Although the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, it is also home to a broad variety of birds and other fauna. The country does not have any endemic species, it is always a short flight to a border. The number of bird watchers and twitchers is so high that over the last five years some 10 new species have been added to the national list. It now stands at just over 500. Compare that with Spain at just over 550, and you understand that a lot of these will be migrants.
In winter enormous flocks of Geese fly in from the north. Out on the sea, all 4 divers have been seen, Ducks, Scoter, Eider and the 3 fish eating ducks, Goosander, Merganser and Smew are present in big numbers. Whooper and Bewick’s Swan come to the open grasslands. On shore waders, like Sanderling and Purple sandpiper, forage.
In summer the reed beds fill with song. All kinds of LBJ’s sing their hart out. If Willow and Elm trees are near expect Reed, Great Reed, Icterine, Willow, Whitethroat, Savi’s and Sedge Warbler, add Grasshopper and Chiffchaff, it is the beginning of a good list. On open water Common and Red- crested Pochard, Tufted Duck, Garganey, Great Crested and Little Grebe. Throw in Common, Sandwich, Little and Black Terns and add Black-headed, Both Black-backed, Mediterranean and Herring Gulls. On drier land Linnet, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Cuckoo, Yellowhammer, Pied Flycatcher etc.
During migration periods many other birds pass through or restock their bodies, by staying in a feeding area for some time. Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits, Curlew and Curlew sandpiper, Caspian Tern, all can be expected.
Lodging is easy in the Netherlands, any level of comfort is catered for. Distances are not all that big, from AMS, Schiphol Amsterdam Airport, you will reach most areas in less than 1.5 hour.