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Michael, Lucy & Lewis. Ireland,
We went birding with Robert on Saturday 26th November and despite dense fog had a great time.
My emails direct to Robert keep getting bounced back and I had to communicate with him through my nephew who works in Amsterdam so I’m sending my testimonial direct to you.
I have some misty atmospheric pictures of birds and horses in the fog, quality isn’t good but I’ll forward one or two on later.
Going birding in the Netherlands in November always carried the risk of unfavourable weather and though the morning began clear, crisp and sunny in Amsterdam, where a very cheerful Robert collected us from our hotel, as we approached Oostvaardersplassen we drove into a dense fog. Nevertheless, despite the cold fog and limited visibilty we had a really enjoyable morning. Our guide Robert was a very pleasant companion, good humoured and sharing his vast knowledge in very enthusiastic and entertaining fashion and, of course, really good at spotting birds. Oostvaardersplassen was very atmospheric in the mist, lots of huddled buzzards perched waiting for the air to warm and we got good views of ducks and great crested grebe and despite the cold and restricted vision we got to see and hear 49 species of bird and many wild horses. Robert was a wealth of information about the polder environment and how it had developed and supported the wildlife. My nephew came with us on his first organised birding outing and despite cold, mist and early start which might have put a beginner off he thoroughly enjoyed himself and really valued all he saw and learned from Robert. I’d love to see Oostvaardersplassen again, preferably in spring or summer and couldn’t ask for a better guide then Robert.. ...."
In a number of other instances, in other cities, I’ve not had great experiences trying to secure the services of a birding guide for a one-day outing. However, in the case of Amsterdam, and Robert De Groot, we got lucky and hit the avian jackpot. Mr. De Groot responded promptly to our email query, and he planned an excellent outing for us. He was punctual and well organized in all aspects of the day’s planning. In the field, he was an excellent spotter and clearly knew his birds like the expert that he is. Also, he had that rare gift of getting you on the bird through a clear description of various trees, bushes, and sticks that lead your eye to the spot where the bird is to be found. And his rates were reasonable. By the end of the day, my wife and I counted him as a friend whom we hope to see again. Than you, Robert. ...."
Amar and Caroline, USA,
We had booked a full day of birding at Oostvaardersplassen and Rik Feije was our excellent guide. We are beginner birders and had not birded in Europe before. Rik was very knowledgeable and talked about the identifying marks and typical songs of birds that look very similar. We were also able to slow down and take a good look at a lot of fantastic birds and Rik made every attempt to find the birds in the scope for us, which was very helpful. The highlight was watching the Spoonbills feeding and the White Storks nesting up in the power line pylons. In addition to birds, Rik was also well informed about the natural history of Oostvaardersplassen and answered all our questions patiently and in great detail. We also saw red foxes (one of whom we saw stealing a goose chick), deer and horses. All in all, a splendid day birding. Thanks, Rik ...."
Ron and Genevieve, Canada,
Thank you for introducing Robert de Groot to us. He was extremely
knowledgeable (and not just on birds), patient, and full of good humour. We
spent three marvellous days with him, saw a lot and learned a lot. He
provided everything we could wish for except sunshine. The wet weather may
have dampened our bodies, but not our spirits. Dank u! ...."
Cordelia, USA, August
My two days of birdwatching in the Netherlands with guide, Robert de Groot, were most enjoyable. He arrived very punctually both mornings. One day we visited Zeeland and locations on the way; the second day we went to Oostvaardersplasse. Each day, Robert found many good birds and was able to give numerous insights into other interesting aspects of the history, geology, biology
and environmental significance of each region. I learned a lot! Tasty snacks and lunches were provided as well. His final report was a very thorough summary of the two days. I can very highly recommend Robert as a bird guide. I hope to participate in one of his birdwatching tours in Spain one day.
Many thanks for a wonderful and memorable experience!
Jan and Kevin, USA, California, June
We used Flevo Bird Watching during a full day on Texel and a half day in Veluwe and were extremely happy with the service received. From the start, Robert emailed us several times before we left, and picked us up at our hotel for the Texel trip. We found him congenial and engaging, not only knowledgeable about both bird biology and ecology, but also about ecology of Netherlands as well as historical as well as current European socio-politics. During the drive from place to place, we asked questions and he answered fully, peppered with his sense of humor. He knew the scientific name, and common name, and was able to recognize birds by sight or sound. We had full confidence in his guiding ability. He also brought along a quality scope to use, and he somehow always found that little bird amongst the leaves. At the end of our trips, he provided a list of the birds we saw along with written comments. The experience made us want to go do more birding in the Netherlands. The price was worth the product! ...."
Gloria & Joel, USA, California,
Several months ago, we decided to spend a few additional days in Amsterdam at the end of a Rhine River cruise. As enthusiastic senior birdwatchers from California, a birding trip was a natural choice for us. As the result of an internet search, we contacted FlevoBirdwatching by email and were impressed with the organization’s professionalism and responsiveness to our limited time, physical limitations, and our limitless desire to see birds. By email, FlevoBirdwatching provided details on tour location, costs, and directions. At the end of April, following their directions, we traveled by train from Schipol Airport to the Almere Buiten station where our guide, Taco Spanbroek, met us. We three spent a wonderful half day in Oostvaardersplassen, driving to four different sites easily accessible by car to minimize our walking. In four hours, we saw 68 species, many of them life birds for us. The weather was gray and rainy, but the birds seemed to love the conditions. At every stop, we were surrounded by singing birds, including Common Cuckoo, Bluethroat, and Savi’s Warbler; and we saw a variety of ducks, shelducks, and geese gliding across the inlets and among reeds. Taco knows the area very well, and is a knowledgeable and personable guide. The tour and Taco added a natural dimension to our wonderful trip. We had a memorable morning and highly recommend FlevoBirdwatching and especially, Taco Spanbroek...."
Jackie and John, UK, March
When we decided on a city break to Amsterdam, in early March 2014, my keen birdwatching husband immediately started researching the birds in that general area. It became apparent that a tour would be the best way to maximise the short time we had to spare and, after some research, decided to go with Flevo tours. This turned out to be an excellent choice. We were supplied with detailed travel plans from our hotel to the train station local to the Oostvaardersplassen and where met there by our guide Taco. What followed was a day packed with interest and excellent birdwatching opportunities. Taco was both knowledgeable and responsive to our needs. He focussed resources to try and ensure we saw any particular birds we had expressed an interest in seeing and, in the most part, was successful in that endeavour. Taco' s knowledge of the area and it's wildlife was second to none but he did not attempt to identify birds unless he was certain he was correct. We had an unforgettable day and we would recommend this tour to anyone. from an interested amateur (me) to an expert birdwatcher (my husband)..."
Leo, Washington DC, USA, October
I am a relatively inexperienced birder with no European experience. I spent a glorious morning with Taco in Oostvaardersplassen. Thank you for the detailed train directions from Amsterdam which made getting there effortless, also for pointing out the De Nieuwe Wildernis film trailer. This is indeed a very special place. Taco showed he is very adept at adjusting to his guest as he quickly recognized that I was not interested in a record day but was happy with a gentle pace. He offered to keep the list so I wouldn't need to, and patiently described each bird, field marks, habits, sounds, and its relationship and history in the Oostvaardersplassen. He really loves this place and especially loves sharing it! There was hardly ever a pause as we moved through several different habitats. Taco pointed out 4 gulls to me and I never moved my feet. By the time he was done I could reliably recognize all the species of geese. I should also add that he was facile with my north american birds to compare and contrast with the birds he was showing me. He worked hard to show me a pair of white tailed eagles and (wow!) glossy Ibis. When I got home I received a detailed list of birds, locations, a couple snap shots through the spotting scope, and ancillary information about our day such as background information on the white-fronted goose with the neck band which I could see because his spotting scope is so magnificent. And almost every bird was a lifer! I am absolutely delighted with my experience.."
