Probably one of the finest examples of Austrian landscaping in Brussels, Tervuren Park (15 km from the city centre) has recently lost some of its appeal due to the lengthy works of the new African Museum (there is now a pop up version every Sunday from 13.00 h to 18.00 h).
We usually go to stroll up and down the long beech avenues along the central canal. Only recently, did we explore the ponds beyond which reach up to the Forêt de Soignes. There, the most amazing variety of birds swim around the main pond.
As you can see in the photos, great crested grebes, with their fanned crested head feathers, often nest here. These aquatic birds belong to the broader family of divers, whose members swim low and excel, at its name explains, at diving. You might have seen their courtship rituals on TV; one of the most beautiful shows on any lake, they can literally run on water.
Also among my favourites, tufted ducks are quite common in this area. Although the colour of their plumage is attractive (the male’s black and white and the female’s brown in different hues) the most characteristic and funny feature is the tuft or drooping crest of the male.
Another permanent inhabitant, pochards are red-headed ducks you will find more easily here than in Brussels’ ponds. Mallards, swans and different kinds of geese (Canadian or Egyptian, also in the pictures) are as common here as in Brussels.
Last weekend, we also saw a couple of mandarin ducks, an Asian introduced species nowadays spread around Europe.
Next time you want to go birdwatching, don’t forget Tervuren Park!
Image credits © Ruskin in Brussels