Pieter was born in October 1969 and lives in a small town close to Groningen, in the north of The Netherlands. He started birdwatching around the age of 7 when he noticed a lot of birds he had never seen before during a family walk in the Oostvaardersplassen. After a brief interruption during high school he picked up birding again in 1991, trying to see as many birds as possible in Holland. Since ’96 Pieter has been birding abroad as well and since then he has birded all around the world, visiting all 7 continents and countries like Uganda, South Africa, Peru, Argentina, Australia, Svalbard and Costa Rica, resulting in a lifelist of well over 3000 birds.
Pieter also runs Inezia Tours a travel agency for birding and wildlife tours and polar expedition cruises. He has developed birding tours to e.g. Antarctica, the Falklands, Germany, Latvia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Uganda.
Birding in Holland is a wonderful experience and if you want an experienced guide to accompany you, Pieter would be happy to show you the birds of The Netherlands.
Many thanks for an incredible few days. Pieter’s knowledge of the area and its birds really shines through. I had my doubts about whether we’d be able to find Crested Tit and Black Woodpecker – these two secretive species required a special detour, but Pieter’s keen ear and understanding of woodpecker behaviour meant we got incredible close-up views of this most striking of woodpeckers (and a Crested Tit perched obligingly for us as we searched!).
I would not hesitate to recommend Birding Holland to anyone, especially British birders who can experience a whole new whole of birding (and Dutch birders’ food!) just a 45-minute flight away. There are Buzzards everywhere you look – and we were fortunate enough to get clear views of a perched Rough-legged Buzzard. Other star birds of our trip included Long-eared Owl, White-headed Duck, Hawfinch, Smew, White Stork and a brilliant close-up look at a bobbing Jack Snipe in the open. The sight and sound of tens of thousands of wintering geese (SEE VIDEO
) taking off from the feeding grounds and flying over our heads will stay with me forever.
Jack Thorpe, Bird Watching magazine, UK
I would like to thank the guides from Birding Holland for making my weekend birding in The Netherlands so memorable. Thinking back, this can be attributed to your in-depth knowledge of the birding locations in The Netherlands, excellent spotting skills, careful planning and dedication as a guide. To take things a step up, I noted that Teus, Menno and Pieter had an intimate knowledge of the behaviour, habitat and calls of the birds which no doubt added quite a few more birds to the already impressive bird list.
I know we had a demanding task on our first day of birding – we went target birding for 4 owls in under 8 hours. But you did it! And not to mention showing me another 83 species in the same day and 100 species the next day! With your warm and friendly personality, you were great company and that made the experience all the more enjoyable. I look forward to birding with you again.
Ju Lin Tan, Singapore
Thanks for an excellent day of birding in January; Despite snowy roads, you managed to work out a wonderful route to see a great mix of Dutch winter birds including our target species (including a flock of 160 Smews!). The day had lots of variety and good pacing; It never felt like we were rushing and there was no long stretches with no birds. This shows your broad knowledge of the birds and their habits. You always had a location nearby for the next stop with good birds. Your knowledge included the whole of the natural world which is always a big plus.
We had always heard that the Netherlands offered wonderful winter birding and you showed us that it was true. The next time that we are in Amsterdam we will certainly find time to go birding with you again.
Ken Russell and Laurel Devaney, Fairbanks, Alaska
Pieter guided three of us on a weekend of winter birdwatching in Holland. Even in difficult weather conditions we managed to see 90+ species in 2 days including 8 geese species which were our target birds. He is an excellent guide who knows the sites and birds well. Perhaps as importantly he is also extremely good company which made the whole experience very enjoyable. We will be back, and with Pieter.
