TEXEL & DEN HELDER (area)
«February 2019»

Photos © Ruud Leeuw

 

During February 25-28 a moment of unseasonal warm weather appeared and the opportunity was taken to visit the
island of Texel, in the north of the Netherlands.
On our way up we visited Dierenpark (Zoo) Hoenderdaell near Den Helder (Noord-Holland), while on the return trip we visited Fort Kijkduin (one of four forts placed by Napoleon Bonaparte here) at Huisduinen (also near Den Helder, where the ferry is for Texel).

 

HOENDERDAELL ESTATE (ZOO)

Landgoed hoenderdaell (Dierenpark)
Clockwise: Alpaca's twice, Patagonian mara and two Capybara's trying to stay warm in the light.

Landgoed hoenderdaell (Dierenpark)
A surprisingly large collection of birds outside here at Hoenderdaell Estate

Landgoed hoenderdaell (Dierenpark)
Inside also a variety of birds and mammals (not all photographed)

www.landgoedhoenderdaell.nl/en/

Landgoed hoenderdaell (Dierenpark)
Wolves

Landgoed hoenderdaell (Dierenpark)
Since we arrived around lunchtime we found most of the large animals snoozing in the sunlight
Pity the hyena's and bears did not raise themselves, perhaps some other time.


Stichting Leeuw (Lion Foundation) aims to give rescued big cats a future in the wild

 


 
TEXEL
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TEXEL

Hotel de Waal
Hotel De Waal was our stay for 3 nights; comfortable, the owners Maarten & Belinda bend over backwards to help and
offer advise to make a stay at Texel as pleasing as possible. Maarten has an excellent knowledge of birds and
organizes excursions. Bicycles (also e-bikes) can be rented here too, though we left that for another time.
De Waal is about the smallest town on Texel and has limited facilities but nothing is very far on this island.

Hotel de Waal
Furniture and 'what-not' made of beachcombing materials; beachcombing and woordwork by Maarten.


De Waal
De Waal


Texel
The mill near Krassekeet.

Texel is a municipality and an island with a population of 13,641 in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands.
It is the largest and most populated island of the West Frisian Islands in the Wadden Sea. The island is situated
north of Den Helder, northeast of Noorderhaaks, also known as 'Razende Bol' and southwest of Vlieland. [Wikpedia]


 

 

Texel
Texel is well-known for 'birding; for me the visit was a (modest) mix of birding and first ever visit to Texel.
This time of year there are mostly ducks & geese, starlings woke us up in the morning and it was the first time I
spotted a Tureluur (Tringa totanus; EN: Common redshank) in the wild.

Texel
The Bird Information Centre in De Cocksdorp; they have an excellent assortment of books, binoculars in
all shapes and sizes, stuffed birds, good advise and excursions can be booked here too.


Nearby is the Texel lighthouse 'Lange Jaap'.
Lighthouse Texel
Lighthouse Texel

Lighthouse Texel
It is also a museum. The lighthouse is in fact two lighthouses, one built (1948) around the older one (1864).
This was also the last point of defense for an uprising of Georgian soldiers against the Germans in april 1945.
Bullet holes can still be seen. It is an easy climb to the top with interesting history on every level (about 6 floors).

Lighthouse Texel
Information about the surrounding area. Much of Texel is reclaimed land.
The sea surrounding Texel has many treacherous sandbanks and requires exact navigation.

Texel
Information about the Netherlands and its sealevel (N.A.P. is a standard for normal sea water level)

Lighthouse Texel
During the years 1864-1937 the lighthouse keeper had to sit outside... During WW2 the light was kept turned off.
After the war a 24/7 watch was kept, after 15Sep1988 no watch was kept at night. In 1989 a radar was installed.
Since 2003 no person keeps watch on the lighthouse, the light is turned on by a sensor.

Lighthouse Texel
A bit of humour. And a test for your cognitive sensitivities.

Lighthouse Texel
View from the lighthouse; during this short visit we had unusual warm weather. Beaches fill up pretty quickly in summer.


Texel Airport
Texel Airport
A nice place for lunch outside and watch some general aviation movements come and go.
There is also this memorial of the tragic DC-3 crash in the Waddenzee on 25Sep1996.

