There are several unique nature reserves near Makkum on the IJsselmeer coast: the Makkumernoardwaard, Makkumersúdwaard and Koaiwaard all renowned for their abundance of birds and many varieties of plants. On the one hand they look a lot alike because they are all originally vegetated sandbars surrounded by the shallow IJsselmeer waters. But get up close and you’ll discover just how very different they are.
The Makkumernoardwaard is the most well known of the three even though it is inaccessible. The island is located just a stone’s throw away from the water sports village of Makkum and is famous for its dazzling shell beach. How about a guided walking excursion via It Fryske Gea over the Makkumersúdwaard where you’ll be welcomed by the waving reeds? You may catch a glimpse of the acrobatic bearded reedling that searches for food here and builds its nest in old reeds. The Koaiwaard is an absolute must if you are an avid bird spotter. The view over the IJsselmeer lake and the countless water birds is simply breathtaking from De Ral bird watching hut.
From Fûgelhûs to bird watching hut
Another must is the short walking route through the Makkumersúdwaard (closed off during brooding season from 15 March to 15 July). Begin near the village of Piaam at ’t Fûgelhûs natural history museum where you can see the exquisite collection of more than 200 birds from the area and stock up on information about the history of the flood plains. The museum is open in the summer months.
If you want to see the birds in real life then take the walking route to De Ral bird watching hut. This bird watching hut is on the old sea dike near Kooihuizen (car park at Kooireed opposite the farmhouse).