Trip Menu

The island of Texel forms part of the Dutch Wadden Islands, which are situated in the Wadden Sea a 20 minute ferry ride from the Dutch mainland, which is accessed from the port of Den Helder a 1 hour drive from Schipol airport.

Accomodation and JudyAlthough Texel is ideally suited to a fly drive holiday with all the main car hire company’s situated at Schipol, none driving birders are also catered for with a train service from Schipol to the ferry at Den Helder. Once on the Island all the birding spots are easily accessible by bike, which can be hired all over the island. 

Texel is the largest of the islands with an amazing diversity of habitats for such a small island; it is a popular holiday destination for both the Dutch & the Germans.

Accommodation on the island caters for all tastes from 5 star hotels to small family run guesthouses, camping sites and self-catering facilities.

East coast defences courtesy of Frances Gatens and tripodVast dune systems run the total length of the west coast and are edged with large tracts of pine forest. The East coast has extensive man made sea defences and being the more sheltered of the coasts, holds large numbers of ducks and grebes especially in the winter.

The island is dissected by various sized drainage canals and ditches, with many freshwater pools dotted about providing excellent feeding and bathing areas as well as high tide roosts for thousands of ducks and waders. The Wadden Sea around Texel is rarely deeper than 5 meters and consists in the main of fluvial sediments, ideal habitat to provide year round food for hungry waders.

Because of its location Texel is an all the year round birding destination. Spring can provide many migrants through the island and because of its size many of these birds are concentrated into confined habitats. Summer brings many breeding birds with large colonies of terns, gulls & Spoonbills as well as many waders. Bittern also breed and we have yet to visit the island when one or more of us have not seen at least one. Winter sees the island full of over wintering waders, ducks, geese and thrushes. 

MinkewaalThe trip report below covers our latest trip to the island, which took place in April 2004. The bird list consists only of birds seen during the trip. The predominant weather was dry & sunny, with a strong west, to south-westerly breeze. Tuesday 20th was heralded by a sharp ground frost, the only one of the trip.

As stated above we have now visited the island in all 4 seasons and it’s obvious that the island is an all round birding destination, each season having something different to offer. The lasting memory of this trip will be the cacophony of sound made by the many displaying waders and terns that breed on the island. 

The Little GardensBar & Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwing, Redshank & Curlew all compete to outdo each other with the backdrop of booming Bitterns. The trip provided 84 species, which is a fair return as only 3 days were devoted to serious birding, the other 2 days, were taken up with travelling. 

Although passerines are on the island at this time of year, they appear to be few and far between, and require a good deal of searching out. Several falls however were noted with these occurring towards the end of the week. These included; Blackbirds, thrushes, Ring Ouzels, Wheatears, Pipits & various Hirundines.

Schipol is only 1 hours flying time from most British Airports and Texel can be reached within a couple of hours of landing. The island is a very popular birding spot for the Dutch but seems to be almost totally ignored by the British.