Hello Taco, amazing to think we saw/heard 73 on the one day- or at least you did, but I’m glad I saw almost all the ones you saw. It was a brilliant day for me, and one of the highlights and very best days of my whole trip to Europe. Once again thank you very much for a great day
Frank, USA, June
I booked both a full day (Oostvaardersplaasen) and half day (Dunes and Grasslands) tours with FlevoBirdwatching during a recent visit to the Netherlands. Robert de Groot was my guide for both days. He is an excellent guide, very knowledgeable about both the local area and the birds, but also about the local ecology and history (and good company as well). It was a great all round experience, in addition to great birding. During our tour of the Oostvaardersplaasen we visited a range of sites and habitats, seeing 84 (and another heard only) for the day, of which 8 were new for me. Highlights included Bearded Reedling (Tit), Bluethroat, Eurasian Spoonbill, Eurasian Hobby and a Northern Goshawk sitting on prey whilst being harassed by crows. During the following day’s Dunes and Grasslands tour we visited a couple of wetland sites before finishing in woodland on sand dunes, with 74 seen (and 2 more heard only), 2 of which were new for me - highlights being plenty of Bluethroats (can’t tire of those), singing Savi’s Warbler, Black-necked Grebes, Garganey, Black Tern and Purple Heron. Overall it was an excellent birding experience and I would thoroughly recommend both FlevoBirdwatching and Robert. I’d happily book a tour with them again. Thanks for a great birding experience!
Spent a wonderful day at Oostvaardersplassen. The area was a total surprise particularly the lack of people, the amount of unbuilt space and the quality of the bird life. Taco was an excellent guide knowing the area like the back of his hand and being a wonderful spotter of birds as well as being good company. Highlights for me were the Bearded Tit, Spoonbill and Marsh Harrier. I look forward to returning.
Scott and Krista, USA,
I found FlevoBirdwatching on the internet while searching for birding information in the Netherlands. I had never used a guide, but since I was unfamiliar with European birds and the Netherlands, I decided to take a chance. It turned out to be a great decision. My wife and I spent the day with Taco and we came away with a total of 71 birds with 58 life birds. I got good looks at many birds and was fortunate to get to see the white tailed eagle! Taco was very knowledgeable about not only the birds but the whole environment. He was quick with his identification by sight, behavior and sound. His skills clearly made it possible for us to see so many birds in such a short time. Plus, he was a really pleasant person and we enjoyed spending the day with him. I was very happy and the end of the day. It is hard to imagine a better day of bird watching.
This is how I feel about our trip Taco. Thanks so much…as you can tell…I loved it.
I had a wonderful time birding in Netherlands. I had never been there before and I was en route from Kenya heading back home in Canada. I arrived at 5:30 am and was departing Amsterdam at 3:30pm so I didn't have much time. I was met after customs by Robert. I was looking for a name card but Robert had something just as identifiable - a pair of binoculars. We went to Oostvaardersplassen. Robert was very informative and very knowledgeable which made the time very enjoyable. I highly recommend the tour. We saw 48 birds of which 18 were lifers.
Thanks so much for the day we spent with you, we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Although the weather was rather poor it didn't spoil the day. There were several highlights - peregrine stooping on wildfowl, and our 'positive' Rough Legged Buzzard ID! Plus a pair of White-tailed Eagle thrown in for good measure. It was very interesting talking to you about birds, natural history, and your country.
Alan, Colin &
Robert proved to be a thoughtful, delightful, knowledgeable guide. We felt at ease with him from the word go. He was as excited about seeing birds as we were, particularly with regard to the amazing Steppe Grey Shrike and the Short-eared Owl which Linda found.
Also of interest to us were: 4 Snow Buntings; 2 Ruddy Shellduck; large numbers of thrushes; Black –necked Grebes and a Black-throated Diver.
Robert’s approach to the whole day was thorough and professional with a good sense of humour and we would not hesitate to use his services again.
Note from Alan: As the laymen in the party this provided a great introduction to a wonderful hobby. The vehicle driven by Robert was roomy and comfortable. The whole trip was real value for money and most appreciated by us all.
Lynn, Canada, May
Robert was a delightful and knowledgeable guide. The service he provided was excellent, from transportation pick up and drop off to wonderful coffee and stroopwafel to greet us. Being Canadian tourists, we were excited to have seen 58 species in the generous half day of 5 hours we shared together. Six different areas of Oostvaardersplassen were explored therefore offering a wonderful cross section of birds in the Netherlands in early May.."
Angela and Jim,
Birding with Robert was fantastic. We had a wonderful day. He shared his expertise, ensured that we both saw what was around and did it all in a very pleasant manner. It was a memorable day with many highlights including Bluethroat and White-tailed Eagle..."
The excursions to Oostvaardersplassen and Texel with Robert
As last year, they were made especially interesting to us by Robert's extensive knowledge of the ecology of the Netherlands....."
Eric & Sylvia,
Birding highlights from our two days included a (Northern) Goshawk hunting two Mallards very close to us and just missing, a perched Tawny Pipit, a (Eurasian) Nuthatch cleaning its nest, Bluethroats in the reeds, and a (Common) Cuckoo calling which we actually located and saw. It was also very nice to see Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Short-Toed Treecreeper....."
We had a fantastic trip, good transport, great guide, good walks and lots of birds (despite all the rain)
My husband and I are working on a book about horses around the world. We found that we had to go to Amsterdam on other business and that there was a group of semi-feral horses to be seen in a reserve quite near the city.
But how to see them and learn about them with only an afternoon's free time.
We hired Taco and Flevo Birdwatching. It was the perfect solution! Taco is very knowledgeable, professional and extremely cordial. We saw many more than 100 of the reserve's horses -- and plenty of birds, as well.
My trip with your company was outstanding. The knowledge about the birds and where to see the birds was great. I was looking forward to being out and about in the countryside but was dubious we would be able to see much since we toured for half a day on Jan. 2. Instead we were able to see 51 species. Thanks
Taco for a great day.
Massimiliano and Naomi,
We had a wonderful time with Robert. We spent 2 days birdwatching, the first day we went to Texel and the second to Oostvaardersplassen. The first day, despite the rain and the wind was full of new experiences. We saw many geese and birds we do not have the opportunities to see at home, Geneva, Switzerland. On the second day, the sun was with us and we had a very enjoyable day of bird watching as well. Thanks to Robert, we were able to see many different species, and had allways good feelings of where to stop. ..."
I did a very enjoyable whole day tour of the Oostvaardersplassen with Robert, taking in pretty much the whole reserve. We were able to visit a good range of habitats and saw a decent number of bird species, together with a good sighting of a Beaver in one of the canals. ..."
We enjoyed a half-day tour in Texel with Robert. Despite the sometimes stormy weather and the fact that most of the migratory birds have already left, we managed to spot 55 different spieces of bird, thanks to the expertise of Robert. It was a great adventure.
Bob and Nancy,
We were in excellent hands for 2 days of touring with Robert while our ship was in port. None of us in our group of 4 is a birder, but that didn't matter. Robert took us to lovely and interesting locales for us to enjoy the birding and learn more of Dutch history and culture. We loved the experience of walking outdoors in serene settings for birding, and Robert is excellent and patient as a guide and teacher. Count yourself fortunate if you can book any tour. You will have a very positive experience. ..."
Elizabeth and Charles ,
We greatly enjoyed our day tour of Oostvaardersplassen with Ruud. Though August is not the best time of year for birds and the light and weather were dull, we managed to see 58 species and to learn a good deal about the area. Sadly no white-tailed eagles to be seen! We would like to visit again in the winter. Travel instructions and all the arrangements were excellent. ..."
I had a great time birding with Robert (June 18, 2011). Despite the high winds and rain, we saw 43 birds at Amsterdamse Waterleiding Duinen during the monring half day tour. In addition to birding, I learned a lot about the region and how the area we birded is used to filter the water for the city of Amsterdam. After the trip, Robert emailed a list of the birds seen. I am so happy I found your company. I will use you again when I'm back inthe region. ..."
