Southwestern Delta, skies, sea and birds

Jul 14, 2021 | Best bird spots

The Southwestern Delta is skies, sea and birds. The confluence of the rivers Rhine and Meuse created a mosaic of islands, each with its own character. Today, they are all connected by bridges and roads. This region is located in the provinces of Zeeland and South Holland and consists of fields, dunes, dikes and water. River water meets brackish water meets the sea. At all seasons, this is one of the best bird watching spots of the Netherlands.

Many birds find here their highest density in the Netherlands. Little terns breed in significant numbers, as do red-breasted mergansers, barnacle geese, Kentish plover and little egret. In addition, the region of Zeeuws Vlaanderen has a small stronghold of zitting cisticolas.

In spring and fall migration, the saltmarshes are teeming with waders. Curlews, dunlins, redshanks, greenshanks, sandpipers of various kinds, godwits, avocets, you name it. And all are hunted by peregrine falcons, hen and marsh harriers and increasingly, white-tailed eagles. Various rarities pop up every year, so you have to keep a watch-out for species such as Ross’ goose or Dotterel.

In winter, the coastal waters harbour Scandinavian species such as countless red-throated divers, all five grebes, long-tailed duck, thousands of red-breasted mergansers, turnstones, purple sandpipers, gulls and rare geese such as the snowgoose and red-breasted goose. On the quiet beaches, rare songbirds such as snow buntings, lapland buntings and twite forage among the flotsam.

In addition, spotting common and grey seals is almost a certainty. The Delta is the bird place to be.

Price indication for a half day including fuel is 100€. For a full day it is 115€. Lower prices with a larger company. As for a free offer.

Top of page landscape picture: saltmarshes on the island of Schouwen, province of Zeeland.

Red-breasted merganser. Photo courtesy @Jack Ursem

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