The National Park Dunes of Texel and the Bird Information Centre Texel, in collaboration with BirdLife Netherlands, are again organising a Big Day on Texel. The Texel Big Day forms the start of the Wadden Islands Bird Festival (12th and 13th May 2018) and of the Dutch National Bird Week (12th to 21th May 2018). Join the Texel Big Day and make your birdwatching count!
Texel Big Day: A charity bird race on 12th May 2018!
During the Texel Big Day, teams of up to 4 birdwatchers try to see or hear as many bird species as possible on Texel within 24 hours, and all on bike. Teams start on Friday night at midnight and finish 24 hours later. The Big Day is not only great fun, but also raises awareness of the amazing diversity of Texel’s bird life.
The Big Day also raises awareness and money for Texel’s birds. In 2018, we aim to raise awareness for the House Martin. The House Martin has also been chosen as the Dutch bird of the year by BirdLife Netherlands and Sovon. The Texel Big Day will aim to raise money to help the species on Texel.
We support all teams participating in the Texel Big Day with tips and inspiration for sponsorship, promotion and advice to see as many species as possible.
On your bike
The Texel Big Day is carried out on bike and loan e-bikes are available free to participants (limited availability). You could alternatively hire a normal bicycle or bring your own.
We encourage all teams to raise as much money as possible for the annual good cause. We aim for a minimum sponsorship of € 200 per team, but as in 2017 we are hoping for much more. We can help support teams in finding sponsors through providing helpful sponsorship tips from experts.
12th May 2018 will be the second Texel Big Day, and our goal is to make this a regular international event to raise awareness for birds and birdwatching. The organisers are open to tips and feedback to ensure that we make it the best Texel Big Day possible.
Follow the teams on Observation.org
Every team inputs their sightings throughout the 24 hours in world.observation.org. This is done via the apps: iObs (Apple) or ObsMapp (Android). That way everyone can follow each teams progress in the field. How many species have they seen? Who is in the lead? Which species are the teams still missing? This makes the Texel Big Day even more exciting. You can also help the teams on the day by seeing which species they still 'need'. Can you help a team with your sighting of a Fieldfare, Long-tailed Tit, Jay or Sparrowhawk?
Waarneming.nl is the Dutch name and sister site of Observado.org and the largest database of sightings in the Netherlands. It’s free to submit, free to use and available in many languages!
Check out the sightings from 2017: waarneming.nl/tbd17
Click on the team name to see the species they saw, the route they took and the number of species per hour. Also a great way to prepare for the next Texel Big Day.
Follow the teams on 12th May at: waarneming.nl/tbd18
- Where: Texel
- When: Midnight on the evening of Friday 11th May 2018 until midnight on Saturday evening.
- Start location: Eierlandsche huis, De Cocksdorp
- Transport: Bike or e-bike
- Who: Anyone interested in helping birds. To be able to participate seriously, some knowledge of Dutch birds is required.
- Teams: Minimum 3 and maximum 4 people per team. It is also possible to register without a team; the organisers will then put you in contact with others in the same situation.
- Requirements: We encourage teams to raise at least € 200 for the annual cause. You can either pay this yourself or raise this through sponsorship. If you are struggling to raise this amount then please contact us.
- Award ceremony: Sunday morning (13th May 2018).
- Categories: You can win in two categories: for the most money raised; and for the most species recorded.
Teams, as well as others who are interested, are welcome at the various events of the Texel Big Day.
The Bird Information Centre Texel and the National Park Dunes of Texel organise the Wadden Islands Bird Festival on Texel. During the weekend of 12th-13th May 2018, the Bird Information Centre in De Cocksdorp acts as the central point for all information about the weekend, birds, excursions, bird viewpoints, the binocular show and the Texel Big Day. During the festival weekend the centre is open from 9.00 - 18.00 hrs. Kikkertstraat 42, De Cocksdorp, Texel.
* Programme to be confirmed.
Friday 11th May 2018 (location: Eierlandsche huis)
20:00-20:30 – Doors open
20:30-22:00 – Sightings log
News over recent sightings and run-through of where on Texel certain species can be expected. The speaker will also talk about his own experiences of birding on Texel.
22:30-23:00 – Talk (title follows)
Midnight sees the start of the Texel Big Day, a chance to wave the teams off.
Saturday 12th May 2018 (location: Eierlandsche huis)
20:30-+/-21:30 – Sightings log with update on the Texel Big Day
News of the days sightings and update of where the teams have been and first indications of their progress. Most teams will still be in the field but will arrive back during the course of the evening, so stay and enjoy a drink at the bar.
20:00-23:59u – Welcome the Texel Big Day teams back.
Teams can submit their list of birds from 20:00 onwards, and no later than 23:59. The jury will be present in Eierlandsche huis to receive the lists and ensure the teams are back before midnight.
Sunday 13th May 2018 (location: De Robbenjager)
10:00-+/-11:00 – Award ceremony
The winners in the categories ‘best fundraisers 2018’ and ‘most species 2018’ will be announced along with the total amount raised. All teams and the press will be present.
Bird Information Centre Texel, Kikkertstraat 42, De Cocksdorp, Texel.
Eierlandsche huis, Klimpstraat 33, De Cocksdorp
De Robbenjager, Vuurtorenweg 146, De Cocksdorp
Texel Big Day 2018 supports: House Martin
The money collected by the Texel Big Day and the Wadden Islands Bird Festival will be used to help House Martins on Texel. Money will be collected through participating teams and sponsorships.
House Martins still breed on Texel, but just like so many other places in the Netherlands the species is declining. There are several reasons for the decline, such as the dry summer of 2017 where many nests fell because the clay dried out too much. However, there are also still people who remove the nests intentionally because they feel that the House Martins make too much mess. Information and education can make the difference, and we aim to inform people about these wonderful summer visitors. We also want to increase the number of appropriate nesting sites in suitable areas. We also want to encourage people to make small muddy areas in gardens and fields to ensure the House Martins can find enough nesting material. By participating in the Texel Big Day, you’ll be ensuring the future of House Martins on Texel.
What happens with the donations ?
With the collected money, the charity ‘Texel Bird Island’ (Stichting Texel Vogeleiland) will ensure that information about House Martins is circulated and practical measures are undertaken to improve the breeding situation for the species on Texel.
The Texel Big Day is inspired by the international event: Champions of the Flyway in Israël.
See below the movie of the Champions of the Flyway edition 2017.