Barnaby, Andrew and Adam, UK
This was my first birdwatching holiday with a guide experience and with Pieter as guide it was worth every minute of it. I will definitely go back to Holland for birdwatching with Pieter. I prepared a list of species that I would like to see and Pieter has done some good homework and I have seen the majority of them! Not to mention that he knows the birding areas very well and updates himself every day with recent interesting bird sightings. We were out all day birding and we discussed the plan of the day every morning with Pieter giving his client all the options where ultimately the client would decide how to spend the day. We have seen almost hundred species (30 new for me) in three days with some interesting ones like Red-breasted and Lesser-white fronted Goose, Bufflehead, Rough-legged Buzzard, White-tailed eagle and many more.
Joseph Dunlop, Luxemburg
Pieter and Teus were great guides and we all enjoyed our birding in Amsterdam. We only had about 3 hours to bird between our flights, but Pieter knew lots of good places around the airport and we were all glad that we hired them. It was a productive morning birding and great to be able to see a bit of the country as well. We are all looking forward to birding with Birding Holland again, except next time we are going to arrange our schedules to give us more time!
Bryan Shirley, Payson, Utah, USA
Mammals are another dimension to Pieters knowledge and trips. He organized to take me batting, with an electronic bat detector and a cool light, and we observed and identified several species. It was an exciting night and topped off an afternoon of birding that yielded some of my most wanted birds amongst a list of 90 we tallied. So if you are after a few furry, as well as feathered European critters, I can thoroughly recommend Pieter. His enthusiasm and willingness to make the extra effort made the trip both fun and rewarding. Even if birds is your main thing an evening at a bat pond is a memorable way to finish a day.
Malcolm Turner, Queensland, Australia
I contacted Birding Holland re. seeing an Eagle Owl. Needless to say I had excellent, walk-away views with their help on a day trip from the U.K. I would not hesitate to recommend Pieter and Birding Holland to anyone wishing to see this species (#6792 for me!)
Richard Rowland, South Yorkshire, England
I hate that my plane change in Amsterdam next month is so quick that I won’t have time to go birding. I appreciate you letting me know that you have sites for four of my targets, and I’m sure, based on my past trips with you, that we’d nail them if I had even a short layover.
Rest assured, though, that I will be calling for your assistance soon.
Professor Philip Johnson Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA
Pieter is an excellent guide even to a beginner like me. The whole day tour was fantastic and he has demonstrated his great birding skills to us.
He has well trained eyes and ears which ensure we can spot all kind of birds in the area with ease. With his informative knowledge we have learned a great deal from the trip and together with a fun, friendly and talkative personality, you are always surrounded by excitement during the entire trip.
P.S.: Pieter is a safe and comfortable driver too!
Leslie Tang, Hong Kong
I would happily recommend Pieter van der Luit/Birding Holland as a guide he both knows the sites and the birds, was fun to bird with, and developed and revised an itinerary that produced my target species.
Mark Gawn, Geneva, Switzerland
On a sunny autumn day I went on my second birding outing with Pieter. This time we were targeting Red Breasted Goose which sometimes strays into Holland. On our way up north we had many great goose viewings, seeing Greylags, Barnacles, Brents and exceptional views of Lesser and Greater White-fronted. And to the credit of Birding Holland I then got my first sight of the Red-breasted Goose along with another 79 species. All in all a fantastic day out again.
Björn Hauksson, Reykjavík, Iceland / The Hague, Netherlands
Upon realizing that I had a day+ layover at Amsterdam in early September, I researched several options for birding; I settled on Birding Holland, instead of renting a car and birding on my own, as prices were comparable, they provided a scope so I could travel without mine, they were likely to take me to areas I might not find on my own, and as most travelling birders know, it is always nice to have expert answers to all those questions that come to mind when birding in unfamiliar territory;
Pieter and Remco are excellent guides, highly knowledgeable about Dutch birds, natural and human history and quite conversant about birds globally. While the weather varied from atrocious to almost acceptable, the birding was excellent. They are good at everything from hard-core rarity chasing and discussing fine points of identification to relaxed enjoyment of the abundance and beauty of Dutch birds.