I had the pleasure of taking two day-long excursions organized by FlevoBirdwatching in May 2011. Taco did a great job of setting up my itenerary, giving me perfect travel advice on using the trains, and also provided excellent advice on birding within Amsterdam. The first day was to the Oostvaardersplassen area (98 species) and the second was to Amsterdamse Waterleiding Duinen, Woerdense Verlaat, Groene Jonker, and Waverveen (81 species). The guides, Pim (first day) and Robert (second day), were first class: knowledgable, friendly, and professional. I especially enjoyed the fact that, while both Pim and Robert were focused on getting me good looks at target species, they both recognized that the days were about more than just how many birds we saw. Both guides were able and willing to share their knowledge and ideas about a wide range of natural history (e.g., mammals, plants) and about Dutch culture and history. I can't wait for my next trip to the Netherlands so I can explore another part of the country with someone from the Flevo team...."
Eric and Sylvia,
We had a splendid tour around the entire periphery of the reserve, with frequent birding stops. Our guide, Robert, was extremely knowledgeable and forthcoming about the ecology and ecological history of the place and all of South Holland, which was exactly what we wanted. Highly recommended...."
Gonzalo and Esther,
We really enjoyed our Tour. Ruud was an excellente guide, not only for his knowledge of birds, but for his pleasant conversation: red deer overpopulation and origin of the name Oostvaardersplassen were some of the subjects we talked. He was also very patient with my bad english and discovered us karamelstoopwafels, Three
"first time species" unexpected marsh warbler! for a Mediterranean guy made me very happy at the moment, but just the walk in good company worthwhile
Hope I can someday return in winter..."
Stu and Susan,
We enjoyed a wonderful morning birding with Taco during our trip to the Netherlands in early May 2011.We caught a 6:30am train from Amsterdam's Central Station. Taco was there waiting for us in Almere Buiten, and we explored three different areas--marshes and woods. Saw lots of interesting birds and he couldn't have been nicer. He even brought a thermos of tea and waffle cookies.
Definitely enhanced our trip, which was primarily focused on Amsterdam.
Had a really nice half day tour of Oostvardersplassen with Ruud. He is a great guide, kind and generous with his knowledge. All in all we had 66 species, including Spoonbill (many!), Nightingale and Savi's warbler. Most recommended if you want to go birding in the Netherlands..."
Had a wonderful time birding with Robert today, April 19, 2011. We saw a great variety of birds and also learned a lot about the wonderful Netherlands.
Between bird sightings, Robert talked about the history and culture of the country. I saw beautiful parts of the area that tourists usually do not get to. So glad I found your company and we will remember you for future trips...."
We spent a day with Ruud at Oostvaardersplassen in early March 2011. It was better than expected! We saw or heard 59 species. Lunch was delicious. Ruud brought along his spotting scope and knew the best places to find birds. It was a fantastic experience and I'd highly recommend to anyone.
(c) picture Roel Lemstra.
With my wife an excellent half-day tour to Oostvaardersplassen middle of November. We were lucky with beautiful sunny weather and at good viewing points admired the flat landscape with impressive numbers of Geese, Lapwings and Golden Plovers, among others. 54 species in all was a fine result, chasing Peregrine Falcon most impressive. The service of FlevoBirdwatching was just perfect all the way: clear pre-information, Taco as kind and very professional guide in the field, and pleasure to get complete list of observations by e-mail afterwards. Taco even served us coffee, thanks for that. My amateur wife was also impressed and enjoyed the day a lot..
Very knowledgeable guide, clean transportation, great travel instructions and excellent knowledge of locality, birds and places to go. Thoroughly enjoyed the time out in the field and would highly recommend these guys for anyone wanting an excellent experience at a very reasonable price.
I found FlevoBirdwatching on the internet and took a chance to spend a day at Oostvaardersplassen. The trip greatly exceeded my expectations! Taco is an exceptional birder and I consider this day a highlight of my stay in Holland. I can't wait to do it again.
Marc and Michele,
"..birding the Netherlands in September is challenging as many summer birds have departed and winter visitors have yet to arrive.
nonetheless on a recent one day excursion to wetlands, with the assistance our guide Ruud we did manage to see 58 species of birds though alas no white-tailed sea eagle.
"..a Bird Tour in Oostvaardersplassen: great! Through
the knowledge of the guide Taco (he hears birds from far) you see a lot more birds than
on your own, even the coffee is well cared for, Highly recommended. Regards, John ... "
The excursion was accompanied by two very enthusiastic guides with an incredible knowledge of birds.
I recommend a trip with Flevo birdwatching heartedly..."
John and Esther,
"..the weather was not great, but we had a fun morning birdwatching. We have
seen a lot of birds, also foxes and wild horses.. "
Ik enjoyed the field trip, my dad was very happy with this birthday
present. Ruud is very friendly guide.."
On May 23 we joined a bird trip led by Rik of Flevobirdwatching. A fun and relaxing trip. In total 62 species of birds
species spotted. Highlights for me (inexperienced bird recipient):White-tailed eagle,
Golden Oriole, Glossy ibis, Garden Warbler and Nightingale. There was also
mammals; the red deer, heck cattle, konik horses and a red fox. The area of Oostvaardersplassen is great for bird watching, and we also had great weather: clear and only sun and a good temperature. The coffee was delicious! In short: a very nice excursion certainly for novice bird watchers (like me).
Friendly guide who quickly spotted birds. Had pleasant morning!"
Vera and Leon,
We have had wonderful excursion. Lots of birds seen, incredible sounds, five little foxes. A very enthusiastic guide. I have learned to concentrate on a bird sound. The big pretzel was delicious! Thank you.."
Paul and Roel,
To celebrate my 60th birthday my son treated me on a birding field
trip tot the Oostvaardersplassen. Ruud, our enthusiastic guide took us to some spectacular viewpoints.
We had good views of: Marsh harrier, Sparrowhawk, Greenshawk, Grasshopper
Warbler, Bearded Tit, Linnet and many more..... finally we have seen 68
species of birds Flevo Bird watching and Ruud, thank you!.."
The trip was a birthday present to my daughter. And she has enjoyed the
tour very much. Thank you FlevoBirdwatching..."
thanks for the informative tour. our 2 children of 11 + 8 loved it. nice that you
where so nice and patient with all those questions our children asked."
".. we saw 43 bird species, ranging from the magnificent Bluethroat and a
White-tailed eagle. Through the telescope we followed too long a fox looking for food. Thank you for this wonderful excursion Rik and everything you showed us."
"..Very successful, interesting and fun day! A number of new species for
me. Ruud was good company. I am looking forward to other trips and maybe we participate
in future field trips.."
"..What a beautiful (sunny) day on April 28 in the Oostvaardersplassen. In total 83 species seen, including the Red Kite, the
White-tailed Eagle Couple, Marsh harrier, Sparrowhawk, Bluethroat, and a quick fly-away
Kingfisher. Finally 3 Cranes. Actually too many birds to mention. Our expert bird guide Rik really has eagle eyes, before we could notice he had already spotted a bird.
As a farewell gift for my retirement, I had a bird watching excursion offered. It was really a great gift! I have fully enjoyed a beautiful day in the Oostvaardersplassen.
We have seen/ heard 75 different bird species. Taco has "hawk eyes". He sees everything that flies!"
I enjoyed by excursion, my guide Taco was extremely knowledgeable picking out and identifying birds from song and sight with ease. So all senses were activated. The tour covered the area and included mammals as well as birds.
I would say it's a trip for bird watchers rather than photographers, but is useful for photographers as it gives an indication of what there is and where is best to return.
I would have liked a whole day, as the area is fanatastic.
Jan and David,
The half-day outing to Oostervaardersplassen was excellent. We stayed in Amsterdam and were provided extremely clear directions on how to get from our hotel via tram to the train station and on to our meeting point. The outing itself was very nice and Rik was very knowledgeable about the birds and their habits.