'The DC-3 PH-DDA took off from the island of Texel at 16:28 for a return trip to Amsterdam. Engine problems were reported at 16:33 to Texel Radio. The crew switched over to NAS De Kooy Approach and told De Kooy they wanted to make an emergency landing. At that time they were flying at 600 feet, 11nm NE of NAS De Kooy. The crew tried to feather the no. 1 prop, but part of the feathering-mechanism failed. The prop started windmilling, causing drag.
The aircraft descended and control was lost at 180 m when the speed had dropped below minimum control speed. The DC-3 crashed onto a mud-flat.
The aircraft had been overloaded by 240 kg (maximum 11895 kg), but this wouldn't have had any negative effects on the controllability of the aircraft.'

aviation-safety.net/database/record

Texel Airport
Lockheed 14-WF62 Super Electra, PH-APE (c/n 1413)
Inside the restaurant is an excellent selection of historic aviation photography at this airport.
On 09Dec1938 PH-APE crashed near Schiphol on a training flight [www.edcoatescollection.com]

 


 

 

Texel
Wulp (Numenius arquata; EN: Eurasian curlew or common curlew)
Both my Canon EOS 77D + 400mm/L lens and my handsome Canon SX70 often came up short to cover the distance.

Texel
Bontbek plevier (Charadrius hiaticula; EN: Common ringed plover or ringed plover) and
right: Scholekster (Haematopus ostralegus; EN: Eurasian oystercatcher) and Aalscholver (Phalacrocorax carbo;
EN: Great black cormorant).
nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lijst_van_vogels (NL)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_birds

Texel birds
Aalscholver (Phalacrocorax carbo; EN: Great black cormorant)

Graspieper
Graspieper (Anthus pratensis; EN: Meadow pipit)


Plenty of trails across the island to seek exercise and/or solitude. Well, at least this time of year (february).

Texel
Too far off but almost like a watercolour painting. Kievit (Vanellus vanellus; EN: Northern lapwing)

Texel
Torenvalk (Falco tinnunculus; EN: Common kestrel). Spotted during the walk from 'De Slufter'.

De Slufter, Texel
'De Slufter' is a breach in the dunes, allowing sea water to flow inland during stormy weather; it will
gradually evaporate and dissolve, but meanwhile birds have shallow water to feed and rest.


 

DEN BURG

Den Burg, Texel
Den Burg, Texel has a nice historic center and a decent bookshop.
For a string of restaurants and souvenir shops near the beach one should go to De Koog.

Den Burg, Texel
Public toilet


 

Texel
Texels craftbeer comes highly recommended, esspecially after hiking or some thirsty sightseeing

Catharinahoeve
The Catharinahoeve comes recommended for Dutch pancakes or affordable meals (fish, schnitzels, etc.).

Horsmeertjes
A walk around 'De Horsmeertjes' brought more ducks & geese, but also a Grote zilverreiger (Ardea alba;
EN: Great egret) in the distance. Lower right is a Muskuseend of Barbarie-eend (Cairina moschata; EN: Muscovy duck)
I think - a large duck native to Mexico, Central, and South America but introduced to Europe by hobbyists.


 

OUDESCHILD

Kaap Skil museum, Texel

Kaap Skil museum, Texel
Visit to the wonderful Kaap Skil museum here at Oudeschild

Kaap Skil museum, Texel
We were met by old fishermen folk songs and traditional knitting and wool weaving

Kaap Skil museum, Texel
Of this ship a replica is being built

Kaap Skil museum, Texel
I never knew the old V.O.C. ships grew their vegetables (spinach, salad, a.o.) on the ship!

The Dutch East India Company (NL: Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; V.O.C.) was an early megacorporation founded by a government-directed amalgamation of several rival Dutch trading companies (voorcompagnieën) in the early 17th century.
It was originally established on 20Mar1602 as a chartered company to trade with India and Indianised Southeast Asian countries when the Dutch government granted it a 21-year monopoly on the Dutch spice trade.

The Company has been often labelled a trading company (i.e. a company of merchants who buy and sell goods produced by other people) or sometimes a shipping company. However, the VOC was in fact a proto-conglomerate company, diversifying into multiple commercial and industrial activities such as international trade (especially intra-Asian trade), shipbuilding, both production and trade of East Indian spices, Formosan sugarcane, and South
African wine.
The Company was a transcontinental employer and an early pioneer of outward foreign direct investment.
[Wikipedia, more..]


