Lauwersmeer National Park

Birding the Top of Holland

One of the best birding areas in the country is on the border of the provinces of Friesland and Groningen. This area is good any time of the year and we will focus on the birds that are present at the time. The area, Lauwersmeer, used to have an open connection to the sea until not too long ago. After the disaster floods of 1953 in Zeeland the government decided not to make the existing dikes any higher, but to build a completely new, 8 mile long dam across the inlet, which meant the end of the open connection to the sea. By doing this a magnificent nature reserve was lost, but a new, completely different reserve was created. The new area is home to large  numbers of birds, and a visit will be a highlight of any trip.

Nowadays, Lauwersmeer is both a National Park and part of the Wadden Sea Unesco World Heritage area, stretching from the Dutch island of Texel to the Danish Wadden isles. The landscape mainly consists of lakes, large reed beds, forests, grasslands and mud flats and is famous for its large variety and huge amounts of birds at almost any time of year. On a good day in spring or autumn, seeing over a 100 species of birds shouldn’t be a problem.

Although variety is the key word, the area is particularly known for its waders (spring, summer and early autumn), ducks, geese (from october –april) and raptors (throughout the year). Furthermore, the reserve hosts some very interesting breeding birds like Ruff (there are several leks here), Red-backed Shike, Montagu’s Harrier, White-tailed Eagle, Bearded Tit, Golden Oriole, Bittern, Spotted Crake and Bluethroat, while rarer species like Caspian Tern, White-winged Black Tern, Osprey, Pectoral Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Marsh Sandpiper, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Red-breasted Goose and Lesser white-fronted Goose are seen annually in or around the reserve.


Just some of the species we hope to see (depending on the time of year):

(depending on the time of year)

  • White-tailed Eagle
  • Rough-legged Buzzard
  • Red-breasted Goose
  • Greater White-fronted Goose
  • Pink-footed Goose
  • Barnacle Goose
  • Bean Goose
  • Golden Oriole
  • Red-backed Shrike
  • Ruff
  • Wood Sandpiper
  • Curlew Sandpiper
  • phalaropes
  • Great Bittern
  • Bearded Tit
  • Bluethroat
  • Spotted Crake
  • Twite
  • rarities


  • 1 person: Euro 240
  • 2 people: Euro 125
  • 3 people: Euro 90
  • More than 3 people: CONTACT US

Pick up and drop off possibilities

Book this tour


Starting at Euro 70 per person

Best time to visit:
All year


  • full day of birding
  • transportation
  • coffee, tea or water on the road
  • fruit
  • snacks
  • all road tolls
  • all entry fees
  • VAT
  • digital checklist at the end of the tour

Not included

  • meals
  • other drinks
  • personal expenses
  • travel insurance

Where to go birding

Birding Holland

Birding Holland

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