The island of Texel

Birding on the island of Texel

Sometimes an island can be better known then the country it is in. This is the case with the birding island Texel. Texel is the largests of the Dutch Wadden islands and is situated in the northwest of the country between the North Sea and Wadden Sea. There are quite a few birders living on the island and it is visited by many (inter)national birders, so it’s not surprising that many rare birds are found here.

It’s not just the rare birds that get the attention however: hundreds of thousands of waders use the Wadden Sea on migration between their breeding grounds and wintering grounds and at high tide they roost on the higher grounds close to shore and in good view. The waders are often being hunted by Peregrines and Merlins and both Marsh and Hen Harriers can be seen with relative ease on the island.

With good planning and in the right time of year, it is possible to break the barrier of seeing 100 species on the island of Texel…

Spring and summer
The best time to visit the island, with local breeding birds present and migrants heading north while some wintering ducks and geese are still around, fattening up for their journey north. Imagine waders in their breeding plumage, a dawn chorus and migrants flying overhead, while later in the morning the raptors use the thermals.

Autumn and winter
With the right conditions birders can be fortunate enough witness a “fall” of birds finding refuge on the island as they try not to be blown off course, into the North Sea. The northern part of the Island can then be filled with passerines and many a rare bird has been found during one of these “falls”. Autumn starts in August when local birds start their migration and wagtails, pipits, marshland and woodland warblers, flycatchers, redstarts, stonechats and whinchats can be found on the island. Regular but rare passage migrants include Wryneck, Barred Warbler and Yellow-browed Warbler. In September the number of passerines is increasing and with stormy weather coming from the Atlantic Ocean into the North Sea it’s worth spending some time looking for seabirds like Manx Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Fulmar, Gannet, Leach’s Storm-petrel, Sabine’s Gull and the four species of Skua.

October is the most exiting time on the island when thousand of pipits, thrushes, starlings, finches and buntings are on the move. This month local birders from the island are augmented by birders from all over The Netherlands, searching for that one rarity; King Eider, Cream-coloured Courser, Red-flanked Bluetail, Siberian Stonechat, Olive-backed Pipit, Little Bunting and Isabelline Shrike are just a few examples of rare birds that have been found on the island of Texel in the past.

In november the wintering ducks and geese start to arrive, as well as grebes and loons which stay out at sea. While scanning carefully through the flocks of Barnacle Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese and Brent quite often a Red-breasted Goose, Snow Goose, Ross’ Goose, Black Brant, or a Lesser White-fronted Goose can be found feeding in the meadows.

Flocks of Twite, Snow Bunting and Horned Lark can be found in the sheltered dune valleys from December through February.


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


  • Eider
  • Common Shelduck
  • Teal
  • Gadwall
  • Great Crested Grebe
  • Sparrowhawk
  • Hobby
  • Marsh Harrier
  • Hen Harrier
  • Avocet
  • Redshank
  • Black-tailed Godwit
  • Curlew
  • Ringed Plover
  • Little Ringed Plover
  • Common Tern
  • Arctic Tern
  • Sandwich Tern
  • Little Tern
  • Spoonbill
  • Great Bittern
  • Bluethroat
  • Nightingale
  • Common Whitethroat
  • Lesser Whitethroat
  • Marsh Warbler
  • Reed Warbler
  • Sedge Warbler
  • Grasshopper Warbler
  • Icterine Warbler
  • Willow Warbler
  • Chiffchaff
  • White Wagtail
  • Yellow Wagtail
  • Sanderling
  • Dunlin
  • Greenshank
  • Knot
  • Ruff
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Curlew Sandpiper
  • Purple Sandpiper
  • Whimbrel
  • Dotterel (May)
  • Golden Plover
  • Grey Plover
  • Slavonian Grebe
  • Gargeney
  • Osprey
  • Cuckoo
  • Ring Ouzel
  • Whinchat
  • Northern Wheatear




  • 1 person: Euro 300
  • 2 people: Euro 150 per person
  • 3 people: Euro 105 per person
  • More than 3 people: CONTACT US

Pick up and drop off possibilities


Book this tour


Starting at Euro 80 per person

Best time to visit:
All year


  • full day of birding
  • transportation
  • coffee, tea or water on the road
  • fruits
  • snacks
  • all road tolls
  • all entry fees
  • VAT
  • ferry crossing to and from Texel
  • 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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