- After arriving at Amsterdam Schiphol international airport, we meet our guide and head north to our base at a pleasant hotel in Groningen (around 235 kilometres or roughly 2.5 hours drive).
- En route we will make a stop for birding at the marshes of Oostpolder to see predominantly ruffs and spoonbills.
- Accommodation: Groningen, 4-nights hotel on full board basis.
- The Netherlands’ most famous high-tide refuges for waders are home to many different species and provide huge numbers of birds to see at close quarters. Spending a few hours among the many thousands of waders is an unforgettable spectacle.
- Part of the UNESCO World Heritage area of the Waddenzee, Lauwersmeer National Park is one of the main areas to see waders. However, raptors are also a major attraction, as white-tailed eagle and Montagu’s harrier breed here.
- We start in the eastern part of the reserve and work round in an anticlockwise direction to end up at the Friesian side in the afternoon – it’s not unusual to see around 100 species on this day alone.
- These two spots aren’t far apart, but high tide determines which we visit first.
- Breebaart Polder, at the northeastern tip of Groningen province, is a must for anyone interested in seeing almost all the European waders, in particular the highly sought‐after broad‐billed sandpiper. This sheltered inland roost is a great place to watch birds feeding from remarkably close.
- The recently developed Oostpolder and Onnerpolder have rapidly become main birding destinations in the northern part of the Netherlands. Mainly famous for breeding terns, they are also widely known for the migrating waders that stop here during migration.
- Before driving back to Amsterdam airport, we aim to visit one more area en route. Jaap Deensgat, part of Lauwersmeer National Park, is always very productive and popular, however other possibilities include Oostvaardersplassen.
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- All meals
- Guided activities
We spend four nights at a delightful small hotel near Groningen in Friesland, with good food and pleasant rooms, all with an en suite bathroom.
All meals are included.
Breakfast and dinner are taken at the hotel, with picnic lunches in the field. The vehicle carries a supply of tea/coffee, cake, fruit, chocolate bars and water for use during the day at no additional charge.
The Netherlands’ most famous so-called high-tide refuges for waders attract mindblowing numbers of birds, and allow observation of many different species at relatively close quarters.
- Eurasian spoonbill
- Pectoral sandpiper
- Montagu’s harrier
- Golden plover
Easy short walks over flat terrain. However, it can be wet or muddy underfoot, so we recommend wearing lightweight waterproof walking boots or shoes with cleated soles to provide good traction.
Price includes return scheduled flights London – Amsterdam – London.
For those who prefer not to fly, Amsterdam can also be reached by ferry or Eurostar.
Small minibus (or with a small group, car) driven by the leader.