The province of Zeeland is an excellent region for bird watchers in the Netherlands. The estuaries of the Oosterschelde and Westerschelde provide good birding at any time of the year, especially in autumn and spring. The Oosterschelde is a National Park. In both estuaries most mudbanks are protected areas. There is a variety of wader species you can observe here, with Oystercatcher, Avocet, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Knot, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Curlew, Spotted Redhank, Redhank, Greenshank and Turnstone as most numerous species. During migration periodes you can observe rare species like Grey Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope and Curlew Sandpiper. Snow bunting forages at some slopes of the dikes in winter. In spring and summer Common Tern, Sandwich Tern and Little Tern nest in inland reserves. Marsh harrier can be seen over the reedbeds and grassland in spring and summer, with Hen Herrier and Merlin in winter. Peregrine breeds in the region and hunt for song birds and waders. In winter large groups of Brent Geese winter around the estuary of the Oosterschelde.
Inland reserves are good for nesting species in spring. Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Lapwing, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Avocet, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull and Redshank can oftenly be observed from a short distance. Spoonbill forage in the estuaries and in inland reserves. In this article I will show you the best birdwatching sites in Zeeland.
Best birdwatching sites in Zeeland
Grevelingendam, Bruinisse. At low tide you can walk over the mudbanks south of the Grevelingendam. Here you will observe large groups of the waders I mentionned above. Special attention for Kentish Plover that sometimes are foraging at the mudbanks, especially in spring. Good time for birdwachting here is three hours before high tide. Waders and ducks come close to the dam. Sometimes large groups of waders gather here at high tide. Coordinates: 51°40’31.0″N 4°07’15.2″E.
Philipsdam, Sint-Philipsland. An excellent site near the Grevelingendam. Both sides of the dam are interesting places to visit. Two biotopes meet at the Philipsdam: the Krammer with fresh water. And the Oosterschelde with salt water and its tide. All months an excellent site to visit. Coordinates: 51°39’12.5″N 4°10’05.5″E.
Karrenvelden, Tholen. A charming reserve where you observe waders, ducks, gulls and many other birds from a short distance. One of my favorite reserves, especially in spring and autumn. Best time to visit: at high tide. Do not forget to visit the Oesterdam. Here you will observe waders, brent geese and other birds of the Oostschelde. Coordinates: 51°30’56.9″N 4°10’38.9″E.
Yerseke Moer. An excellent site on Zuid-Beveland, especially in spring. In this reserve you find wetlands, meadows and small canals that attract many waders, ducks, geese and songbirds. Nearby you visit the Koude en Kaarspolder, a smaller reserve and similar to the Yerseke Moer. Coordinates: 51°29’24.7″N 4°01’11.9″E.
Schor Wilhelminapolder. In autumn, winter en spring an excellent site in order to watch waders, ducks en geese. During high tide large flocks of waders, ducks en brent geese wait for lower tide. With some luck you will see snow bunting in winter. In the inland polders you find large groups of geese in winter. Little egret forage in the small canals. Coordinates: 51°32’27.8″N 3°54’07.8″E.
Inlaag Keihoogte. The excellent hide in this small and charming reserve attracts many birders. During all seasons an excellent site, especially in the morning. Coordinates: 51°35’34.5″N 3°45’04.8″E.
The Prunje. At Schouwen-Duiveland you find a vast nature reserve, the Prunje. This is by far the most important birding site in Zeeland. Best way of visiting this reserve is by bike. During all seasons an excellent site to watch waders, ducks, geese, songbirds and terns. Do not miss this site and all the other sites on the south coast of Schouwen-Duiveland! Coordinates: 51°40’42.2″N 3°51’23.5″E.
Brouwersdam. Allthough the numbers of tourists that visit the Brouwersdam increase each year, it is one of my favorite sites to watch seabirds. Especially in winter. Try to visit this site early in the morning. Most tourists are still sleeping. Best months to visit: from august to march. Coordinates: 51°45’14.0″N 3°49’50.4″E.
Mijn tips voor natuurbeleving en vogels kijken
Met deze tips beleef je de natuur nog intenser en komen de vogels letterlijk dichterbij:
(voor elk budget de drie beste opties)
(héél véél keuze, en zelfs met geheel contactloos verblijf!)
(voor elk budget een paar opties)
(per provincie gesorteerd)
(aantrekkelijke planten voor vogels, vlinders en andere insecten)
(lees hier mijn tips om spechten, mezen en roofvogels naar je tuin te lokken)
(mijn persoonlijke top tien)