Where new nature has free rein
In a country with as much water as the Netherlands, wetland scenery is never far away: marshland, lakes and mudflats play a crucial role in the birdlife of these regions. They provide a habitat for feeding, roosting and breeding.
To the east of the Biesbosch is a large and particularly special expanse of wetland. This is former agricultural land known as the Noordwaard. Originally it was developed as a flood plain to provide space to the river and has been transformed into an extensive and major habitat for a diversity of geese, ducks and wading birds. It is now home to birds such as egrets, spoonbills, avocets and common terns. The majestic white-tailed eagle, with a wing span of almost 2.5 metres, hunts and breeds here and for the last few years the osprey too, has had a breeding site in this new wetland. The Noordwaard is a mecca for birdwatchers. But it is not only seasoned birdspotters who can indulge in this newly created nature reserve of the Biesbosch. Get the most out of it by bike or on foot. And it’s not just birdlife you should be looking out for: Highland cattle and koniks can be found here, and keep an eye out for beavers along the riverbanks. The changing water levels offer different perspectives: one day the polders are dry, the next they fill up with water.
In the whole of the NLDelta region, wetlands and bird-rich areas can be found: both the Haringvliet and the Biesbosch are home to numerous species. Some places can only be accessed by boat.
More activities nearby
Camping in the wetlands
Spending a night under the stars on the fringes of an expansive wetland is an unforgettable experience. Egrets, Highland cattle, hundreds of geese and perhaps a white-tailed eagle or osprey are all on the birdspotting menu. De Witboom and De Knotwilg campsites are at the heart of this wetland nature reserve. www.biesboschvakantie.nl
Lunch with a view
A walk or cycle-ride in the Noordwaard can be ideally combined with lunch or refreshments at the Biesbosch MuseumEiland. The menu includes dishes with regional produce, as well as some wonderful locally brewed beers. www.biesboschmuseumeiland.nl