The Wadden Islands, best birdwatching in the Netherlands

Aug 22, 2021 | Best bird spots

The Wadden Islands offer best birdwatching in our country. The 5 Dutch Wadden Islands offer stunning bird watching year round. Eider ducks are the iconic birds of the islands. In fact, every trip to the Netherlands should at least contain a visit to one of these beautiful places. Each Island offers a huge variety of landscapes within easy walking or bike riding. Here, you find dunes, polders, tidal marshes, woods, lagoons and intertidal ponds serving as high tide refuges.

Texel is the biggest Island and easiest to reach with a 20 minute ferry trip from Den Helder. Terschelling and Ameland follow in size. On these three  islands you can bring your car. On the smallest, Vlieland and Schiermonnikoog, you cannot bring you car, but they are so small, they it is easy to reach all corners in just a few hours.

The variety of birds is immense in all seasons. Geese, ducks, waders and rare song birds such as shore larks, snow buntings and twites are present in winter. In spring and fall, the islands are teeming with migratory birds, waders, often including rarities such as phalaropes or broad-billed sandpipers. On days following strong westerlies in autumn, bird watching on the shores offers good chances of gannets, skuas, shags, kittiwakes, storm petrels and shearwaters. Siberian vagrants such as the yellow-browed warbler are present annually. In summer, many birds have taken to breeding and are busy n foraging for their young. Most notably the beautiful eider ducks here reach their southernmost distribution in Europe. On Texel, a big breeding colony of spoonbills is one of the top sightings.

A visit to the Wadden Islands is a must see for every enthusiastic bird watcher!

Price indication depends on the Island due to differing ferry prices. Ask for a free offer.

Top of page landscape picture: Kroonspolders at the Friesian Wadden Island of Vlieland

Common Eider duck, male.


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