We would highly recommend the trip to Texel. Being on the island all day allowed us to see the various habitats and many species of birds across the island. We were fortunate to see several Spoonbills despite the early time in the season thanks to Rik taking us to a great viewing area.
Dick and Pytsje,
".What a beautiful day we had, thanks
Rik. WAfter a short walk, accompanied by a woodpecker, the White-tailed eagle pair was a wonderful overture.
Nearn several well-chosen viewpoints we saw Smew, merganser, ruff, snipe, ringed plover, etc. etc. After lunch followed the walk through
a bizarre fallen tree forest where we were treated to a great white egret and a
Great Grey Shrike who liked to pose. A beautiful day..
"..what a way to celebrate your 50th birthday! We have
seen more than 55 species of birds in 1 day, including the Red Kite. The different observation points each gave a nice (different) image of the birds in their natural environment. Especially
the large group of flying Golden Plovers in The Slufter. What a beautiful moment. Furthermore,
the lunch was delicious. Thanks again for the great day and maybe goodbye..
the cold we enjoyed our birding tour very much. Untill a next time,..
Peter & Bill,
"..A fantastic days birding with Rik, a cold, sunny day provided myself and my Dad with good views of geese, white-tailed eagle and smew, 52 species in all. Rik provided us with plenty of knowledge and was friendly and helpful throughout the day. Would like to come back in the future Thanks..
Phil & Brian,
"..Despite the cold, snowy weather and large expanses of frozen wetland we much enjoyed our morning with Taco at Oostvaardersplassen a great alternative to spending nine hours at Schiphol. We only saw 33 species, but we each had lifers: Willow Tit for Phil and Fieldfare for Brian, each affording close views. Many flocks of White-fronted and Greylag Geese and a single group of Barnacle Geese were seen, all in flight. The arrangements were very efficiently handled, we were given clear instructions on taking the train to and from the airport and Taco even provided us with warm clothing. Highly recommended!
Annet & Ramses,
the cold weather we enjoyed our excursion. What a great nature reserve !
Lots of Red Foxes, female Hen Harrier, Great Spotted Woodpecker,
Redwings and offcourse a good view of a Great Bittern and a Rough-legged
Buzzard. No White-tailed Eagle unfortunately. Recommended. Thank you..
the cold, ice and snow, a great experience. Our guide (Rik) discovered
and showed us beautiful birds through his Swarovski Spotting Scope.."
"..Our tour of the Oostvaardersplassen with Rik was the highlight of our short stay in Amsterdam. Thanks to him we were able to discover the best spots of the area in half a day, which would have been very difficult had we been on our own. This tour was truly memorable and we hope to take another one sometime soon.
Thank you very much for making this day the best of our stay in Amsterdam !
Susan, USA and Netherlands,
"..This was our third tour with Rik and it won't be our last. Our family agrees that touring with a professional guarantees us an interesting walk and expanded knowledge of birds and nature. On this cold day in December, Rik succeeded in providing us with another memorable birding outing. A particular delight was seeing a Waterrail very close to the hide, very good views of this secretive species. Enjoy!....."
birthday present was a birding tour around the Oostvaardersplassen. We
managed to see 45 species of birds. Highlights the Red-breasted Goose
and Bearded Reedling. Rik turned out to be a guide with great knowledge
and very friendly. Recommended....."
".We are quite new to birding - it was an excellent and informative day for us. The highlight was a very long look at White Tailed eagles negotiating with 2 foxes over a carcass,
thank you Taco
the 24th of september i enjoyed my birthday present 'a birding tour'
very much. We saw almost 50 species of birds. I learned a lot. Thank you
for the beautiful morning and good luck with FlevoBirdwatching. ...."
were lucky during our birding tour. The weather was great. We have seen
almost 50 species of birds. We enjoyed this good organized birding
tour. Taco Thank you,.."
I spent eight nights in Amsterdam, and my day at the Oostvaarderplassen with FlevoBirdwatching was a highlight. Rik's experience and knowledge were invaluable. My favorites were sightings of the great-spotted woodpecker, yellow wagtail, long-tailed tits, and shellduck. Upon arriving home, a proper list of sightings and a summary of the areas we covered, were waiting for me in my email box. I would recommend FlevoBirdwatching any time ......worth every euro!...."
thanks for the fantastic day birding in the Netherlands, it was a very nice day.
Hope to see you again, maybe in Brazil, maybe in the Netherlands again!!!
Take care, All the best, Fred.."
Hans & Ina,
The weather forecast was very bad. After contacting Rik we decided to give it a try.
We scored more than 40 bird species. Without a birding guide we probaly scored no more than 10 species.
We enjoyed the birds, the Red Deer and Konik Horses....."
A brilliant birding experience in a fascinating location.
Great guiding, and a wonderful range of bird and mammal sightings. I'll be back! Amazingly efficient from booking to the tour itself.
Thanks so much for the excellent travel advice and of course the fantastic birding..."
friends, Netherlands, August
We have seen 39 bird species, including a Water Rail, Spotted Redshank and Ruff.
It was great fun to go to this nature reserve with two expert birders.."
Esther & Hein, Netherlands, August
We enjoyed the birding tour with Lieuwe very much. A friendly guide
with great knowledge. 76 different species of birds in one day. Good
luck with FlevoBirdwatching..."
Albert Jan & Mireille,
An excellent birding tour. We had great looks of our goal species:
Bearded Tits. We have learned a lot more about birds. Ruud, thank you
Carly & Susan,
A half day birding with Rik at Oostvaardersplassen netted 62 species. It was a very enjoyable outing, professionally handled with a knowledgeable, friendly guide. We hope to use your services again one day..."
Very educative hike. This way you see birds you otherwise would
Niels & friends,
Rik our guide we have searched for the White-tailed Eagle. After seeing
a lot of other beautiful birds we managed to find two adult and one
juvenile White-tailed Eagle. A very fun day. ..."
Peter & Chris,
This was our first birding trip to Europe for my wife and I. Taco drove us from the station to Oostvaardersplassen after helping us find our way by train from Amsterdam. It was a great morning: we saw birds, birds, and more birds (66 species in all). A cuckoo serenaded us while we looked on and kept it up while we got sedge, marsh and reed warblers. Several marsh harriers and a buzzard flew over. Grebes, cormorants, egrets, spoonbills and herons were all visible close-up, courtesy of Taco's Swarovski scope. All and all, it was a fantastic morning!
Michael & Sara,
A professionally organised tour, combined with Rik's extraordinary knowledge about birds, local and worldwide, and obvious (but not over the top) passion for birding made this a very enjoyable day for both us. I can highly recommend it to anybody with any interest in birds.
Keep up the good work and we look forward to another tour..."
Jaap & colleagues, Netherlands,
The hunting Marsh Harrier was highlight.
A beautiful sight to see a raptor at short distance. Fun to go birding with guides with a lot of knowledge and good eyes.
Thank you very much!
Tania, Edwin & Nieke, Portugal and the Netherlands,
A couple of Dutch friends decided to take me on a bird tour in the Netherlands. I'm a birdwatcher myself but haven't been practicing for a long time. We ended up spending a very nice day in the company of our guide and had lots of fun! Hopefully, my friends became also interested in bird watching and I offered them a bird guide in the end to allow them to keep practicing! .."
Carl & Vernon, USA,
We took a half-day tour at Oostvaarderplassen with guide, Ruud. We were able to see/hear 63 species of birds while on the tour. We probably should have taken a day tour as there were many birds to see. Ruud paid special attention to our request to see a bluethroat and he found one for us! Would take another trip with this company if we're ever in The Netherlands again.
We enjoyed the time with Ruud. We were very happy with the number of birds that we were able to see in such a short time. Thanks for a great trip .."
