True paradise for birds
Nowhere along the Wadden coast in North Holland is the bird life so rich as in the Balgzand. The 6000 hectare nature reserve is situated to the east of Den Helder and extends all the way to the former island, Wieringen. The land is vast and splendid. Several spots on the sea dike offer magnificent views of the mudflats.
The very best spots are the bird hut on the dike north of Van Ewijcksluis and at the 't Kuitje information centre, Oostoeverweg in Den Helder. The absolute high point is when high tide starts rolling in and thousands of birds swirl like clouds toward the dike to wait for low tide.
Dry twice a day
Balgzand is so popular with (wading) birds because it is above water twice a day; countless mud and sandbars are visible, exposing an abundance of shellfish, worms, shrimp and snails. In the spring many birds come here to brood: avocets, terns and seagulls on the salt marshes that have formed against the dike.
In July large flocks of shelducks come to moult. A sight to behold. In the six winter months many wigeons and brent geese arrive searching for refuge on the peaceful Balgzand dike during high tide.
You can only visit the area on a guided excursion or open day. Nature Information centre Balgzand ’t Kuitje organises bird excursions with volunteers from Landschap Noord-Holland and mudflat excursions with guides from the Waddenvereniging.