Wednesday 25 November 2020

Birdwatchers flock to Texel to spot warbler on first visit to NL

File photo of a male Blackpoll warbler. Photo: Cephsas via Wikimedia Commons

Hundreds of birdwatchers have been flocking to the Wadden Sea island of Texel hoping to catch sight of an unprepossessing small bird – which has never been spotted in the Netherlands before.

The Blackpoll warbler has been seen in a graveyard in the far north of the island, having crossed the Atlantic from Canadian and American forests on its way to warmer climes.

The Blackpoll warbler is thought to be the only small bird that can travel such long distances over water and can travel up to 20,000 kilometres during its migration. The birds usually migrate to South America or the Antillean islands and are rarely seen in Europe.

Local ornithologists are attempting to organise the surge in birdwatchers who have arrived on Texel hoping for a glimpse of the bird. And according to the Noordhollands Dagblad, local police were forced to intervene because social distancing rules were not being kept.

‘They mean well, but it is against coronavirus measures to gather in groups of more than four people,’ a police spokesman told local paper Texelse Courant.

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