A more intense delta experience with the new Hellegat-Ventjager Bird Boulevard
When you drive to Goeree-Overflakkee through NLDelta National Park from the Haringvliet bridge and Volkerak dam, you pass through a beautiful piece of delta nature. These are the Hellegatsplaten and Ventjagersplaten nature reserves, which were not easily accessible until recently. This changed with the new Bird Boulevard (Vogelboulevard) that was opened in the spring of 2019.
The Bird Boulevard boasts four bird spotting huts and a watch-tower. Here, you can observe birds throughout the year and enjoy the wealth of bird species in the Hellegatsplaten and Ventjagersplaten. The bird spotting huts can be reached unobserved because willow screens have been installed along the access route, allowing birds to gather undisturbed on the banks of the Haringvliet. You can spot avocets and spoonbills, Mediterranean gulls and ospreys, as well as water birds, birds of prey, wading and reed birds. The watch-tower offers opportunities to see a white-tailed eagle.
In the past, the Hellegatsplaten and Ventjagersplaten were a single nature reserve. That situation changed when the dams for the Delta Works were created. The Hellegatsplaten were drained after the Philipsdam was built in 1987. The combination of brackish and sweet water, wet and dry clay and dry sand, as well as grazing by Heck cattle and horses created a semi-open and varied landscape. Forest and shrub land, reeds, and brushwood are interspersed with grassy areas and open water. Every year, hundreds of black-headed gulls gather here to breed. The white-tailed eagle is spotted more frequently, and we are waiting for the first breeding couple to arrive.