The piers at IJmuiden, spectacular seabird spotting

Jul 10, 2021 | Best bird spots

The piers at IJmuiden offer spectacular seabird spotting. An exciting place, especially in autumn, is the long promontory protruding almost 3 km into the North Sea. This site is called the Zuidpier and is located at IJmuiden, province of North Holland. It is a strange place, with the industrial complex of the high furnace of Tata Steel just north of the pier. And with big sea vessels entering and leaving the North Sea canal to and from the harbour of Amsterdam. Fishermen sit with their gear on the pier, beach visitors are swimming, surfing or just strolling. And always, in all seasons, bird watchers look for special seabirds. They carry telescopes, because that is what you need here to really see the birds. And this is also a great place to observe porpoises.

Especially after strong westerly winds in autumn, this is a spectacular site to see seabirds. However, also in winter and spring, many rarities pass here. Depending on the direction of the wind, either the open sea or the sheltered waters inside the pier offer the best sighting. In addition, the beach and the nearby Kennemer-lake and surrounding shrubs offer excellent bird watching in spring and fall.

Typical birds between October and April are eiders, gannets, red throated divers, kittiwakes, an occasional shearwater, fulmars, shags, guillemots, an occasional razorbill or puffin or great skua. There are always sanderlings on the surf, and, often, dunlins and snow buntings on the beach. In the shrubs of the Kennemer lake, bearded tits can be found, merlins hunt in winter and jack snipes can be aroused as from late October. In short, the piers at IJmuiden are the place for spectacular seabird spotting.

Price indication for a half day including fuel is 65€. For a full day 90€. Prices are lower with larger company. Book a birdwatching excursion or ask a free offer.

Top of page landscape picture: Zuidpier at IJmuiden, North Holland, with bird watchers and the lighthouse at the end

Juvenile black-legged kittiwake. Photo courtesy @Lars Ursem

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