Large numbers of wintering waterfowl and waders of many species, a fine sampling of northern European landbirds, and several afternoons spent discovering the art and cultural riches of this wonderful country are the goal of this new itinerary in our "Birds &..." tour series. We are delighted to have Godfried Schreur at the helm, and how appropriate that he'll be joined by co-leader Jay VanderGaast...just a touch of Dutch in the family name there!

Godfried has blended the perfect mix of exciting birding with arts and culture into our itinerary. We'll begin in The Hague, where we will have our first encounters with Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Eurasian Nuthatch, and a chance for Tawny Owl during a walk in the park surrounding the residence of the dutch king. In the Mauritshuis we will stand face to face with Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring and see the famous painting by Fabritius called “Het Puttertje” (The Little Goldfinch), among other great art works.

The next day we'll bird an immense wetland created by the deltas of the Rhine and Waal rivers (good for geese, swans, ducks, grebes and waders), and check out the massive engineering works that keep the sea from invading these nederlande (the Netherlands, or low-lying lands). In former times, the famous windmills played an important role in that task. We will be able to see and understand how that worked at the World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk, before moving further inland.

At the Veluwe we will explore a beautiful woodland and heathland with chances for the impressive Black Woodpecker and other landbirds, from Long-eared Owl and Eurasian Jay to Brambling. Before visiting at the Kroller Mueller museum, featuring one of the largest collections in the world of Van Gogh, we will explore its sculpture garden with chances to see Great, Middle, and Lesser Spotted woodpeckers.

We'll continue our trip birding at the famous IJsselmeer nature reserve called "de Oostvaardersplassen," where we may encounter Smew, Water Rail, Bearded Reedling, and White-tailed Eagle. After a short ferry crossing, we will arrive on Texel, largest of the Wadden Islands and a magnet to birders from across Europe for rarities among the many different species present (it's often good for vagrants like Yellow-browed Warbler, redpolls, crossbills, and arctic gulls). "Normal birds" here include Fieldfare, Redwing, Goldcrest and Eurasian Siskin.

After exploring this lovely island we will head towards Haarlem, where we will lodge in an ancient mansion, but not before visiting the oldest museum of the Netherlands, dedicated to art, science, and natural history, with works of Michelangelo, John James Audubon, and Maria Sibylla Merian. On the last whole day we will first bird the coastal dunes before heading to Amsterdam, where we'll delve into the famous Rijksmuseum to be awed by the works of Rembrandt (including his expansive and famous canvas, The Night Watch), Vermeer, and more Dutch Masters.

It will be a week rich in birding and art --join us!

Select the KEY INFO tab or click here for our itinerary plus space requests, status, fees, limits, and guides for any departure.

Client comment
"This was a wonderful experience! Five gold stars. Great leaders in Godfried Schreur and Jay VanderGaast, a beautiful country, many new birds, paintings by Vermeer. I know I can expect an excellent experience from Field Guides." B.K., HOLLAND: BIRDS & ART 2019<