Mini-Adventure: Bird Watching With My Dad

Vogelplas Starrevaart The NetherlandsLast week I had a few days off and enjoyed Easter at my Mum and Dad’s place in The Netherlands. It’s where I was born and brought up, though my parents are English and are long-term expats there. So far, in total, I’ve lived about two-thirds of my life in The Netherlands. I consider it a home, just like Edinburgh is a home, too. For me it gets too complicated to consider only one place as my home since I am a blend of Dutch and British cultures.

I enjoy going back to visit The Netherlands as I get to spend time with my folks and to see some of my lovely friends there.

This time, my Dad and I went on a mini-adventure to “Vogelplas Starrevaart” to find some birds – aka research for my wildlife drawings (see above photo). I’m also learning about photography and I got to play with my Dad’s camera, which has an amazing telephoto lens. It’s heavy though and a little getting used to!

We walked along some lovely Dutch countryside to get to a hide where my Dad has been before. When we entered the hide, we found we were not the only ones. There were some other people who also love birds like us and we chatted to a couple of them about birds we’d seen.

One of the men kindly offered me his home-made lens rest to put over the rail of the window in the hide so I could have a bit more stability whilst taking photos. What a difference that made! He let me use it for a good ten minutes or so. It was brilliant.

Carrie Sanderson Bird Watching

This is me bird watching using bino’s my Dad got me for Christmas


The “Vogelplas” is situated next to Vlietland and the A4, a busy motorway between Rotterdam/The Hague and Amsterdam. It’s a man-made lake to compensate for digging up land nearby. It’s been purposefully built as a sanctuary for birds.

Amidst the traffic noise the birds could be heard, quite loudly at times. We saw cormorants, godwits, grebes, tufted ducks, avocets, and a shelduck to name a few. Between my Dad and I we took over 100 photos (though most of them were taken by yours truly!). Got some really good shots that I can now use as inspiration for more drawings and art work.

Cormorant On CameraA stunning cormorant caught on camera by yours truly!


It was so much fun and to my mind a successful morning’s “work”!

I hope to share with you my artwork inspired by this adventure in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned!

When was the last time you went on a mini-adventure? What would you love to do / explore / give a go? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.

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