The Island of Ameland
Birding the Wadden Island of Ameland
Ameland is a considerably larger island than Schiermonnikoog, but with a total length of 27 kilometers, it’s still very suitable for a one-day birding trip (by bicycle or car). The crossing from Holwerd takes about 45 minutes, and birding generally already starts after boarding the ferry; The Wadden Sea is a Unesco World Heritage site and always fully loaded with birds.
The landscape is very much similar to that of Terschelling and Texel; the northern part consists of beaches, sand dunes, swampy dune valleys and mudflats, while the southern part is mainly caracterized by grasslands, polders, Wadden sea coastline and the four villages Nes, Buren, Hollum and Ballum. The eastern part of the island is called Oerd and is a protected nature reserve, hosting most of the island’s interesting breeding birds.
Birdingwise, the island has the biggest potential in both spring and autumn, and like Schiermonnikoog, Ameland belongs to the best and most promising birding locations of the Netherlands from April to June and from September to November.
Moreover, the island is widely recognized as one of the best seabird migration points of the country. The sea north of Nes and Buren is deep, the beach is short, and views from both the dunes and the terraces of two beach restaurants are stunning. In good conditions, spectacular numbers and species can be seen at relatively short distance (Gannets, divers, Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Scooters, Skuas, Shearwaters) but as mentioned before: you need some luck and most of all (preferably) strong northwestern gales. Birding Holland has some guides that are specialized in sea watching, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to make your first steps in the fascinating world of seabirds.
A (late) spring specialty of Ameland is Common Rosefinch. The island is one of the last locations in the Netherlands where the song of this enigmatic and beautiful species can be heard, mainly from the second half of May into June. In autumn, the gardens and villages are the best and easiest places to search for vagrants like Yellow-browed Warbler or Waxwings, while the grasslands south of Nes, Buren and Ballum are a heaven for Geese-lovers (between October and April).
Our guides are experts on where and when to go, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you fancy an unforgettable birding day in one of the most beautiful places of the Netherlands.
Just some of the species we hope to see (depending on the time of year):
Breeding birds (may-august)
- Marsh Harrier
- Hen Harrier
- Common Rosefinch
- Grasshopper Warbler
- Common Eider
- Short-eared Owl
- Sedge Warbler
- Water Rail
- Spotted Crake
(Annual but scarce) migrants/vagrants
- Yellow-browed Warbler (September, October)
- Richard’s Pipit (October)
- Great Grey Shrike (September, October)
- Firecrest (October)
- Red-breasted Flycatcher (September, October)
- Little Bunting (October)
- Ortolan Bunting (May, August, September)
- Richard’s Pipit
- Sabine’s Gull
- Long-tailed Skua
- Northern Fulmar
- Little Auk
- Great Northern Diver
- Leach’s Petrel
- Balearic Shearwater
- Lapland Bunting
- Snow Bunting
- Jack Snipe
- Rough-legged Buzzard
- Black Brant
- Pale-bellied Brant
- Red-breasted Goose
- Common Scoter
- 1 person: Euro 260
- 2 people: Euro 140 per person
- 3 people: Euro 95 per person
- More than 3 people: CONTACT US
Pick up and drop off possibilities