Earlier today I posted an image from Schiermonnikoog island and natural park in The Netherlands in the Wadden sea, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Dutch Wadden Sea Islands in the north of the Netherlands are Schiermonnikoog, Ameland, Terschelling, Vlieland and Texel.
The earliest mention of Schiermonnikoog in writing, dates from October 1440. The island’s first known owners were the monks of Klaarkamp Abbey, a Cistercian monastery near Rinsumageest, on the mainland. “Monnik” means “monk”, “schier” is an archaic word meaning “grey”, referring to the colour of the monks’ habits, and “oog” translates as “island”. The name Schiermonnikoog can therefore be translated as Grey Monk Island.
I spent the weekend there and made a few photos for Sally’s challenge.
Click if you wish to enlarge the images.
Thanks to the tidal current, the prevailing winds, and North Sea storms, the Schiermonnikoog island is slowly moving to the south and the east. In the year 1250, it lay roughly 2 km to the north of its present position, and it then had a significantly different shape.
2. Wadden sea, Dunes and Lighthouse.
With low tides, as you can see in this photo, you can walk from one island to another, but prepare to walk 6 hours and be careful with the arrival of high tides. If you want to be safe, rent a bike and explore the island.
2. Birds Paradise
It is a bird’s paradise all year round. They are everywhere and people watch carefully from protected areas to not disturb them. It was foggy when I visited the bird’s watch point so my photo didn’t do justice to the scene. Later on when the weather cleared, I could make another one. Besides the tidal flats with their many birds searching for food, the salt marsh with its colonies of gulls, terns and spoonbills, and the dunes with their abundant population of songbirds, the polder and the village often harbour a large number of birds.
3. Flora and Fauna.
Thanks to its many different landscapes, Schiermonnikoog has an abundance of plants and animals. Some sorts of animals, such as foxes, mink, weasels, moles, squirrels, deer and bats, have not been able to cross the water to the island. Most of the mammals that do live on the island, such as rabbits, hares, brown rats and hedgehogs, arrived here with human assistance. One mammal that is naturally present is the seal. There are not any reptiles on Schiermonnikoog.
The vegetation is quite unusual. Particularly in the moist dunes, there are plants and mushrooms that have become rare in the rest of the Netherlands. There are also orchids and parnassus grass. Equally spectacular for connoisseurs, are the mosses and lichens in the dunes.
You may have noticed that I simply loved the island. We intend to return there when spring arrives.
If you want to know more about it, there is plenty of data available in English on the web.
More photos may be published again soon.
I am joining Lens and Pens by Sally, who hosts each Monday the Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge. The schedule theme for this week’s challenge is: Nature
I am also submitting this entry to Restless Jo’s Monday Walk.
Thanks for visiting!