Let the journey be shaped by the curiousity of the child…
The Dutch Bird Fair is the biggest nature event in the ‘Oostvaardersplassen’ in Lelystad, the Netherlands. The target audience are: birdwatchers , everyone who loves nature, amateur- and professional photographers and children. There is a lot to do on the fair: excursions, lectures and presentation and there are a lot of vendors of nature related products present. For children, there is a special area where they can do some crafting and special children tours have been set up.
We were lucky enough to win a VIP package for 5 persons (my parents joined us today) + Midiman from Flevoland Avontuurlijk Dichtbij. This VIP package entailed: entrance, excursions and lunch. We decided to go on two excursion: An Eco Car Excursion, which would take us deep in the Oostvaardersplassen, into a restricted area. And in the afternoon we would go on a Bird Ringing Excursion (ring excursion), which would bring us to another restricted area where we would be educated in the bird ringing process.
This excursion will bring us deep into the Oostvaarderplassen into a restricted area. First we enter the triangle, which is admissible to everyone. All the animals are free to roam the grounds. Driving a bit further, we come upon another gate and there the restricted area starts. The reason for the restricted areas is for the quietness of the area. No interference of mankind.
We were lucky to see some animals. Dutch and Polish swans, oxen, red deer, sea eagle, blue heron, egret, buzzard. And of course, beautiful, quiet sceneries.
At the Dutch Bird Fair they really have thought of the children. Children up till 11, even have free entrance. There are special kids excursions and there is a children area where arts and crafting activities have been set up.
One of the things you could do, was taste insects. Maximan, his grandma and I took this opportunity and we tasted grasshoppers baked in garlic. Maximan didn’t like it. My mom and I both thought, although it was crunchy, it was a bit tasteless. If you would spice it up a bit, it would be great in a salad.
I can speak for all six of us if I tell you that this was a very special excursion. We got the whole bird-ringing-process explained. The why, the how and the what. By ringing the birds, they keep eye on the bird population, how many little one’s are born, how many survive the migration and so on. They gather data and that can be processed into information. A connection to my old work field.
Today we heard how the birds are caught. There are nets set up and birds get caught in those nets, because they fly in there. Then very carefully they get freed, to be taken away to get ringed. After the bird has been ringed, measured and weighed, he’s been set free again.
Some beautiful sceneries on the way back when we saw some horses.
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