April, enjoying the bird migration

In late April, spring migration really starts to take off in a big way. Especially in the morning and on days with southeast winds, you can see amazing numbers and species of birds.

Nationaal Park Duinen van Texel

A lovely walk through one of the many nature reserves of the Nationaal Park Duinen van Texel can easily yield a species list of more than 80 different bird species. In April, a walk around one of the Horsmeertjes is highly recommended. There you will find many singing marsh birds such as the bluethroat and with a bit of luck you will hear the nightingale singing. In De Slufter, you can enjoy the skylarks singing and in De Muy, the nightingales sing and you will see many yellow wagtails.

Nature center De Marel

A walk that cannot be missed in April is a walk from Nature Centre De Marel through the Waalenburg meadow bird area. Here you will see many black-tailed godwits and, with some luck, ruffs. Skylarks are constantly singing in the sky and if you pay attention, you can already see the first harlequin orchids blooming in April.

Swallows and wagtails

The wind pushes northbound birds towards the coast, causing them to fly low and concentrated over Texel. Barn swallows, shore swallows and house martins fly low over the sea strip to the northeast and very occasionally a red-rumped swallow flies among them, a very rare bird from southern Europe. Yellow wagtails fly in small groups along the Wadden dyke to the north. From mid-April, English wagtails are also seen and in early May you have a chance of seeing Northern Wagtails, all very beautiful birds, especially the males.

The northern tip

The northern tip of Texel is a great area for birdwatching in April, especially when in spring all the birds are singing and courtship and new species arrive every week. The Wadden Sea and North Sea meet at the northern tip so there is plenty of food there for seabirds and waders. The north side of Texel is very varied with the Eierlandse Dunes, the Renvogelveld and De Robbenjager. In addition, for migratory birds that still have to fly further north, these are the last areas where they can rest and find food before they have to fly far across the sea towards Scandinavia.

Bluebirds, one of the most beautiful species on our island, breed in the shrub complexes in the dunes. Many fitises, warblers and robins also breed here. The fitis and warbler have only just returned from their wintering grounds in the Sahel in Africa and sing at the top of their voices to mark their territory. On the bare dune slopes, wheatears forage for ground beetles and other insects. This species breeds in the many rabbit burrows in the area. They are beautiful birds but, unfortunately, they are also very vulnerable. It is therefore important to stay on the paths and not get too close, otherwise the birds may be disturbed.

Ducks and reed birds

The Renvogelveld and the pond behind the Robbenjager are home to duck species such as pintails, shovelers, teals and wigeons that are on their way to their breeding grounds in the far north, and sometimes there are also teals. These species are truly a sight to behold in their spring plumage.

On the lake behind the Robbenjager, you can hear Little Grebe calling in the early morning, a kind of whinnying sound. At sea, great terns, common terns and also some little terns hunt for fish. The eiders are now breeding and in May you can already encounter the first young. In the reed edges of the lake behind the Robbenjager, you can hear reed birds such as the reed warbler, reed bunting, bluethroat and reed warbler singing.

Birds of prey

On good days around mid- and late April, you can also enjoy birds of prey migration on Texel. This is when a black kite or an osprey, two rare birds of prey on the island, are regularly spotted. During migration time, you can observe many species that you normally see very rarely.

More spring on Texel

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