62 cranes landed in the Biesbosch yesterday. They stayed all night and flew out again early this morning. “It doesn’t happen often that they stop in the Netherlands. But that they go aground in the west with such a large group and spend the night, is really very special,” says Harm Blom, forester in the area.
A bird watcher discovered the large group in the afternoon and shared it in a WhatsApp group with other bird enthusiasts. Bird watchers and forest rangers then came to the area. Blom also immediately closed his laptop to go there.
“And then you arrive there and see such beautiful, beautiful birds. That was really enjoyable. It is really unique for the Biesbosch,” he says to Omroep Brabant. Around 07:15 they flew away again, towards South Holland.
Tired of the snow and headwind
The crane migration is in full swing. It is at the end of February and the beginning of March. “Then they fly en masse to the north from the wintering grounds in Spain and France, via Germany and the Ardennes.” The cranes are on their way to their breeding grounds in Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Poland and Germany.
The fact that the cranes stop in the Netherlands, and then also in the west of the country, is unique, according to the forester. “In unusual weather situations, they can sometimes get off course. The cold wind, rain or snow has stopped them. They keep them on the ground. These animals have buffed in the air to get through Belgium. They were just tired of the snow and the headwind.”
Feel free to call me a cranophile.
In the Biesbosch they slept, washed and drank. According to forester Blom, the quiet area in the Biesbosch is a perfect place for cranes. “They were in the Noordwaard. That is open, with shallow water and absolute peace.”
Blom is delighted with the arrival of the cranes. “I’m quite a fan. Call me a cranophile,” he says laughing. “It sticks to me. As a little guy I was once surprised in the west by a group that flew over. I’ve been hooked ever since.”