The Lauwersmeer is a man-made lake, located in the north of Holland, on the border between the provinces of Groningen and Friesland. It is a freshwater lake and the area became a National Park 2003. In the winter it is home to huge numbers of geese and swans.
The Lauwersmeer area is of particular interest in migration and in winter for its number and variety of geese. Lesser White-fronted Goose (of the recently established still small western population)are regular in migration west of the Lauwersmeer, mainly in the area south of Anjum. Snow Goose and other rarities can be observed at times all around the Lauwersmeer.
 Great Northern Loon, European Storm Petrel (only 2 records), Little Bittern, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron (2 accepted records), Cattle Egret, Black Stork, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Lesser White-fronted Goose (A returning flock), Snow Goose, Ross's Goose, (5 records), Lesser Canada Goose (1 accepted record), Pale-Bellied Brent Goose, Black Brant, Red-breasted Goose, American Wigeon (1 accepted record), Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck (1 accepted record), Ferruginous Duck, Bufflehead (1 accepted record), White-tailed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard (1 accepted record), Rough-legged Buzzard, Greater Spotted Eagle (1 accepted record), Red-footed Falcon, Common Crane, Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole (2 accepted records), Black-winged Pratincole (1 accepted record), Eurasian Dotterel, Pacific Golden Plover (3 accepted records), White-tailed Lapwing (1 accepted record), White-rumped Sandpiper (5 accepted records), Pectoral Sandpiper, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (2 accepted records, both at the same time at the same site!), Red-necked Stint (1 accepted record), Stilt Sandpiper (1 accepted record), Broad-billed Sandpiper (5 accepted records), Buff-breasted Sandpiper (5 accepted records), Long-billed Dowitcher (1 accepted record), Marsh Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs (2 accepted records), Terek Sandpiper (1 accepted record), Wilson's Phalarope (1 accepted record), Red Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope, Long-tailed Jaeger, Sabine's Gull, Glaucous Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Little Auk, European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Greater Short-toed Lark (1 accepted record), Crested Lark (1 record in the Lauwersmeer, scarce in the south of Holland), Red-rumped Swallow (2 accepted records), Richard's Pipit, Tawny Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Bohemian Waxwing, White-throated Dipper, Cetti's Warbler (1 accepted record, scarce in the south of Holland), River Warbler (1 accepted record), Aquatic Warbler, Subalpine Warbler (1 accepted record), Sardinian Warbler (1 accepted record), Barred Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Eurasian Treecreeper, Woodchat Shrike (1 accepted record), Isabelline Shrike (1 accepted record) Rose-coloured Starling, Common Rosefinch, Ortolan Bunting, Corn Bunting
Birds you can see here include:
Red-throated Loon, Black-throated Loon, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Horned Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Northern Fulmar, Leach's Storm-petrel, Northern Gannet, Great Cormorant, Great Bittern, Little Egret, Great Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, White Stork, Eurasian Spoonbill, Mute Swan, Bewick's Swan, Whooper Swan, Taiga Bean Goose, Tundra Bean Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose, Greater Canada Goose, Barnacle Goose, Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Greater Scaup, Common Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Common Goldeneye, Smew, Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander, European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Red Kite, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Eurasian Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Grey Partridge, , Common Quail, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Corn Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, European Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Sanderling, Little Stint, Temminck's Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Eurasian Woodcock, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Pomarine Jaeger, Parasitic Jaeger, Great Skua, Mediterranean Gull, Little Gull, Black-headed Gull, Mew Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, European Herring Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Caspian Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Little Tern, Black Tern, Guillemot, Razorbill, Stock Dove, Common Wood Pigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Cuckoo, Barn Owl, Little Owl, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, European Nightjar, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Wood Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Horned Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Rock Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Grey-headed Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Eurasian Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Nightingale, Bluethroat, Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Savi's Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Greenish Warbler, Pallas's Leaf Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Wood Warbler,Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Firecrest, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Bearded Reedling, Long-tailed Tit, Marsh Tit, Willow Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Short-toed Treecreeper, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole,Red-backed Shrike, Great Grey Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Hooded Crow, Common Raven, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, Brambling, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Siskin, Eurasian Linnet, Twite, Mealy Redpoll, Lesser Redpoll, Common Crossbill, Eurasian Bullfinch, Hawfinch, Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting
Mammals  Roe Deer, Fallow Deer, Red Fox, Stoat, Least Weasel, Western Polecat, Grey Seal, Common Seal, Harbour Porpoise, Serotine, Western Hedgehog, Common Mole, Brown Hare, European Rabbit, Common Rat, Eurasian Water Shrew, Common Shrew
Dragonflies and Damselflies  Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Green-eyed Hawker, Migrant Hawker, Emperor dragonfly, Hairy Dragonfly, Azure Damselfly, Variable Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Red-eyed Damselfly, Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, Brillant Emerald, Common Spreadwing, Green Emerald Damselfly, Broad bodied chaser, Four Spotted Chaser, Black Tailed Skimmer, Black Darter, Yellow-winged Darter, Red-veined Darter, Ruddy Darter, Common darter, Vagrant Darter
History and Use
 The Lauwersmeer was created after the Lauwerssea was closed up in 1969 and 6.000 ha of the 9.000 ha was designated for nature and recreation purposes. The Staatsbosbeheer (State forest control, a Dutch organization founded in 1899 to control and conserve Dutch nature reserves) owns about 5.000 ha of this. Over the last two decades the Lauwersmeer has developed to a wetland of international importance for wildlife.
Areas of Interest
 De Pomp This route leads through reed beds and some open areas, which is why you can observe reed species such as Savi's Warbler, Great Bittern and Penduline Tit here. In 1997 both Black-crowned Night Heron and Little Bittern bred here succesfully. Rarities that have been seen here include Woodchat Shrike and Common Crane
This site is well known among Dutch birders for the numerous rarities that have been observed here since the site was created in 1997. There is an observation hut in the southern part and a observation screen in the northern part, from wich species such as Pied Avocet, Great Bittern, Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Bearded Tit and serveral other wader and duck species can be seen. Rarities that have been observed here include White-tailed Lapwing, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pacific Golden Plover, Long-billed Dowitcher, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and a pair of Black-winged Stilt which raised 4 young in 1999.
Red-neck puddle This puddle was named after the Red-necked Stint that was observed here in 1987. Its a small puddle with reed beds in which reed species can be seen. Also wader species forage on the banks. Species that can be seen here include Spotted Crake, Jack Snipe and Great Bittern.
Jaap Deensgat The water here is not very deep, so many species of birds come to rest and forage here. Many wader species and Spoonbills can be seen here. Other species that have been seen here include Peregrine Falcon, White-tailed Eagle, Gull-billed Tern, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Black Tern and Great White Egret.
Access and Facilities
Lauwersmeer is about half way between Leeuwarden and Groningen where there are a number of hotels. The area can be reached on secondary roads going north towards the Wadden Sea coast.
Check www.dutchbirding.nl for recent observations. Swissboy Content and images originally posted by Swissboy