In January I found a Short-eared Owl, see this blog and brought it to a taxidermist. Last weekend Hans (who had brought a Woodcock) and I went to IJmuiden to collect it but went to the pier first in the morning.
In the colder months there's always something to see and we hope to find and photograph a Little Auk after the recent strong northerly winds. A Shag was present at his favourite rock in company of his greater cousin (Great Cormorant) that's always nice to start with.
Although the wind was only about 5 beaufort there was a big swell. Getting to the end of the pier became quite a challenge. Just before the end a big wave got me so ended up with a wet left leg. A friend of mine, Joost van der Sluis was already there and took some photos of us (too bad not of that moment) to give an idea.
Along the pier a couple of Common Guillemots where present, another species where we hoped for but with the nice backlight and rolling waves it's a good alternative.
We arrived at the beach and I scanned the gulls and waders with my binoculars and noted a dead black and white bird. My first impression was that it was a Guillemot but when a Herring Gull picked it up it was far too small. We started running and a Greater Black-backed Gull stole the corpse. We waved with our arms and luckily he dropped it. A dead Little Auk lied at our feet, it was very fresh and you could almost think it would fly off at any given moment.
It's sad to find it dead, we loved to photograph it swimming around. Most of these Little Auks end up like this as they feed on krill and these can't be found in our coastal waters. It won't go to waste as we didn't arrived empty handed at the taxidermist.