Hennie van Heerden's Wildlife Diary

June 7, 2010

Exploring the Biesbosch further

Filed under: June — Hennie van Heerden @ 10:38 am

About two decades ago, the Beaver was almost extinct in Holland. Luckily some people recognized the value of this native little Bob-the-Builder and set up a rescue programme. The Biesbosch was the designated area to do this with its vast network of rivers, creeks and swamps. And with success! The population is increasing rapidly and they are spreading again all over the country. There apparently even is one that built its lodge under the famous Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam! 🙂

Almost in every creek in the Biesbosch you can have an encounter with one or more Beavers, as long as you keep their habits in mind. It is rare to see one during broad daylight, but when you go out when the sun is about to set, you’re almost sure to see one. On this trip we had found several lodges and it was just a matter of moaring the boat in the neighborhood of the lodge, and just wait. On particularly funny sighting was this Beaver who seemed to be waiving at us. :-). Its little cousin, the Nutria is also a rather often seen inhabitant of the Biesbosch. Much smaller than the Beaver, they are constantly busy redecorating their lodge with fresh leaves and reeds. Really amazing to see these Nutria cross the rivers dragging along huge reeds and branches, almost 10x as long as their own body.

 As the day progressed, the light got a sort of crisp clarity that you only see every now and then. Wonderful to see the horses that live freely in the polders (reclaimed land) play around. Their coats shiny and manes flying. A picture of health! When the sun was setting the light still was fantastic and the couple of Grebes we found, allowed us quite near where they were preparing for the night, floating around, dozing off. But all of a sudden Madame Grebe woke up and gave hubby an ear full! Not that he seemed concerned about this as he persistently pretended to be asleep while she was raving on. Seemed familiar somehow 🙂

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