Tour At A Glance





Single Room Supplement:


Tour Code:

Relaxed, though some early starts will be required.

Group Size:

Six plus leaders

Caspian Tern Marsh Sandpiper Short-toed Eagles Eurasian Spoonbill

The Netherlands - Early Autumn in the Lauwersmeer

Date: 26th - 30th August 2018
Leaders: Ashley Saunders & Oriole Birding Leader



The tour meets at Amsterdam Schipol Airport mid morning after connecting flights from either Manchester, London or Norwich with KLM [included in your tour cost]. From there we make our way thorugh the traffic and head out across the causeway over the Ijsselmeer to the north-east polder, where we will make a birding stop to break the journey. Often at this time of year, impressive congregations of terns can occur along this coast, with Black and White-winged Black both seen on past trips. Wildfowl, waders and raptors could also feature as we make our way across to Groningen and our base for the next three nights. Overnight Hotel Spoorzicht.
We spend the whole day exploring the exceptional birding area known as The Lauwersmeer. We will visit several sites within the general area, many of which are off the beaten track and give us views of the many different habitats such as reed beds, muddy pools, open water, grazing marshes and woodland. A huge variety of migrants pass through this area during early autumn and we can expect to encounter flocks of waders as well as passerines in the coastal scrub. These may include Red-backed Shrike, Eurasian Turtle Dove, Golden Oriole and Common Cuckoo among a variety of common warblers. Great Bittern and Purple Heron occur in the reed beds and White-tailed Eagle should also be in the area, while Black Terns, Marsh Harriers and are some of the species seen overhead  and wildfowl should include Red Crested Pochard and Garganey. Outlying coastal areas such as Holwerd Pier are great places to find Dunlin flocks that might host Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint. A cafe here makes an ideal lunch stop and local bird news is often available so we can find out what’s been seen in the area. Many uncommon species are found more or less annually and typically these may include European Bee-eater, Spotted Crake,  Common Crane, Montagu’s Harrier, European Honey Buzzard, Kentish Plover, Marsh Sandpiper,  Aquatic Warbler, Penduline Tit, Black Stork, Pectoral Sandpiper and Red-necked Phalarope, while sea watching anywhere along the coast should produce large numbers of the commoner waders and Caspian Tern, Little Gull and Little Tern among others.
Overnights Hotel Spoorzicht 
Following breakfast and checkout, we drive south east towards our next birding area around Flevoland. We will explore an area of mature woodland for Marsh, Willow and Crested Tits, Short-toed Treecreeper, Common Crossbill and with good fortune Black Woodpecker might also be encountered. We have also seen Lesser Spotted Woodpecker here. In the afternoon we reach our first birding area on the Oostvaadersplassen. Eurasian Spoonbills breed in this area and we should also see Great White Egret on the pools, while passerines should include Bearded Tit, Spotted Flycatcher, whinchat, Northern Wheatear and a variety of warblers. Osprey sometimes pause to fish the area and we should get our first taste of passing waders with Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Green, Wood and Common Sandpipers and Common Greenshank often present. Scarcer species such as Broad-billed Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint also occur most years in small numbers. Overnight Apollo Hotel Lelystad.
Following breakfast and checkout, we will  spend some time birding again around the Oostvadersplassen before transferring to the airport for the 1340 flight back to the UK.  


Additional Information


At the Hotel Spoorzicht in the quaint Friesland village of Loppersum, we offer superior rooms and excellent food served in a traditional setting.Hotel Apollo in Leylstad is in the centre of town but retains the ambience of a small hotel despite its modern spacious rooms and wide range of facilities.
Four nights dinner, bed and breakfast in en suite rooms, return economy class flights UK/Amsterdam with KLM inlcuding 20kg luggage allowance, all meals from dinner on day one to lunch on day five, minibus transport in Holland and service of leaders.
Travel to/from UK aiport and any additional overnight stays that may be involved, travel insurance, drinks and any items of a purely personal nature.



Tour Reports






" A most enjoyable and rewarding trip in every respect" B B Hertfordshire
" This holiday was excellent and far exceeded my expectations. I thought it would be a bit quiet. How wrong can you be! It’s a fabulous area both for birds and general interest. The hotel was very good indeed and the food was far better than I expected. The holiday was excellent value for money and the leaders exceptionally patient and very knowledgeable. We had a great time and hope to go on another one of your breaks at some stage in the future. " A C Buckinghamshire
" We really enjoyed travelling by ferry, thus missing the joys of airport security checks and waits for the luggage at the other end hoping that it will arrive.The relaxed pace with plenty of time to see the birds and no furious playing of recorded calls to attract skulking little brown jobs. The accommodation was much better than expected. The wide range of breakfast was particularly appreciated, and the 5 course evening meals ended the days perfectly. This was a stress-free trip with a very friendly cooperative group and excellent leaders. For us the level of birding was just about right. A & F H Suffolk