Birding Tour Onlanden Netherlands


Birding Tour Onlanden

Birding Tour Onlanden is an excursion through the Onlanden which can be done by bike or by car. This very extensive nature reserve is located on the border of Groningen and Drenthe. It has a size of about 2500 ha. and is originally a low-lying peat meadow area with some higher sand paths. A full description of this excursion can be found under the calendar.

If you book for a whole day you will get a € 20 discount on the total price!

  • This excursion is great for cycling;
  • Can also be made suitable for people with reduced mobility;
  • Bicycle rental nearby possible;
  • Also easily accessible by public transport.
  • Especially suitable as a bicycle excursion.

Please also select the maximum number of people you will be entering the Extras option in the calendar when booking.

Best birding season for this area:


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Birding Tour Onlanden

Bird excursion Onlanden Kingfisher

Bird excursion Onlanden is a bird excursion on the bike by the Onlanden. This vast nature reserve lies on the border between Groningen and Drenthe. It has a size of about 2500 ha. Originally, it is a low-lying peat meadow area with a few higher sand paths. In 2008, a start was made on redeveloping the area to make it suitable as a water storage area and nature reserve. Dikes have been built, roads have been closed, and the swamp biotope has been created in many places, alternating with tufts of bushes and rugged hay meadows. The refurbishment was completed at the end of 2012. The area now serves as an ecological connection between the Paterswoldsemeer and the Leekstermeer.


Bird excursion Onlanden Mute swan
Mute swan

On the bike, we will visit a number of places in the Onlanden, which accommodate different bird species. We start at the Onlanderij. Nearby is the first viewpoint, over a lake. Black-necked Grebe may swim between the Black-headed Gulls, and perhaps a Black Tern will fly by. Then we take a look at the ‘bridge’, where the annual Bird migration takes place. Here you can see plenty of ducks such as Wigeon and Teal. We cycle further through the open landscape, where for months a Pallid Harrier has conquered the hearts of birds in the Netherlands. Would he stay here? The chance of a Harrier in the winter or a Harrier in the spring and summer is there anyway.

Birding excursion Onlanden Marsh harrier
Marsh harrier
Birding tour Onlanden Buzzard
Birding tour Onlanden Onlanden Fieldfarel

If we continue our way we pass reed fields, where we might hear Bearded males, Reed buntings, and reed warblers. Also, a Mustache or Grasshopper vocalist will regularly hear his vibrating vocals in the spring or summer. Very different is the sound of the Bittern, which also occurs here. And would we still encounter a Snipe? And if we are really lucky, an Osprey will fly over. In the summer of 2016, three were in the area!

Visarend eet een vis in de Onlanden Matslootpolder 11 september 2016

Otter and Ree

De Otter has also been a regular resident of the Onlanden for a number of years. However, it almost never shows itself. There is a good chance that we will encounter a number of Roe deer. They can often be seen on the higher parts of the Onlanden. Recently, four Exmoor ponies have been released, as natural lawnmowers.

Birding Tour Onlanden Ree
Birding Tour Onlanden Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier
Birding Tour Onlanden Common Kestrel
Common Kestrel

Trekking forest

Suddenly a small trunks bunch appears, and you can expect the sound of the Great Spotted Woodpecker. The Tjiftjaf and Koolmees are also here. Afterward the bike ride continues through the vast fields, where Storks seek food, especially if there is mowing somewhere. Also, Curlews, Lapwings, and Oystercatchers are often present here. In addition to the bicycle path, there is the reed, which means that the chance of a meeting with a Bluethroat can not be ruled out. Also, the Buzzard can often be found here.

Birding excursion Drenthe and Groningen Hawk
Hawk woman with nesting material

We can still glance over the area from a work of art on the bike path. And do not look up from a House Martin, who flies past you. Then we arrive at the Onlanderij, where the excursion ends.
The bike ride has a length of approximately 16 km.

Rent a bike

If you do not have the opportunity to bring your own bike, it can be rented at Oomkens Rijwielhuis. The morning excursion starts at 9.15 am (Oomkens Rijwielhuis is open from 9.00 and is located 1 kilometer from the Onlanderij). Please contact Oomkens Rijwielhuis telephone +31 50 529 0300 in order to be sure of a bicycle! Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Food and drinks

During the Birding Tour Onlanden Netherlands, there will be coffee and tea with a local titbit.

What can you expect from this Birding Tour Onlanden Netherlands?

  • There is a Swarovski spotting scope for general use;
  • The guide is well known in this area and also knows the hidden birding spots;
  • Especially in the Spring and Summer period good birding opportunities;
  • Very nice bird observation possibilities;
  • Different biotopes, therefore many different birds;
  • The possibility to borrow a pair of binoculars during the birding tour;
  • The guide is a very experienced birder and she can point them out for you;
  • Good photographing opportunities during the tour;
  • Food and drinks included;
  • This birding tour is fitted for experienced and unexperienced birders;
  • Free parking for your car during the birding tour;
  • The ability to ask questions about the particular birds during the birding tour;
  • You will get a full list with the spotted birds by e-mail;
  • An unforgettable birding experience in the Netherlands.

I am looking forward to taking you with me and show you all the birding secrets in this area. It is easy to book your own Birding Tour at a time and date that suits you.
Andrea de Vries

Your Guide: Andrea de Vries
If you book an excursion for a whole day, you will receive a € 20 discount on the total price.




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