Linda & Jerry, USA,
Our trip Oostvaardersplassen reserve with Taco as guide was the highlight of our visit to Amsterdam. The trip was planned perfectly,our train trip laid out for us and when we got to the reserve not only did we see 74 species of birds including the White Tailed hawk
(eagle) but we also saw the herd of horses, a fox playing with her kits, the cows grazing and wonderful looks at the small reed bunting and willow warbler. I have recommended FlevoBirdwatching to all my friends and expect that some New Yorkers will head to Amsterdam as soon as possible so that they can enjoy being in Nature in such a special way. I also recommend a full day trip with lunch as you will want more rather than less time in this very special place. My husband who is not a bird watcher enjoyed being on the trip looking at birds and the other animals as much as I did., .."
Mary Ann & Jennifer, USA,
We had a very fun day of birding in the Oostvaarderplassen and nearby areas! It was wonderful to see over 80 species of birds and identify others by song. Thank you!
Marjan & Gina, Netherlands,
At 8:00 in the morning Lieuwe arrived at our Hotel Broekstermaar in Pieterburen.
After a short walk in the garden (Icterine Warbler and Blackcap)We
headed to National Park Lauwersmeer. In a very short period Lieuwe
showed us Sedgewarbler, Reed Warbler, Bluethroat, Ruff, Gargany,
Bar-tailed Godwitt, Little Ringed Plover en some juvenile Bearded Tits
in the Spotting Scope. Lieuwe is a guide with a lot of knowledge. The
day was passing by quickly. We stopped at 6 beautiful sites. Thank you
FlevoBirdwatching, Thank you Lieuwe and thank you Hotel Broekstermaar, .."
Had a great day with Rik around Oostvaardersplassen. Lots of nice sightings of water birds, closeby raptors, singing passerines. Rik has a remarkable skill of getting small birds quickly in his scope for great views (bluethroat, reed warbler, marsh warbler, sedge warbler, bearded tit.."
Frank and Es, Netherlands,
Despite the hard wind it was good weather. We enjoyed the day in nature reserve the Oostvaardersplassen very much. We liked the Black Terns, Black Kite and
hunting Marsh Harriers above the reed.
A glimpse of the beautiful Kingfisher, short but a beautiful sight.
Ruud was very good to identify the different birdsounds.
The family of foxes was fantastic to see !
John and Pauline, UK,
Pauline and I had an excellent day birding with Taco at the Oostvardersplassen. Taco's knowledge (aswell as his fantastic
'ear' for identifying birds by their song) allowed us to see and hear all the target species we had requested,these included Spoonbill,White Stork,Blue Throat,Wood Sandpiper and many more..."
David and Ray,
Thanks for a great days Birding, which we both enjoyed, we will certainly use your services again.
Hope to meet you again in the not too distant future...."
With excellent weather we did a morning hike. We have seen many bird
species, Konik Horses, Red Deer and even a hunting Red fox.
Thank you for this great experience..."
Krista and Jolanda, Netherlands,
A great day with a lot of information about the birds we have seen
and heard. We had great views of Bluethroat, Savi's Warbler, Common
Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler. In total more than 91 species of birds
and 3 Red Foxes. Thank you very much..."
Marijke and Yvonne, Netherlands,
18 april 2009, The dunes west of Amsterdam. The weather was great,
clear skies. Nightingales where singing at several sites. It was our
second visit with FlevoBirdwatching. Without the knowledge of Rik we did
not managed to see that many birds as we did. My favorite birds of the
day: Goldeneye, Cuckoo, Nightingale, Stonechat and Hobby..."
Susan, Flip en Christopher, USA,
This was our second tour with Rik of FlevoBirdwatching and we had a fun time once again – this time at Oostvaardersplassen. Birding is fairly new to us so we appreciate all of Rik’s guidance on equipment, bird habits , and birding spots in The Netherlands. Rik’s English is superb and he easily moves between English and Dutch which is great for my bilingual family. Without Rik, we would not have seen and heard as many species as we did – 60 in just one morning.
Hendo and Mirjam, Netherlands,
We had a fantastic day, with the great knowledge of our guide we have learned a lot on this day. We want to recommened everyone this excursion.
Thanks again for this very nice day
friends, Netherlands, March
Despite the rain we still enjoyed it. You were very kind and in a relaxed way, I also heard new things. . Maybe nice for a small
group of people to do. It surprises me how many birds you see...."
and family, USA, March
".. Our party of five booked a FlevoBirdwatching outing in early March. We could not have been more pleased with our experience. The directions we received were easy to follow and the train from Amsterdam was convenient and offered a nice view of the countryside (including two groups of Spoonbills). We were met at the station as promised by our two guides Rik and Taco. From the first meeting we felt welcome and comfortable with them, they were both professional and friendly. The Oostvaardersplassen is a fascinating ecosystem, and we were given opportunities to spend as much time as we wanted in many different locations and environments. Rik and Taco were both excellent at spotting birds, but they were also very skilled at assisting others in not only seeing these birds, but understanding what they are looking at. Having never visited Europe before, almost every bird I saw was new to me. Because of the excellent discussion provided by our guides I not only saw new birds, I learned their names and something of their habits. Our guides clearly knew the terrain, and what birds to expect in each area. I had never taken a guided birding trip before. I didn't know if I would enjoy it. Every member of our group expressed complete satisfaction with the experience. As the organizer of the trip, I felt concern for the enjoyment of the group, FlevoBirdwatching exceeded my expectations and made me look like a genius for choosing them. I would reccomend FlevoBirdwatching for anyone who wishes to see the birds of the Oostvaardersplassen. If you are not really a birder, but are visiting the Netherlands and would like to see something besides the sights of the cities, FlevoBirdwatching can provide you with a natural experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.."
Jan and André, Netherlands,
".. What do you gift a friend who is sixty and has a pair of binoculars? One afternoon birds seemed a good idea, but with an expert there.
Andre and I are still very novice birders. How to become an expert?
A birdguide is helping but occasional excursions are more effective. But where do you find an address of a bird guide in the country?
Try Google and you will find Flevo Birdwatching. On the Friday the 13th (!), We were picked up by Rik at the Amstel
Station. This service appealed to us, both without cars, particularly. Through Amsterdam
and near Durgerdam we found beautiful meadows and and water: IJdoorn, Kinseldam. There was much to see 42 species including
Ruff and a Curlew among 500 Black-tailed godwit's. We have enjoyed
ourself and learned a lot. We will use your services again ...."
Ann en Davy,
"..Soon we knew that it was an exciting day and that was it! While Rik with his binoculars looking further
for a widt range of birds we had the time to use his telescope to
admire beautiful birds up close. We learned a lot and at the end of our day, our computers (our brains)
were completely full. Thanks Rik, you have made someone very happy.
The next day we saw 3 spoonbills. Be sure that in future we use your knowledge
Susan and family, USA,
"..My family of four spent a memorable day with Rik in Texel just after Christmas when the island is sparsely populated with people but full of birds. We saw 50 species at a nice pace including the rare Snowy Owl made famous from the “Harry Potter” books. Author J.K. Rowling knows that when she turns those round golden eyes on you, it’s magical! One son often uses a wheelchair and Texel is the ideal place to comfortably bird watch either from the car or from a wheelchair-friendly spot. Rik didn’t mind being squeezed into our car while he entertained us with lots of bird facts and helpful birding hints. We plan to hire Flevo Bird Watching again this spring to do some more birding and I highly recommend this experience! .."
"..I want to thank you for the excellent birding this morning and for being great company. The hot coffee and biscuit were an unexpected bonus Hope to see you again on a future visit to Europe.. I added 5 life birds and 2 new subspecies to my list (excellent!).."
Lies and friends,
enjoyed our field trip on the 11ht of october so much, i have
booked another fieldtrip for my colleague to give as an birthday present.."
"..for me it was a very interesting and informative day, kind regards and thanks for the beautiful day .."
