Birdwatching in Lauwersmeer National Park

Watch them soar above the border between fresh water and salt

Spectacular nature attracts spectacular guests. And by that we mainly mean the enormous variety of sea birds, shorebirds, meadow birds, water birds, marsh birds, thicket birds, woodland birds and birds of prey. New species are always appearing. Come bird spotting, maybe from one of the birdwatching huts.

From sea eagles to sedge warblers

The arrival of the sea eagle is a huge compliment for the nature in Lauwersmeer National Park. Literally, because this bird is enormous. There is a cutout of a sea eagle on the N361 towards Lauwersoog that will give you an idea of just what a 2 metre wingspan means. But there is a lot more flying around and brooding here. The grassy areas are loved by plant-eating water birds such as the barnacle goose and widgeon. Meadow birds such as the lapwing, common redshank and ruff also brood here. Diving ducks and waders search for food in the water. Rare marsh birds such as the sedge warbler, reed warbler and bluethroat brood in the reed fields. And now that the woodlands are growing much older, more and more different species are making the area their home. That attracts rare birds of prey such as the Mantagu's harrier.

Around Lauwersmeer

Great, all those birds, but where can you see them? For water birds and meadow birds go to the Bant polder. You have a good chance of spotting a lapwing, a godwit or oystercatcher along the rolling banks. Thousands of geese spend the winter in the Bant polder. The Kollumerwaard with all its grasslands, marshes, reed fields and water plains is popular with grey geese and birds of prey such as buzzards, kestrels and harriers. You may see an egret flying above or standing completely still, staring into the water. From the Sylkajút you can look for the red-necked phalarope, the corn bunting, the pectoral sandpiper and the sea eagle. Or climb up to the observation tower in the Ballastplaatbos.

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