINGS F, SIERDSEMA H & MEIJER R (1998) Colonial and rare breeding birds in the Netherlands in 1995. LIMOSA 71 (4): 153-165.

This paper reviews the status of colonial and rare breeding birds in The Netherlands in 1995. Annual censuses of these species are organised by SOVON with the help of many volunteers, governmental and non-governmental organisations and institutions. Methods and full results of the 1995 census are given in van Dijk et al. (1997c).
      . The 1994/9~ winter was mild (as most of the preceding winters since 1987/88) but very wet, resulting in large scale inundations along the river Meuse and threatening situations along the other rivers. Water tables were. high at the beginning of spring 1995. During the breeding season weather conditions were generally favourable for census work. Periods with low temperatures and.high precipitation occurred at the end of May and the first half of June. It is, however, unlikely that census results were heavily influenced by weather conditions.
      Table 5 gives an overview of species and numbers recorded in 1995. Highest-ever numbers were recorded for Grey Heron (12 500-13 500 pairs), Spoonbill (817), Mediterranean Gull (247), Lesser Black-backed Gull (40700), Kingfisher (375-425) and Grey Wagtail (275300). Numbers of Black-necked Grebe (270-280), White Stork (275, due to the success of the Dutch reintroduction project), Bam Owl (1009), Sand Martin (15000), .Bearded Tit (at least 1900-2000, mainly concentrated m the Oostvaardersplassen area in Flevoland) and Serin (240-260) were thriving. Some newcomers on the Dutch list of breeding birds consolidated their posinon, for instance Great White Egret (at least 5 pairs), Great Black-backed Gull (5) and Treecreeper (22; probably an underestimate). Breeding of Thrush Nightingale was first proven by the discovery of a (successful) nest; breeding of Little White Egret was recorded for the third time. The breeding of a Hoopoe in a bam was very unexpected, as the species was thought to have vanished as a regular breeding bird since the mid-1970s. A pair of Turnstones in the Wadden Sea showed intriguing behaviour indicating possible breeding, although a nest could not be found. As the species is slowly recolonising German parts of the Wadden Sea, the possibility of a future breeding record cannot be excluded.
      On the negative side, Short-eared Owl (35-45 pairs) obviously suffered from low vole numbers, whereas numbers of Great Reed Warbler (280-300) were lower than in preceding years. Fieldfare (300-350 pairs, compared to 700-900 in 1986) and Penduline Tit (110-130) seem to have declined markedly, after an earlier expansion. Numbers of Little Bittern (8 pairs) were marginal. Ortolan Bunting seems to have vanished as a breeding bird; m 1995, only unpaired males were recorded (last breeding record in 1994).

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limosa 71.4 1998
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