Claire, Aude, Mireille & Jean-Philippe,
"..A well organized one day tour on Texel, thank you Rik! On very short notice he set-up a one day tour for our family. Rik's strong knowledge of the field and of course of the birds and his very good
service made the tour very enjoyable for us. Great success also since we observed 59 species of birds that day including a green winged teal a rare observation on the island. We also very much appreciated the final visit report Rik issued to us at the end. All in all a great and very professional job. A great place, a great guide: will have to come back... for both!..."
Stéphane, Jacques,Monique, Véronique,
the island of Texel 19-22 October and devoted one day to birdwatching,
we were guided by Rik of Flevobirdwatching. We enjoyed the best
hotspots and he showed us many bird species. We could see and photograph
some goal species: Eider, Barnacle Goose and Curlew. We will return in spring...."
Andre and Ingrid, Belgium,
we enjoyed our stay at Texel and your bird guiding on sunday. Your input about
habitat and season was important.."
"..We found your tour to be very well set up, and you are clearly a true expert in your local patch.
It gives me a target to slowly work towards as I build up experience in my own area. It must be marvellous for foreign birders passing through Amsterdam with only a few hours free to be able to spend time with Flevobirding, and refresh themselves in your company.
And, congratulations to the Dutch, in creating such a reserve in easy reach of the city in a short number of years,
i will recommend your tours to any friends who are coming your way.."
Note: Jonathan is living in france setting up is own birding company and accommodation, close to the Pyrenees
Click here to visit the website of Jonathan.
Rene and Ronald,
enjoyed a great day. You showed us Texel, a beautiful island with many
species of birds. And you knew how to find them. It was a very
knowledgeable day, because you see birds you do not see every day. We
say 8 species of predators and many waterbirds and waders, we loss count.
We would be happy to use your services again in the Oostvaardersplassen..
Jacintha, Netherlands, August
picked me up at my Hotel at Texel. First we visited observationhide
Dijkmanshuizen. We saw both Greenshank and Wood Sandpiper, two birds i
never say before. Rik identified a lot of birds for me, that is great if
you do not have enough knowledge . During the lunch we enjoyed a coot
that was attacking Greylag Geese. A Hen Harries was one of the
highlights. Texel is a great birding island and even greater by the
guidance of Rik. Rik thank you very much..."
"..When I knew that I was going to Amsterdam for business I began to look where I would be able to see some birds. Being my first time in Europe I was unsure where to go. During my search on the internet I found the site for Flevobirdwatching. I am very thankful I did because my trip became much easier. They sent me train directions and Rik picked picked my up at the train staion. He brought me to the Oostvaardersplassen reserve where I was able to see around 50 different species of birds (It probably would have been more but was raining 65 percent of the time that I was there). Rik brought me back to the train station when it was done so that I could catch my flight back home. I would and will suggest Flevobirdwatching to anyone thinking of going to Amsterdam and I hope to use thier service again in the future. Thank for all the help Rik.
Geertje and Dick, Netherlands,
"..A very nice morning field trip, higly recommended
click here for the weblog of
Hans and Jan, Netherlands, August
"..enjoyable and instructive morning! The weather was bad, but it was a positive experience.
The Northern Goshawk sitting in the grass was impressive. The guide,
Taco, and the spotting scope where both giving the field trip an extra
"..A very special nature reserve close to a dense populated area.
Our guide Taco was able to show us the the fauna of the
Oostvaardersplassen in a direct way. For example, he showed us that a Common Buzzard
can be almost completely white. Sustainable entrepreneurship combined with the love for nature is possible. Higly recommended field trip.."
Sarah and Dennis, USA, July
"..We enjoyed our Oostvaardersplassen trip very much. We were surprised to see not just birds but foxes, wild ponies and many deer. We appreciated Taco’s expertise and knowledge of the area. Highlights on the trip were a baby cuckoo in a bush right next to the hide and a migrant Black Stork. I also took advantage of the personalized guide to birding in Amsterdam. I made it to three of the four parks and found them to be quite worthwhile..."
Terry and Deborah, USA, July
We are grateful to Rik and Flevobirdwatching for an absolutely terrific morning this July 3rd at Oostervaardersplassen. In advance of our visit, Rik emailed us detailed and accurate instructions on how to get from our hotel in Amsterdam to the nearest train station to our birding destination. Rik met us at 8:00 am sharp and we proceeded in his car directly to Oostervaardersplassen, where we were treated to a grand morning's birding. Rik was highly professional, knowledgeable, and clearly enjoyed introducing visitors to local specialities - a prerequisite for being a top-notch guide. Among the 76 species we tallied that morning were a good variety of Old World Warblers, very good looks at an accomodating Bluethroat, Eurasian Spoonbill, and a plethora of shorebirds, including numerous Ruff, both Common and Spotted Redshank, both Common and Little Ringed Plover, and Pied Avocet, among other species. We had wonderful, lengthy looks at a generous Euopean Cuckoo and even a distant, but undeniable, look at a White-tailed Eagle. We highly recommend and encourage visting birders (particularly those from the U.S.) to engage the services of Flevobirding; given their expertise and exceptionally reasonable rates, you will not be disappointed..."
Louise, USA, July
".I am a lifelong traveler and fairly new birdwatcher, but when we swapped homes with an Amsterdam couple, I wanted to see some of the surroundings of the city. I searched my faithful Rough Guide, but saw no references to wildlife or any environs. Somehow, as I trolled some birdwatching sites, I found a message about a birdwatching group- FlevoBirdwatching (www.birdsnetherlands.nl). I found their website and scheduled a 2 hour trip in the city park "Vondel Park" and a half day voyage to the Oostvaardersplassen, of which I knew very little. Again, the area was not mentioned in my Amsterdam guide. I have high recommendations of Rik (and his partner, Taco) of FlevoBirdwatching for any of his escorts, and the ease with which my trips were managed. On both occasions, he gave me easy to follow instructions on where to meet, and for the "out of Amsterdam" voyage, great train instructions! He also brought spotting scope, extra binocs, yummy dutch snacks,local bird list, and a wealth of natural history information. FlevoBirdwatching is a wonderful enterprise, with two committed naturalists that coordinate bird trips for their love of the country and the birds. A note about the Oostvaardersplassen it is a wondrous wetland, 13500 acres re-claimed in the sixties, that has several viewing areas, including a blind very close to the water. We saw more than 50 species of birds, a traveling fox, small mammals, in addition to large herds of red deer, majestic Heck cattle and Konik (Eastern race of wild horse) horses that were all introduced as grazers. My favorite were the more common geese- families with goslings and the spoonbills, and an incredible 6,000 cormorants nesting colony..."
Jolanda and friends, Netherlands July
".We enjoyed our nightjar fieldtrip very much. Fascinating those sights of the Nightjar right above our heads!
More than we have expected. Thank you for your good preparation and explanation. Untill next spring, we are looking forward to go with you guys to the Oostvaardersplassen.."
Rich and family , USA, June
"..We had a really great time. You guys sure know your birds.
I especially liked the Lepelaars!.."
Larry and Claudia, USA, June
"..Our trip with FlevoBirdwatching was a highlight of our week in the
Netherlands. We saw 81 species, 1 erratic, a fox and her 3 kits, and many
other memorable sights. Rik made it all possible.."
Sterling & Veronica , USA, May
".A splendid and long day with Rik that produced many new birds. We were
picked up at the airport early in the morning and immediately headed out
to sites preselected to produce the targeted birds. I had sent over a
list of desired birds. Rik's knowledge of the birds and their calls
resulted in a very productive day. Veronica, a non- birder, was able to
visit the Kroller Muller Museum at the Veluwe National Park and enjoyed
the scenic areas. We both enjoyed Rik's enthusiasm and local knowledge.
When we finally "crashed" at the end of the day we were delivered to our
hotel. A fun day that we hope to repeat in the future..
Steve and Karen, USA, May
Karen and I would really like to thank you again for this trip. We had a great time. Honestly, much better than expected.
