Yesterday my family and I had a 12 hour transfer in Amsterdam as we where heading to Tanzania, Africa.
First the thought seemed like a far-fetched dream – would the Sibe Ruby stay put for more than a month? Could it be twitched during the transfer period? What would Julianna and the kids say?
As time approached more and more answers could be answered with a “yes”. The bird kept being reported and even seen at very close range. And when the dutch knight Steven Wytema even offered to take me to the bird there was no way back.
We rented a car in Amsterdam and met with Steven – who asked the question: “Are all of you gonna go for the Ruby?” “Yes” I replied. And then Julianna, the 3 kids, Steven and I headed for Hogwards – or was it Hogwoud? Steven said that the bird was normally seen on one of two sites. So it shouldn’t be hard to find. When we arrived Steven spotted a waving dutch birder. “It’s there” Steven said.
So we walked towards the waving guy and when approaching I noticed a brow job moving quickly in the vegetation. I searched frantically while hearing the dutch guy saying: “Yes, it’s it”.
I hoped to see the bird of course, but I didn’t know if I should expect a skulky and elusive bird just giving brief views for short periods or… well, the pics say it all.
Well, the bird was perfect. When foraging inside the shrubbery it was very hard to detect. And if it wanted to stay unseen it could easily do so. But the dutch bird has become familiar with people and the meal worms given to it has certainly helped.
So from time to time it gave amazing views within just a few meters fully exposed. And it frequently sang for long periods – a rather unobtrusive yet pleasing song.
Siberian Rubythroat really is a diamond. Discreet yet amazing. Absolutely a bird worthy of being a dream bird. The whole family saw the bird and even our 2 year old reacted to it – and the girls found it very beautiful. I guess it is a good legacy to pass on to be able to tell you son: “Hey, I showed you a sibe ruby when you were two”!
We enjoyed the bird for about an hour before going first to a butterfly garden that also contained some tropical birds. Then we headed towards the coast were we did some sporadic birding – the best birds being Sandwich Tern and Spoonbill.
Thanks to Steven for an unforgettable day in the Nederlands.