The Lauwersmeer, white-tailed eagle and rare waders

Jul 16, 2021 | Best bird spots

The Lauwersmeer is an enclosed former sea lagoon at the border of the provinces of Groningen and Friesland. It is now an area with fresh and brackish wetlands, with lots of small lakes and bays, fringed by extensive reed beds and low vegetation. Especially the western bay, Ezumakeeg, is home to a host of rare vagrant waders each spring and fall.

Common breeders are the white-tailed eagle, which occurs with a couple of pairs, and lots of reed birds. And bitterns and water rails are heard more than seen. With a bit of luck you can spot them skulking the shores for prey. All the reed-bound song birds are present in this area. Bearded tits, reed, sedge and a few great reed warblers, Savi’s and grasshopper warblers, blue throats. Also, the otherwise rare golden oriole, is relatively common.

Migration, rare waders

In spring and fall migration, this is a hotspot for waders. Besides the regular migrants, such as sandpipers, plovers, godwits and curlews, each year, various rarities visit the Lauwersmeer. People have seen pectoral sandpiper, broad-billed sandpiper, buff-breasted sandpiper, the phalaropes, spotted crake, Terek’s sandpiper. In addition, the harbour or Lauwersoog offers good seabird spotting after strong westerlies. Think of Gannets, auks, skuas or shearwaters and petrels.

In winter, the area is home to hordes of ducks and geese, also the rarer geese, such as the red-breasted goose. Rough-legged buzzards, merlins and peregrine falcons roam the skies in search of prey.

This is one of the best birdwatching areas in the Netherlands, offering year-round birding. The region can be easily navigated with various bird-hides and spots for easy observation. Lauwersmeer, home of the white-tailed eagle and rare waders.

Price indication for half a day including fuel is 110€. For a full day 125€. Prices lower with larger company. Ask for a free offer.

Top of page landscape picture: Ezumakeeg with wild horses, western Lauwersmeer, Friesland

Temminck’s sandpiper.

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