Jeff and Jan, USA, May
"..our thanks to Ruud for providing a great birding day in Holland!! We very much enjoyed our time and Ruud was an excellent guide.."
Leon and Henny, Netherlands, May
"..great field trip.." "..We enjoyed our morning very much and will
Bas, Netherlands, May
Thank you very much for the fantastic day. I totally enjoyed the day,
the birds we have seen and your stories. The field trip is highly
Bas Meelker is professional nature and landscape
photografer. click here.
Joe and Marcia, USA, May
"..Thanks for the trip report, the scientific names were particularly helpful. We had a most enjoyable day of birding with you at Texel. Good looks at many life birds and a memorable picnic lunch watching wading birds and especially a good look at a Ruff at close range.."
Jean Luc and Janine, France,
"..We have spent a wonderful half day tour with Taco, thanks to his professionalism because he managed very well helping us seeing most of the birds species we wished to see. Many thanks too for your kindness, and patience Taco; for showing us the birds we watched on our French book and the cheklist you gave us; that's very appreciable when you don't manage very well with English birds' name...We will not miss another tour with you if we have the possibility again!.."
Neil and Ronna,
total list for the Netherlands includes another 14 species seen
elsewhere. There are over 50 life birds for me, quite an accomplishment
for a place that is so densely populated! We both really enjoyed having
you as a guide. We have been on several professional guided trips with
Field Guides, VENT and others, and I found you to be as helpful and
quick to spot birds (and find them again so we could see them) as any of
these other guides. I would recommend you to anyone visiting the
Netherlands, and I hope we may have an opportunity to bird with you in
the future. The Netherlands is a great birdwatching destination. Good
luck with your company.."
Ed and Sylvia,
"..Rik was our guide. He was great and we will ask for him again if we return to the Netherlands. Rik was personable, punctual and persistent. We saw almost 90 birds (43 added to our life list)in the limited time that was avaialable to us. Rik went out of his way to find key species that we wanted to see - the Bluethroat was our last sighting of the day. We were given extremely specific directions as how to get from our hotel in Amsterdam to the train station nearest the bird site. We would definitely employ Flevo Birdwatching again and could only hope we would find equally qualified guides in other countries.."
Richard and Mike,
Taco, may I take the opportunity to thank you for being so patient with us on the two days that we went out bird watching together. The tour exceeded our expectations.
By providing you with a list of birds that we wanted to see, coupled with a desire to count as many bird species as possible, you certainly went out of your way to find the missing birds and to take us to a variety of different habitats to boost our numbers.
I shall certainly be recommending your services to other bird watchers.."
Mike: "..Just to say many thanks for all of your efforts on our two excursions. Two long days, but very rewarding. You took us to some fantastic places and we were very successful in seeing the birds that we had hoped for. My own highlight was the excellent view that we had of the Bluethroat at Diependal - not an easy bird to find in the UK. But the overall range of species in all of the places that visited was very impressive. I would certainly recommend your services to any other birdwatchers wishing to visit the Netherlands.."
Fawzia and Mirthe,
"..thank you for the trip report. We totally enjoyed our field trip
with you. We have seen a lot of birds we never saw before. We would not
have seen those on our own.."
Tom and Sue, USA,
Dear Rik and Taco,
Thanks again for a great day of birding. We learned a lot and had some wonderful views of Holland's birds. We have already recommended you to others.
Thanks too for the thorough tour report.."
Your guided trip to the Oostvaardersplassen was one of the supreme highlights of my recent trip to the Netherlands. As you know we had a fabulous day both weather wise and great success with birding. With your excellent birding skills and knowledge of the habitat we managed to see 78 species, I suspect no small feat for the time of year and environment. I think the Smew and the Bluethroat were my favorites and I will long have those memories. Together with others I managed 19 lifebirds bringing my total to 1548.."
Gloria, USA, April
Rik is obviously a professional guide, and knows the
Oostvaardersplassen well. I was there in early April and his sharp
eyes and hearing picked out a
good mix of residents, summer and winter visitors, and migrants passing
through the area. He was fast at putting up the scope
and I enjoyed close studies of many species, my favorite being the
singing Bluethroat that was tucked in among the reeds. It was
a great birding experience!..
UWV Amsterdam, Netherlands, April
want to thank you for the excellent tour and the coffee table. We
Ingrid and friends, Netherlands, March
It was a great day for everybody, because of your knowledge and enthusiasm.
We enjoyed it ! Thank you for the beautiful day. .."
Steve, Irene and Anthea, U.K., February
Thank you for an excellent trip! Oostvaardesplassen is a superb area for birdwatching, and your expertise and local knowledge proved invaluable. I was particularly impressed when you knew the exact spot from which we could see the White-tailed Eagles – and sure enough, there they were! 69 species for the day was an excellent tally, and we were especially pleased to add Goshawk, Hawfinch, Great Grey Shrike, Rough-legged Buzzard, male Hen Harrier, Whooper Swan, Great White Egret and Willow Tit to our trip list. We enjoyed your company, and you really did give us a day to remember – without doubt the best birding of our holiday. We are hoping to return to Holland, and if we do, we will be calling on FlevoBirdwatching again! Many thanks.."
Olaf and Hans, Netherlands, January
Dear Taco, De birding hike with my son was a gift from my son, it was a
big suprise. Since i was a kid i am interested in birds and by studying
i know a lot about birds. This hike was my first guided birding trip. I
learned a lot, i love to go another time during springtime. Hopefully we
can see the Bluethroat. Many thanks for the excursion and i will see you
in the again later this year.
Michael and Suzanne, USA,
Thank you for the trip list. What a great day, in spite of the weather. We enjoyed ourselves immensly. I will say that we enjoyed the tour, your skills and enthusiasm, and the places that you took us. We will recommend you to our friends.
We really enjoyed our day in The Netherlands countryside, and picked up 50 lifebirds in less than 8 hours(November) with a very personable and knowledgeable guide. The travel arrangements were very easy and typically Dutch-right on time! Great habitats and easy trails. If you have a day or more in The Netherlands, call Taco and Rik for some excellent birding.."
Peter, Dick,Ian, Ed and Don, U.K., November
Thank you so much for the photos and the list of birds that we saw. We had a wonderful day with you both that will live long in our memories. The weather wasn't great but the fantastic birds we saw more than made up for it....what incredible views of White-tailed Eagles[all 4 of them!!] , Rough-legged Buzzard, Smew etc. to name but a few!
Without your intimate knowledge of the area, identification skills, and enthusiasm we wouldn't have seen half of the 66 species we clocked up during the day.
Many thanks once again and we look forward to another day with you the next time we are near Amsterdam.
Alex and friends, U.K.,
I would like to say how much we enjoyed our birding trip to the Oostvaardersplassen with Rik and Taco. They were extremely knowledgeable and very good at spotting and identifying the impressive range of species. We were particularly impressed at how quickly they can set up their telescopes once an interesting bird has been spotted - often there is so little time yet we were treated to a fleating glimpse of a goshawk courtesy of their skills in this way. The range of species was impressive - though we were naturally disapointed not to see the white tailed eagles it was more than made up for by several lifetime firsts - particularly a very fine view of a rough legged buzzard.
I would recommend a trip with Taco and Rik to anyone, it was good value and a great day out! Thanks again Guys!
Charles and Pauline, U.K. , October
Thank you for sending us the bird report and the super picture.
We had a most enjoyable day.
Without you guidance we would have never known where to look for the many
spieces we saw. Your ferrying us around enabled us to see much more than we
could have managed independently. The use of your telescope made all the
difference. Your identification knowledge using common English names was
remarkable and enabled us to recognise individual birds, that we were unsure
Thank you again for your excellent tuition.
We are more than happy to recommend your services to our friends..."
