Winter by nature

Winter by nature

Written by: Ted Sluijter

Every month in the winter, a national goose census is held by SOVON Vogelonderzoek, the platform of Dutch bird counters. I work on it for one part of West Schouwen, together with our oldest son, Maarten, another committed bird watcher. Team Sluijter, that’s us. Here is the report of our work on 19 February 2017.

Today, the fields are bare (though not barren). We’ll see the occasional plots of fodder radish, often used as catch crop by the farmers for green manure. It adds nitrogen and organic material to the soil and helps to reduce beet nematodes (worms). Here in Westenschouwen, we see such a plot, with the necks and heads of Egyptian geese sticking out. We can see some small songbirds darting around, singing – we can tell they’re meadow pipits.

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