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Roze Spreeuw

Even geduld...

Dutch Birding volume 35 (2013) no 3


Cretzschmar's Buntings on Rottumerplaat in May 2011 and at Lauwersoog in May 2013

On 13-17 May 2011, a male Cretzschmar's Bunting Emberiza caesia stayed on Rottumerplaat, Groningen, the Netherlands. It was only seen and photographed by the four wardens on the tiny island, which is off-limits for any visiting birder. On 5 May 2013, a male Cretzschmar's stayed for most of the day (until dark) at Lauwersoog, Groningen. It was confiding and observed and well documented by c 300 birders. In both cases, identification proved straightforward, based on the blue-grey head and breast, buff to brownish orange malar stripe, chin and throat, warm brownish orange underparts and warm rufous brown mantle. The Lauwersoog bird showed moult contrast in the greater coverts of the left wing (outer seven old and worn, inner fresh) but, in the right wing, all greater coverts were old. Since both adults and first-year birds mostly moult all greater coverts in autumn and some of the inner greater coverts in the following spring, ageing was not possible. However, a few plumage details probably indicated a first-summer, such as the rather pale colour of the buff parts on the head, the fine streaking on the upperhead and the tiny buffish patch behind the eye. A double tseee call heard and recorded when the bird flew up from the ground did not match the most commonly known calls of the species, which are lower and fuller. However, the vocal repertoire of the species is broad and, presumably, further research will show that this call is fitting. These were the third and fourth record for the Netherlands and the one at Lauwersoog was the first twitchable, after birds on 11 October 1859 (first-year female, collected) and 7-11 May 1994 (male).

Enno B Ebels, Joseph Haydnlaan 4, 3533 AE Utrecht, Nederland
Max Berlijn, Wilhelminastraat 9, 6285 AS Epen, Nederland
Jeroen Breidenbach, Achter de Hoven 197, 8933 CL Leeuwarden, Nederland
Folkert Jan Hoogstra, Wibenaheerd 97, 9736 PG Groningen, Nederland
Bernard Spaans, Oesterstraat 27, 1794 AR Oosterend, Texel, Nederland