Maasduinen, birds of woods, heath and fens. The Maasduinen nature reserve is a lovely area of undulating river dunes of the river Maas in the north of the Province of Limburg near Germany. Here you find rolling hills covered by woods, heather, moors, fens and drifting sands. The park stretches for more than 25 km from north to south and has lots of great walking opportunities.
The beautiful park is very rich not only with various interesting birds, but also with butterflies. As over 50% of the Dutch butterflies live in the region, together with various reptiles, roebuck, fox and deer. In the river itself you may even spot an occasional beaver. Specialities of the area are the mysterious nightjar, golden orioles, 6 species of woodpecker, including the rare wryneck, and a whole suite of songbirds. In addition, several birds of prey breed. The common buzzard, goshawk, sparrow-hawk, hobby, kestrel, honey buzzard, and occasionally the short-toed snake eagle, red and black kite all breed in the area.
During spring and fall migration cranes pass the area flying over or even stopping at the various moors and fens. Ospreys visit the fens as well, but also hunt in the river Meuse itself, which flows immediately next to the area.
In winter, the atmosphere of the woods and heaths is very special. Birds are rarer. But in these months there are good opportunities to see the great grey shrike perched on a Juniper tree. Hen harriers hover over the heather hunting birds. And ravens, buzzards, goshawks and sparrow-hawks put the pressure on bramblings, siskins, hawfinches, crossbeaks and other songbirds that stay here during the cold months.
Price indication for a half day including fuel is 110€. A full day is 130€. Prices are lower for bigger company. Ask for a free offer.
Top of page landscape picture: Maasduinen national park, heaths, pine woods and fens. Pixabay free downloads
Middle spotted woodpecker. Photo courtesy @Peter Pennock