I’ve updated and finalised our 2007 Year Book in our online Photo Album. Highlights of the year were our visit to The Gambia in January, where we saw 177 different species of birds, our holiday in the south of Spain, where we explored Andalusia and a part of Portugal, and our diving trip to Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt, where we had some wonderful dives in the Red Sea.December 27th 2007 | 4:35 am CET | No Comments »
Today we visited Teylers Museum in Haarlem to see one of the rarest and most expensive books in the world: “The Birds of America” by John James Audubon (1785 – 1851). The exhibit “Vogels van Formaat” (that runs from 3 November 2007 to 20 January 2008) has on display an original copy of the huge book. It consists of five volumes depicting all birds of North America (as known at the time) in actual size on beautiful dramatic paintings by Audubon.
Approximately 200 sets were thought to have been created in the early 1800’s, but only about 130 are still known to exist. One of these was sold by Christie’s in New York in 2002 for 8.8 million dollars! Teyler Museum bought the first edition book when it came out for 2243 guilders and has owned it since. Throughout the time the book is on display, the museum opens a different page in each book every day.December 7th 2007 | 8:25 pm CET | No Comments »
We saw seven different species of Kingfisher this year, 2007, in The Netherlands (‘IJsvogel’), Egypt and The Gambia! We saw most on our trip to The Gambia in January, and most of these were Pied Kingfishers (Ceryle rudis). These black-and-white birds are very approachable. They hunt by hovering over the water and then diving down bill first directly below to catch a fish. We found this one somewhere between the towns of Tendaba and Georgetown:
On 13 October 2007, our 7th wedding anniversary, we visited St. Catherine’s Monastery during our holiday in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. The monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is at the foot of Mount Sinai and is one of the oldest continuously functioning Christian monasteries in the world.
The Humpback Whale that we tried to see on Sunday was seen again the last two days at Zuidpier. On Monday it even made a big jump that was caught on camera. Have a look at the great pictures and video at Inge’s web-log.November 21st 2007 | 2:05 pm CET | No Comments »
Today we visited IJmuiden after seeing on waarneming.nl that for the last three days they have been spotting a Humpback Whale just 20 meters from the South Pier. We weren’t lucky today and didn’t see it, but we did see some great birds, including three new lifers (Black-legged Kittiwake, Red Knot and Pomarine Skua)!
The Dutch government is investigating the possibility of building an island off the North Sea coast for highly needed new farmland in our overcrowded country. Dutch contractors also built the Palm Islands in Dubai. Political party CDA suggested this week to build an island in the shape of a tulip. I’m not sure how practical this would be, but it would sure look cool on Google Maps:
November 9th 2007 | 4:36 pm CET | 1 Comment »
Last weekend was our annual family weekend and this time we had rented a large house in Neede in the east of the Netherlands. We had a great time. On Saturday we drove to Eibergen where we did a boat tour (see our route) on an authentic Berkelzomp. Here’s a photo of my family on the boat, taken by the friendly captain Hugo.