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The first summer birds return to Texel in March to prepare for the breeding season.
This month, the days get longer and longer; it is an important time for the birds, who need to be ready for the spring migration and for breeding.
Spoonbills usually spend the winter months in North-West Africa. However, as the winters are growing milder, more and more young spoonbills are staying on the island. You will spot them quite easily in the colonies in De Geul, De Muy, De Slufter and De Schorren. In addition, you will see more and more returning spoonbills along the Bird Boulevard in the coming month. To prepare for breeding, they build up their strength by eating large amounts of food which they pick out of the shallow water.
If you go for a walk on the heath in March, you will hear the song of woodlark and you will probably see white wagtails. And if you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a pied wagtail among the white wagtails. The pied wagtail is completely black and white and should really be on its way to England, but sometimes they make a short stop on Texel.
The migration only truly gets underway later in March. For many people, the highlight is the return of the bluethroat, a marvellous songbird that, from the end of March, heralds the spring with its exuberant melodies. It is in fact often easy to spy a bluethroat this month because the trees and bushes are still relatively bare.
A few walking routes are closed every year to protect the birds from disturbance while they are on their nests. These “green routes” are closed every year from 1 March to 1 September.