Rare heron spotted on Tiengemeten island

Bird expert and fanatic bird counter Rob Brugmans made an extraordinary discovery during the anual bird count in September. Every month, he sets out with his telescope and binoculars to count the birds on Tiengemeten nature island in NLDelta National Park. This time, to his surprise, he spotted a cattle egret – a type of heron rarely spotted in the Netherlands.
Koereiger in de NLDelta
Photo: Tjibbe Hunink/Staatsbosbeheer


Because the cattle egret tends to migrate to warmer South-European countries, it has not been spotted often in the Netherlands. Also, the birds often alight in meadows to catch a ride on the back of cows, sheep or horses. Perhaps the Scottish highland cattle drew the cattle egret’s attention?

Or was this male cattle egret searching for a female? Brugmans thinks so. Even though southern bird species do not usually breed in the Netherlands, a red-necked grebe has also been spotted. Such surprises inject extra fun into a time-consuming bird count! In September, a total of 6,025 birds were counted, representing 63 species.

You can only reach Tiengemeten island by ferry from Zuid-Beijerland. After a boat ride of some 30 minutes, you will reach the island with its large natural diversity. It is a perfect spot to seek out peace and quiet, not far from the bustling city of Rotterdam.