Arthur and Willy, U.K. and Netherlands,
The afternoon guided trip around the Oostvaarderplassen was memorable, the reserve and surrounding areas provide the possibilty of seeing many rare European species as well as good numbers of the more common birds. Our guide, Rik, a well experienced birder and naturalist with a good knowledge of the area put me right on to the white tailed eagle that I had come to see. I had previously visited the area on many occasions looking for the eagle/s without ever seeing them but Rik had the bird in the scope within minutes of arriving at the area. It would be unthinkable for a visiting birder to travel all the way to this amazing place without the assistance of a good guide, Flevobirdwatching provide this excellent service at a very reasonable price and with probably the best guides in Holland, everything was taken care of, snacks, warm drinks etc. but most importantly the increased probability of seeing the birds you came to see. Apart from the birds we were privileged to see the large number of red deer in rut. Highly recommended..."
I think we had a great trip, and the most exciting was the kingfisher, with the spoonbills as a good number two!
..", "..The congress was interesting, but maybe I will remember our bird-trip longer than the lectures?.."
Hester and John, Netherlands and U.K., September
"..Thank you for the nice birdwatching experience..", "..The Goshawk and rutting deer were amazing.."..Birdwatching in a professional tour provided by Taco can be seriously recommended; even when it rains all day, Taco will find interesting birds for you like goshawks to watch from closeby via professional binoculars. Birdwatching in the Oostvaardersplassen shows this other, less prominent, but beautiful face of the Netherlands. If you're lucky, you will see other animals as well; in the autumn, rutting deer and stags can be seen and heard.."
Michal and Olga, Czech Republic,
Thank you for the trip,
it was big succes.., ..And for me it was the inspiration: we want to buy a
scope for our own birdwatching in Sumava.., .. Thank you for our deals and nice
Todd, Canada, September
I ended up with 7 life birds, Shag, Barnacle Goose, Eurasian Golden Plover, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Redwing, Whinchat, and White-tailed Eagle, and 14 additional new species for Europe.
Ivan, Czech Republic, September
Hi Taco & Rik,
I would like express my thanks to your skilled and friendly guided tour. I really enjoyed it! Because I have so big amount of good quality photos..,
..A trip with Flevo Birdwatching was really exciting, Taco and Rik are really experienced and friendly guides. I had one-day tour at Oostvaardersplassen and it was excellent opportunity to take some beautiful photos of many species of birds (but also fox!). I really enjoyed it and I can recommend them to any birdwatcher"
note: FlevoBirdwatching is very thankful to Ivan. He allowed us to use
his fantastic pictures for our website ! For more pictures take a look
at his website:
Susan, USA, August
I had a great time today......Flevo Birdwatching is just what I have
been looking for.." "..Thanks again for the professional trip reports.
I enjoyed my second trip with Flevo Birdwatching even more than the first - partly because you were kind enough to bring binoculars that you knew were just the right size for me!
And, of course, it was exciting to see the White-tailed Eagle and the largest gull I'll ever see!
As a newcomer to Holland, I also appreciate all the additional information you share. You have enlightened me on history, geography and my Dutch pronunciation.
I'm looking forward to my next trip.."
Sandra, USA, July
Thanks for a wonderful trip today. I really enjoyed it..", "..The Netherlands is a birder's paradise, but when you only have a few days to spend in the country
it's hard to know where to go. I signed up for a full day tour of the Oostvaardersplassen. It was
spectacular. Rik took us to spots that only local birders know about, and we were rewarded with
excellent views of shorebirds (including hundreds of spoonbills), waterbirds, and woodland
songbirds. At the end of the day, we even spotted the rare white-tailed eagle -- the largest eagle
in Europe. I wouldn't hesitate to sign up for another tour, and highly recommend Flevo
Birdwatching if you are new to birding in the Netherlands.."
Matt and Rachel, USA, July
".. Thanks for the picture and the list! We really had a good time
birding with you.
We had a really nice time birding with Taco at Oostvaardersplassen.
He was able to arrange to meet us on very short notice for four and
a half hours of splendid birdwatching. Although it was cool and
somewhat windy day we were still able to see 57 species and hear
another four - not bad for a half day! I added 14 lifers to my
list, and I think Rachel had about 16 new birds. I even caught a
distant glimpse of the fabled White-tailed Eagle! There is no way
that we could have seen that many birds without Taco's expert
guidance and I would heartily recommend FlevoBirdwatching to all
Deana, USA, June
"..During a recent business trip to Amsterdam, I had the pleasure of spending a Saturday birdwatching with Taco of Flevo Birdwatching. We visited many different birding hotspots/habitats and saw around 70 different birds in July! Taco was an excellent guide. He has complete knowledge of the area birds (sight and sound) and was able to identify the birds using English names. I found this amazing. Thanks again Taco and I will see you again on my next trip to the Netherlands.
..Thanks so much for the picture, the checklist and the wonderful day of birdwatching.
I have already spread the news to the few people I know here but if any fellow birders that I know going to Europe, I will surely pass along your name. I think you guys have a good thing going...keep it up. I believe you are going to do quite well....
Thanks again and we'll keep in touch. If I come back for more work in the fall, I might hit you up again for some fall birds. Plus, it would be nice to see the eagle...if I could be so lucky. 'till then..!
Jacquie, USA, June
"..Birding in Oostvaarderplassen, the nature reserve, is highly recommended for the variety of birds and also for the animals and interesting habitat of the marshland. The day would not have been as successful without the guidance of Rik from FlevoBirdwatching who knows where to find birds and is knowledgeable about the habitat and animals as well as the birds. I enjoyed the day tour so much that I booked another half day of birding in the dunes near Haarlem with a different habitat, but the birding was just as much fun. Thank you to FlevoBirdwatching for providing this service for visiting birders to the Netherlands!.."
Jeanette and Elcira, USA, June
"..Thank you for sending our sightings list from our day in the field together at
The Oostvaardersplassen on Friday 15 June.
We had a terrific day with you at The Oostvaardersplassen. We appreciate your
being able to accommodate us on such short notice. Your directions were clear
and precise. In spite of, or possibly because of, the intermittent rain we were
successful in seeing 73 species. Your trained ear and eye and knowledge of the
area enabled us to accomplish much more than we would have been able to cover on
our own. We greatly appreciate your pleasant disposition and you packed a
delicious lunch. Thank you for taking care of us and enabling us to have such
a fun birding experience in Holland! We really enjoyed spending the day
Gail and others,
"..We enjoyed a full day of birdwatching with Taco and Rik. They were both very knowledgeable young men and took the time to make sure that we saw each species through binocules or scope. We covered various habitats and had a very tasty lunch. We would have no difficulty recommending
Flevo Birdwatching on your next trip to The Netherlands. " "..My total species count was 81 with 50 lifers..
" "..I througlhly enjoyed the whole day ! Good birding.."
.I spent two
stimulating days of birding with Rik and Taco, one at
Oostvaardersplassen, a polder near Almere, the other day was spent
around Haarlem, in woods and fields. Both men are birders with a
thorough knowledgeof their subject, identifying birds on the wing,
by voice, in the tree or on the water. They were very patient with
me, a birder with very limited knowledge of European birds, using
scopes to help me identify distant species. These two birders speak
excellent English so there is no communication problem and they
supply snacks, coffee, tea, soup and lunch. We birded in many
different habitats; the pace was brisk but with time to relax. Each
day proved to be full of interest and surprises and I heartily
recommend Flevo Birdwatching to anyone wanting a thorough
introduction to the birds of the Netherlands.
Good luck in the future"
Margaret and Bruce,
"...Thanks alot for the tour, we had a great time. I ended up with 13 life birds...."
Mary and Jack,
"...Thank you so much for the list and photo. The photo is not a bad one of us, which makes it rare ... LOL. The list will be very helpful in updating our life lists. It is really a nice service.
Our birdwatching with you was one of the highlights of the trip. It was so nice to get out in the country..."
Mary and Jack)
Ángel and Emily, Spain,
"...hi Rik and Taco!
... I have seen the webcam, it´s very interesting,..."