around Amsterdam

When you are staying in Amsterdam, birdwatching around the city is certainly a good idea.

Southwest of the metropole lies the Amsterdam forest. It’s a vast man made wooded area where lots of species can be observed. Some other areas, mainly wetlands, will be visited as well: e.g. Polder IJdoorn plus blind, Hoeckelingsdam, Waterland around Holysloot and Ransdorp, the north part of Het Twiske, Braak (W of Nauerna) and around Spaarndam: Westhoffplas plus blind, Landje van Gruijters and Spaarnwouderplas plus blind. Enough possibilities for a rewarding private birdwatching day, for only you (and your party)! Short walks will sometimes be made to discover the areas. Sturdy shoes are OK, wellies are not necessary.

Depending of course on the season, we are likely to encounter some of the following species: Nuthatch, Wren, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Treecreeper, Blue, Long-tailed and Great Tit, Sparrow Hawk, Goshawk, Buzzerd, Kestrel, Great Crested and Little Grebe: all residents in the Amsterdam Wood.

In spring lots of species return from their wintering grounds in southern Europe or Africa: Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Wood Warbler (rare), Blackcap, Sand and House Martin, Swallow, Swift, Spoonbil, Great White Egret, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Lapwing and Oystercatcher.

Wintertime gives us other chances and possibilities to see birds from the north: Scandinavia, the artctic, the Baltic states and beyond. Species might include: Smew, Merganser, White-fronted Goose, Merlin, Scaup and more . . .

photo: Ethan Yawney