This is a new tour for Swallow Birding which takes us to the wildlife-rich country of the Netherlands and we can expect some superb birding throughout with species such as Bluethroat, Black Woodpecker, White-tailed Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Spoonbill, Icterine, Marsh and Great Reed Warblers through to European Honey Buzzard, Short-toed Treecreeper, European Crested Tit and much more.
With habitats ranging from open water, reed-beds, grazing marsh, heathland, forests, sand dunes and rivers we are sure to amass a good numbers of species during our tour.
Tour Leader: Steve Grimwade
Maximum Group Size: 7
We take an early morning flight from London Luton to Amsterdam and head straight to the famous wetland reserve of the Oostvaardersplassen. There are many hides and viewpoints to choose from and the late morning/afternoon will be spent exploring the reed-beds where our main target will be the Bluethroat. The white-spotted subspecies breeds in the Netherlands and can be seen feeding around edges of reed-beds and pools. Eurasian Spoonbill fly overhead and with luck, we may see one of the local White-tailed Eagles which now breed on the reserve. During late afternoon we head to our accommodation for the three nights.
Days 2 – 4
The following days will be spent visiting the Oostvaardersplassen and Lepelaarsplassen reserves where we will seek out singing Marsh, Icterine, Savi’s and Grasshopper Warblers plus with luck, species such as European Golden Oriole, Black Tern, Great Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Garganey, Eurasian Bittern and Eurasian Penduline Tit. We should see good numbers of waders in breeding plumage such as Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Knot, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint and Dunlin. During our tour we will stop once or maybe twice for a hot drink and the Dutch speciality, a tasty Stroopwafel!
A visit to this area is not complete without a visit to the Hoge Veluwe National Park which is only about 25 minutes away from our accommodation. The De Hoge Veluwe is a private nature reserve with 5,400 hectares of forest, moors, fens and drifting sand dunes. It is also home to the Kruller Museum which has the second largest collection of Van Gogh paintings in the world!
The vast habitats are home to Black Woodpecker which may be seen flying between stands of woodland whilst European Honey Buzzard, Eurasian Hobby and Northern Goshawk breed locally. Other specialities of this reserve include European Crested Tit, Wood Warbler, Hawfinch, Short-toed Treecreeper, Eurasian Wryneck, Common Redstart, Pied and Spotted Flycatchers, Common Crossbill and Common Firecrest.
Flights from London Luton to Amsterdam
Full board accommodation for 3 nights
All ground transport in Holland
Full guiding throughout
Drinks and items of a personal nature
Lunch on day 1
Relaxed, two to three miles walking per day
Expect between 100 and 150 species
Ground Price: £740
*Air Price: £150
Total Tour Price: £890
Single Supplement: £90
*Please see our tours page regarding flight costs