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Ostfriesisches Wattenmeer (Waddensee National Park - Lower Saxony) - BirdForum Opus


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Germany

Overview

This large area of low islands and intertidal mudflats forms part of the German sector of the vast Wadden Sea, one of Europe's most important natural habitats which is shared with the Netherlands and Denmark. The Ostfriesisches Wattenmeer is now a national park and includes the estuary of the Ems and the northern coast of Germany east to the tiny island of Oldoog.

The site includes the East Friesians, a chain of islands extending from Borkum in the west to Oldoog.

Birds

Notable Species

There are twelve nature reserves in this area varying greatly in size and importance for birds. Most have breeding species including gulls and terns and waders including Oystercatcher, Northern Lapwing and Common Redshank with good numbers of Ringed Plover and Kentish Plover. However, all the nature reserves and most of the coastlines in this area are ideal for passage and wintering waders and waterfowl.

Dollart Nature Reserve

Dollart NR in the Ems estuary attracts waders in vast numbers, sometimes more than 100,000 are present on the food-rich mudflats. Lutje Horn NR is a small, low and sandy island with breeding gulls as well as Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover and Kentish Plover.

Memmert

To the north is Memmert, larger and still growing this island consists of extensive dunes and sandflats with breeding gulls, Common Shelduck, Common Redshank and Oystercatcher. In the central part of the island chain is of Langeoog, the south and east of which is a nature reserve. A similar range of birds breeds here in addition to Common Tern, Northern Lapwing, Eurasian Curlew and Black-tailed Godwit.

Spickeroog

Still further east is the island of Spickeroog, most of which is a reserve with breeding Little Tern, Oystercatcher and Kentish Plover.

Wangeroog

The next island is Wangeroog, a very popular holiday area for Germans with long sandy beaches on the north but extensive mudflats in the south. The centre of the island has marshy meadows with breeding terns and Black-headed Gull.

Elisabeth-Aussengroden Reserve

Furthest east is the mainland reserve of Elisabeth-Aussengroden with extensive areas of sandflats, saltmarsh and grassland. Pied Avocet and Common Redshank breed but the area is of most importance for passage and wintering waders.

Check-list

Birds you can see here include:

Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Greater White-fronted Goose, Barnacle Goose, Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Common Eider, Common Scoter, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Avocet, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Curlew, (rare Su), Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Little Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Little Tern, Short-eared Owl

Other Wildlife

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Site Information

History and Use

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Areas of Interest

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Access and Facilities

The islands can be reached by boat from Norden and other points along the coastal road. Dollart NR can be reached from the town of Emden. Permission is required to visit most reserve areas.

Contact Details

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External Links

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Content and images originally posted by Steve

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