Northern Netherlands

The provinces Friesland and Groningen are well known for their far and wide open landscapes. They mainly consist off meadows, marshlands and the mud plains of the Wadden Sea. But there are also wood-, heathlands and raised bogs but these are more confided to the province of Drenthe. In these parts of the Netherlands you can find breeding birds which you won't find anywhere else in the country like Red-necked Grebe, Common Crane, Red-backed Shrike and the last few years a couple of Short-toed Eagles can be found in the summer months. Other scarce breeding birds that can be found in the marshlands are Spotted and Baillon's Crake, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Black Tern and even Ruff. A visit to the fast northeast will be awarded with three breeding harriers Marsh, Hen and Montagu's recently a male Pallid Harrier also tries to settle here! Besides these fantastic birds you can find Quail, Corncrake and Corn Bunting in the same fields as well.

In the autumn and winter period you can find a complete different set of birds here. The Lauwersmeer is the place to go for wintering ducks and geese and in the reed you can find Bittern and Bearded Tit. The wildfowl attracts Peregrines, White-tailed Eagles and other raptors like Rough-legged Buzzard and Merlin hunt here as well. The Wadden Sea is most interesting for waders (mostly in summer plumages) between april and september but even in winter you can find large numbers of Dunlins, Knots, Redshanks, Bar-tailed Godwits and Curlews. On the overgrown grasslands you can see flocks of Twites, Snow-, Lapland Buntings and Shore Larks where often Short-eared Owls are wintering too. Along the IJsselmeer coast you can see groups of Goosander, Smew and Red-breasted Merganser.