Bird watching excursion
Birdwatching Nieuwstadt and surroundings
In collaboration with B&B Erbuca
By Tom Storcken
Birds can be found everywhere, we have the advantage that they do not always have to be seen. Often just listening to song or call is enough to be able to tell which species it is. When observing birds, hearing often plays just as important a role as sight. Getting to know bird sounds is easiest when you go out with a birdwatcher. Also pay attention to the behaviour: way of flying, movement of bird on branch or in tree. Note the song, behavior and appearance and silhouette of the bird.
The minimum part of the birdwatcher's field equipment: good clothing with inconspicuous colors and appropriate footwear: it can be wet and/or muddy in many areas. Furthermore, binoculars and if you want to make a notebook / pencil for notes.
When to bird watch? In principle, that is always possible, but when do you have the best chance of seeing birds? In the (early) spring: mid-March to the end of May, when most birds are not yet breeding, but are preparing for this: looking for a partner (court behaviour), building nests, etc… As far as time of day is concerned: most birds are very active in the early morning hours and that actually means from sunrise to about 9 am/10 am. Even after that they are still busy but then they are more difficult to hear/see. There is usually a revival in the evening. Also in the autumn (eg during bird migration) it is nice to watch/search for birds: this can also be done later in the day. I am available on Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday and sometimes on Sunday morning and/or in consultation.
Areas to visit: To keep the walking/travel distance as small as possible, 2 beautiful areas are available in Nieuwstadt and the surrounding area:
Between IJzerenbos and Schalbruch: directly behind the border with Isenbruch (about 1 km): Hohbruch, alten Kaulen and edge of IJzerenbos. An area with forest, meadows and fields and lots of shrubbery where deer, fox and exceptionally a wild boar can be seen. Depending on the period, live here in the summer eg. De Wielewaal, Black Woodpecker and of course many other birds.
Another nearby area (approx. 1 km) is along the Geleenbeek eo. Since the spring of 2006, this brook meanders through the landscape again: grassland, pools, scattered trees and pieces of forest that have traditionally been left behind. Many plant and animal species have been given the opportunity to (re-)establish themselves here. Via a standard orchard (plukwei) the area is linked to the Vloedgraaf, which is located a short distance away and partly flows through "'t Hout". Large grazers are used to manage the area.