Bill Tweit, Washington, USA
We had a beautiful morning birding with Pieter in Holland and even though the weather threatened us the entire time, it only rained when we were relocating to new sites. In a half day, we added over 40 new birds to our birding list with a total for the morning of over 75 species. We look forward to birding with Pieter again in another trip to Holland in the near future.
Gene and Joanne, Humble, Texas, USA
Ever since my first visit in January I was keen to return and do some more birding with Pieter at a different time of year. I eventually made it back this October and once again we had a full, enjoyable and hugely rewarding day in the field touring birding hotspots & lesser known sites. I thought it would be difficult to top the day we had in January but Pieter came up trumps again with his choice of locations and we ended the day with an impressive list of 86. This included fantastic views of 40 Lesser White-fronted Geese, Red-breasted Goose, Great Egret, Northern Harrier and a very obliging Horned Lark – all difficult species in England.
I have already arranged a spring visit and at the current rate my Holland list will overtake my British list within a couple of years!
Full credit goes to Pieter and Remco at Birding Holland for their uncompromising dedication to finding and showing off the birds of Holland and making me feel like an old friend whenever I visit.
Jim – London, England
We had two wonderful days birding with Pieter (and Remco on the first day) in the Netherlands. Not only were they very pleasant birding companions, they also worked really hard to find us as many birds as possible.
Pieter’s experience and knowledge of the birds of the area is extensive. He was very generous with his time both before the trip (planning an itinerary based on our wish list, suggesting hotels, scouting, etc.) and on the birding days themselves which were, per our choice, very long; literally before dawn to after dusk. And the birds? Well, they were fantastic and there were lots of them! Highlights for us included the light buoyant flight of the three Montagu’s Harriers seen, each in a different plumage; three Black Woodpeckers seen well, one at really close range; the excellent help Pieter and Remco provided sorting out all those skulking warblers, and the huge Eurasian Eagle Owl with chick.
Bob and Barbara Brandriff, Berkely, California, USA
Having just moved to the Netherlands, a day with Pieter was a great way to learn about birding in the area. We covered a lot of ground by going to numerous locations and walking on foot to investigate further. Birds of prey were my focus for the day but we were also able to spend a lot of time looking and listening to tits, warblers, ducks and the rest – 87 species in total!
Plenty of tea, coffee and Dutch cheeses to nibble in between. This day will definitely spur my birding interest and I’m already looking for a telescope to buy for my next trips to locations recommended by Pieter.
Björn Hauksson, Reykjavík, Iceland / The Hague, Netherlands
Over the years I’ve traveled to Europe at least ten times, always finding time to bird while there. But I never could find a Black Woodpecker. Then I went birding with Pieter at “Birding Holland”. Black Woodpecker? No problem, he nailed it! Along with a couple of other long-time targets: Black Stork, Ferruginous Pochard, Red-breasted Goose, Little Bunting, Eagle Owl and White-tailed Eagle. He knows the Netherlands intimately, and is a congenial companion for a day in the field.
I recommend him highly.
Professor Philip Johnson – Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA
Pieter is an affable, humorous and very knowledgable birdwatcher who took great pride and pleasure in showing me the fantastic variety of birds to be found in Holland.
Thousands of geese of several species, 10 species of duck, Long-eared Owl and superb views of the magnificent Black Woodpecker were amongst the highlights.
Jim – London, England
Having birded with Pieter, we have first-hand experience of his excellent birding skills and entertaining personality. Pieter is an excellent spotter, makes sure everyone gets on the bird, and is a fun travel companion.
Ron & Marcia Braun – Houston, Texas, USA
We really appreciated our Big Day with Pieter as pleasant, knowledgable and easy-going guide.
He entirely fulfilled the promise of more than 100 species in one day, making the day even more enjoyable.
We recommend Pieter in every way, he makes birding look easy.
Karl and Nils Hammarlund, Sweden