Bird hide De Kiekkaaste
The Wadden Sea area is vitally important to millions of birds. Some only make a quick stop during their migration from the Arctic regions to Africa whilst others stay to nest or regain their strength. You will find bird hides throughout the entire Wadden Sea World Heritage area. The Kiekkaaste in the easternmost part of the Wadden Sea area is the only bird hide outside the dikes in the Netherlands. It can be reached from the Nieuw Statenzijl sluice complex via the Marcelluspad plank bridge. The hide offers you a fantastic view of the mud flats of the Dollard, an inlet on the border with Germany. You look out over hundreds of dunlins and, with a bit of luck, a couple of seals. A picturesque panoramic view.
It is not advisable to visit this site when the wind is very strong.
The amazing birds of the Wadden
Would you like to wade in deeper and learn more about the Dollard nesting area? Be sure not to skip the Dollard visitor centre. In this former farm you can see how ebb and flow largely determine the flora and fauna, and why birds are so attracted to this area. In addition, you will find a marvellous bird hide that looks out over the rich bird life in the Breebaart polder, which is home to the largest avocet colony in Europe.
A look through a pair of binoculars will open up a whole new world to you. There is nowhere else in the Netherlands where you can see as many different bird species as in the Wadden area. Each is unique and remarkable. Watch curlew, white-fronted geese, harriers, short-eared owls, white-tailed eagles or one of the other amazing birds of the Wadden.
Not miss anything?
Do you want to be sure that you have seen all of the nature hotspots? There are great hiking and biking tours that take you through this scenic area. There is also a free Wadden birds app to download to help you identify the bird species you encounter along the way.
The Wadden Sea's nursery
Seals are also popular Wadden residents. Try your luck at nearby Punt van Reide, where a seal watching wall is set up on the dike from spring until winter. Here you can watch the seals and their pups on the sandbars along the coast without disturbing them. A one-of-a-kind experience that you can enjoy on your own.
Every day at high tide, seal mothers and their young congregate at the base of the dike to rest, eat and sunbathe. There may even be more than 100 at the same time. It is important that the young are not disturbed during the nursing period. Behind the viewing wall, you are invisible to the animals as a visitor. Enjoy these adorable downy creatures in silence. Just do not be alarmed if you see a young seal lying all by itself; the mother is out hunting for food. Sometimes she is gone for an entire day!