The moors of Drenthe, home of the cranes

Jul 17, 2021 | Best bird spots

The province of Drenthe is the realm of various beautiful moors. Part of ancient landscapes, grazed by historic sheep races, the moors of Drenthe are home to the stately crane. This majestic bird has returned to breed after centuries of absence. At this moment a few dozen pairs breed in the area. You can see them returning from their wintering quarters in March. And on a quiet spring morning their eerie calls trumpet over the misty bogs. After they have raised their chicks the birds spread to the surrounding fields where they forage for crop residues.

Aside of these magnificent birds, the moors are home to rare grebes, such as black-necked and red-necked grebe. Nightjars have also returned in significant numbers in the past decades. The moors are the last stronghold of the endangered whinchat. The red-backed shrike is becoming more common by the year. You can see it hunting in the heather and impale its prey on long thorns. This gruesome habit earned it its Latin name, Lanius, butcher. And the beautiful woods are home to owls and all the Dutch woodpeckers. In addition, you can hear the clear song of golden orioles and many other lovely song birds.

Drentsche Aa

The river Drentsche Aa nature park is of special beauty. Apart from a few moors, a mosaic of wetland marshes border the small stream. In the grasslands significant numbers of common quails sing their rythmic song. And in some years corn crakes or spotted crakes blend in during the night.

In winter the moors house the great grey shrike and hen harriers from Scandinavia.

Indicative price for a half day is 100€ including fuel. A full day is 125€. Or ask for a free offer.

Top of page landscape picture: the Bargerveen moors, province of Drenthe.

Common crane

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