Kaap Skil museum, Texel
A bit of art, a 'jutter' (beachcomber) bringing home his finds from the beach.
The owner of our hotel had a long time recond of beachcombing and many of the furniture were
made from sturdy planking found washed ashore, very well made. Next time we'll visit the museum dedicated to this.

Small fishermen houses show how times have changed:
Kaap Skil museum, Texel

Kaap Skil museum, Texel

Kaap Skil museum, Texel

Kaap Skil museum, Texel

Kaap Skil museum, Texel

Kaap Skil museum, Texel

Kaap Skil museum, Texel

Kaap Skil museum, Texel

Kaap Skil museum, Texel

Kaap Skil museum, Texel


Kaap Skill museum, Texel


Texel
Elsewhere on Texel farmland is seperated by ditches but here on 'The High Mountain' (ahumm) the seperation
was done by mudwalls, grass and fencing - allowing this farmland for a somewhat British appearance.
The sheds look 'halved', but is a design made on purpose and positioned according to the prevailing winds.

 

 

Texel maps
On the left how Texel must have looked like ca.1691 and on the right how it looks today, which much reclaimed land.
Note that the Google Map screendump on the right should be considered at an 90 degree angle for exact comparison.

 


 

 

War memorial WW2, Texel
War memorial WW2, Texel

War memorial WW2, Texel

The Georgian Uprising on Texel (NL: Opstand der Georgiërs) (05Apr1945 – 20May1945) was an insurrection by the 882nd Infantry Battalion Königin Tamara (Queen Tamar or Tamara) of the Georgian Legion of the German Army stationed on the German occupied Dutch island of Texel (pronounced Tessel).
The battalion was made up of 800 Georgians and 400 Germans, with mainly German officers. It was one of the last battles in the European theatre.
[Wikipedia, more..]

 


 


Graspieper @Texel
Boomleeuwerik (Lullula arborea; EN: Woodlark or wood lark) @De Muy (dunes).
I was pleased to find I had learned yet again a WEE bit about 'birding'. Month by month
the birds to be found HERE at Texel change, a lot of migratory birds pass here for rest or breeding
and in due course I hope to visit Texel for a few days each month. Let's see where this 'birding' takes me.
But I was glad there were other opportunities to keep me entertained. For a next time there are a few more museums.

Texel
We left while the weather cooled and the world took on a foggy appearance. The ferry takes one across in some 15 minutes.
We had temperatures almost reaching 20 C during our stay, highest measured here since records began...


 

FORT KIJKDUIN, HUISDUINEN

Fort Kijkduin, Huisduinen
Fort Kijkduin is a fort stemming from Napoleontic times, dug by Spanish prisoners of war.

Huisduinen was the original older part of Den Helder, whereas Helder itself was a nearby smaller hamlet.
When a harbour was built near Helder the village began to grow and later became the seat of governance instead of Huisduinen.
Due to its strategic location at the tip of the North Holland peninsula, multiple fortifications were built in the
area.
Den Helder has played an important part in Dutch shipping. During the Dutch Golden Age, ships would be assembled near Den Helder and sail the world's oceans from there.
On 23Jan1795, the French captured 14 Dutch ships and 850 guns in the town's deep-frozen harbour. In 1799 the city was the target of the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland.

French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, visiting Den Helder in 1811, was impressed with the town's strategic location and ordered the construction of a fort (Kijkduin) and naval dockyards (Willemsoord). The docks were built during the years 1813-1827.

en.wikipedia.org:_Den_Helder
nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Kijkduin (NL)


Fort Kijkduin

Fort Kijkduin, Huisduinen
Let the battle on the beaches commence!

Fort Kijkduin, Huisduinen
Pottery, currency, armoury a.o. in the finds on this location

Fort Kijkduin, Huisduinen
The fort also has a W.W.2 history

Fort Kijkduin, Huisduinen
Quite an excellent museum this! There is great detail in the WW2 collection.

Fort Kijkduin museum, Huisduinen
Part of a German Messerschmitt Bf-109 E-3 found in the nearby IJsselmeer

Fort Kijkduin museum, Huisduinen
There is also a very interesting aquarium here, with fish found in the area

Fort Kijkduin museum, Huisduinen
A skeleton of a Sperm whale (NL: Potvis; Physeter macrocephalus), stranded at Wassenaar some years ago, preserved here.


 

The End - au revoir!