Zuid Kennemerland National Park, The Netherlands


Touring around with my rock band in Western Europe I had the chance to look around, if only for an hour, in the South Kennemerland National Park in the Netherlands. It was just a 15 minute drive from Amsterdam towards Harleem with a local friend to catch a glimpse of the unusual and impressive landscape westward. The flat, sandy beach was bordered by wandering dunes. Moving inland we found sea buckthorn shrubs and marram grass on the dunes. There were bison herds browsing and a number of hares running all over the area. Every year nearly a hundred bird species build nests and breed here. Nature conservation is somewhat different from what I got used to in Hungary. All the parking lots are kept clean, the fence surrounding the area is in a very good condition, and there is a network of cycle tracks in the park. There are special gates in order to keep dogs out because they are allowed only in limited areas and must be kept on leash when entering the park. No signs of littering or malicious wilful damage were seen. Beaches are cleaned regularly and sand is swept away from the roads. The weather hardly felt like spring, some beetle species were found though.

Tiny little or even more minute scarabs were being blown around in the loose sand by the strong wind. They were making strenuous efforts to boost themselves up onto the dunes, but with little success.

Aegialian scarab beetle

Aegialia arenaria (Fabricius, 1787)

Handsome fungus beetle developing in puffballs: Lycoperdina bovistae (Fabricius, 1792)

Shells of bivalves and snails far from the shore.

Clear ponds and wet meadows inland beyond the dunes.

A pair of the darkling beetle Phylan gibbus (Fabricius, 1775) was found among moss patches.
This species does not occur in Hungary.

Melanobaris laticollis (Marsham, 1802).

How sad it was that spring had not yet arrived in the Netherlands. There must be an intense beetle life in early summer, so someday I may just go back. I was just wandering about the dunes for a couple of hours in the stormy wind. Then I walked up to Zandvoort 4 kms away and travelled to Amsterdam by train to join my friends.

Copyright © 2009. Hungarian Natural History Museum, Department of Zoology, Coleoptera Collection