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.
. 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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