Bird Photos

Bird List

  • Great Crested Grebe   Podiceps cristatus     Good numbers of birds seen in all suitable habitats. 
  • Little Grebe   Tachybaptus ruficollis     Several birds at Hors Polders. 
  • Cormorant   Phalacrocorax carbo     Birds seen on all coasts in small numbers. 
  • Bittern   Botaurus stellaris     Brief view of 1 bird. Up to 3 males heard booming at Hors Polders. 
  • Little Egret   Egreta garzetta     1 bird seen en route. 
  • Grey Heron   Ardea cinerea      Birds common at all suitable habitats. 
  • Spoonbill   Platalea leucorodia     100> birds at nesting colony & odd birds seen throughout the island. 
  • Mute Swan   Cygnus olar     Small numbers at suitable locations. 
  • Greylag Goose   Anser anser     Probably the most common goose on the island, many with goslings in tow. 
  • Barnacle Goose   Branta leucopis     3 birds seen from hide at Waagelot. 
  • Brent Goose   Branta bernicla     The second most common goose with possibly 100-150 birds still on the island. 
  • Egyptian Goose   Alopochen aegyptiacus      Up to 12 pairs of birds on the island. 
  • Shelduck   Tadorna tadorna     Common at all suitable sites. 
  • Wigeon   Anas penelope     Small numbers encountered. 
  • Gadwall   Anas strepera     4 pairs present at Hors Polders. 
  • Teal   Anas crecca     Very few birds left on the island. 
  • Mallard   Anas platyrhynchos     The most common duck with birds at all suitable locations. 
  • Shoveler   Anas clypeata     Flocks of 10 not uncommon. 
  • Pochard   Aythya farina     Small numbers seen on the Hors Polders. 
  • Tufted Duck   Aythya fuligula     The second most common duck with pairs on most suitable bodies of water. 
  • Common Eider   Somateria mollissima     Few birds on the coast. 50> were encountered on De Slufter. 
  • Ruddy Duck   Oxyura jamaicensis     A pair on the Hors Polders with male bubbling. 
  • Red Kite   Milvus milvus     1 male seen flying over De Moy. 
  • Marsh Harrier   Circus aeruginosus     Several birds encountered mainly males which we assumed had arrived before the females to stake claim to a territory. 
  • Hen Harrier   Circus cyaneus   The most common raptor on the island with birds present at all suitable locations. 
  • Sparrowhawk   Accipiter nisus    Just 1 record for the trip. 
  • Common Kestrel   Falco tinnunculus     Although not common, birds were encountered most days. 
  • Pheasant   Phasianus colchicus     Almost at plague proportions. 
  • Moorhen   Gallinula chloropus     Surprisingly small numbers of birds, for such a lot of suitable habitat. 
  • Coot   Fulica atra     Birds common at all suitable sites. 
  • Avocet   Recurvirostra avosetta     Many birds at all suitable locations. Island population probably in excess of 150 breeding pairs. 
  • Ringed Plover   Charadirus hiaticula    Many birds on territory.     
  • Lapwing   Vanellus vanellus     Extremely common all over the island. 
  • Dunlin   Calidris alpina     Surprisingly few birds on the island with a handful at Waagelot on 20th, with 20> birds at De Moy on 22nd. 
  • Common Snipe   Galinago galinago    1 singleton flushed at the Little Gardens, 1 heard drumming at the Hors Polders. 
  • Black-tailed Godwit   Limosa limosa     The most common of the Godwits, with an estimated population of several hundred. 
  • Bar-tailed Godwit   Limosa lapponica     Fair numbers of birds encountered. 
  • Oystercatcher   Haematopus ostralegus     Island population in excess of 10,000. 
  • Curlew   Numenius arquata     A very common wader on the island. 
  • Spotted Redshank   Tringa erythropus     2 birds at De Slufter 23rd. 
  • Common Redshank   Tringa totanus     Very common both inland and on the coast. 
  • Greenshank   Tringa nebularia     Odd birds only. 
  • Red-necked Phalarope   Phalaropus lobatus     Just 1 bird at De Moy. 
  • Turnstone   Arenaria interpres     Small flocks encountered most days. 
  • Black-headed Gull   Larus ridibundus     Common at most suitable sites. 
  • Common Gull   Larus canus     Common at most suitable sites. 
  • Herring Gull   Larus argentatus     The most common gull of the region. 
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull   Larus fuscus     Good numbers. 
  • Great Black-backed Gull   Larus marinus     1 juvenile at Waagelot. 
  • Sandwich Tern   Sterna sandvicensis     100> pairs in the colony at Waagelot. 
  • Common Tern   Sterna hirundo     The commonest tern of the region with several hundred pairs at the traditional breeding sites. 
  • Little Tern   Sterna albifrons     The least common of the terns with approximately 30-50 pairs on the island. 
  • Woodpigeon   Columba palumbus     Common all over the island. 
  • Collared Dove   Streptopelia decaocto     Small numbers of birds usually around the farms. 
  • Short-eared Owl   Asio flammeus     Bird seen at day time roost at the Little Gardens. 
  • Skylark   Alauda arvensis     Small numbers of birds seen throughout the island. 
  • Sand Martin   Riparia riparia     Obvious migration during second half of the week. 
  • Swallow   Hirundo rustica     Large influx into the island in 2nd half of the week. 
  • House Martin   Delichon urbica     Same status as Swallow. 
  • Tree Pipit   Anthus trivialis     2 birds on territory at the Hors Polders. 
  • Meadow Pipit   Anthus pratensis     Odd birds seen usually on the grass dykes on the east of the island. 
  • Yellow Wagtail   Moticilla flavissima    1 bird seen from hide at Waagelot. 
  • White Wagtail   Moticilla alba     Several birds encountered. 
  • Wren   Troglodytes troglodytes     Birds encountered in the Little Gardens & pine woods. 
  • Dunnock   Prunella modularis    Birds confined to west coast woods. 
  • Robin   Erithacus rubecula     A common bird at all suitable locations. 
  • Bluethroat   Luscinia svecica     4 white-spotted males on territory at the Hors Polders. 
  • Stonechat   Saxicola torquata     Surprisingly few birds although habitat looks ideal, a pair of birds at the Little Gardens the only record. 
  • Northern Wheatear   Oenanthe oenanthe     Obvious migration with several males disputing territories around the lighthouse. 
  • Ring Ouzel   Turdus torquatus     Several males seen at the Little Gardens. 
  • Blackbird   Turdus merula     One of the most common passerines on the island. 
  • Fieldfare   Turdus pilaris     1 bird at the Little Gardens only sighting of the trip. 
  • Song Thrush   Turdus philomelos    Several birds seen. 
  • Blue Tit   Parus caeruleus     Although not common, they could usually be found in the woods to the west. 
  • Great Tit   Parus major     Status similar to Blue Tit. 
  • Jay   Garrulus glandarius     Common in suitable habitats, birds seen most days around hotel at De Koog . 
  • Magpie   Pica pica     A very common bird over most of the island. 
  • Jackdaw   Corvus monedula     The most common corvid on the island with flocks of 50+ not uncommon. 
  • Carrion Crow   Corvus corone     Birds common at suitable habitats. 
  • Starling   Sturnus vulgaris     Common bird throughout the island with birds seen at most habitats. 
  • House Sparrow   Passer domesticus     Most farms on the island have shelter belts and wind-breaks which hold mixed flocks of both House & Tree Sparrows. 
  • Chaffinch   Fringilla coelebs     Appear to be commoner on the East coast, a flock of 30+ birds at De Slufter 18th. 
  • Greenfinch   Carduelis chloris     Small numbers at suitable sites. 
  • Goldfinch   Carduelis carduelis     Only 1 record of a single bird 14th. 
  • Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus    Birds locally common at Hors Polders.