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Ringkøbing Fjord has long been enclosed by a coastal sand-bar 1-2 km wide. The historic opening was finally cut off by sand, but a new man-made entrance is now positioned mid way down the sand bar at Hvide Sande. Sand continuing to drift over the bar has formed the extensive peninsulas of Tipperne and Værnengene, now vegetated and used as grazing land.
Fresh water enters the fjord through Skjern Å (Skjern River) located to the east.
Much of the land is now under some form of protection and one of the best areas is the Tipperne -Værnengene - Nymindestrøm complex of reserves in the south of Ringkøbing Fjord.
The remaining lakes are shallow and brackish and there are saltmarshes and sandy beaches, more established vegetated areas have extensive conifer plantations where Crested Tit breeds.
The area is exceptional during passage periods when virtually every wader and waterfowl species in western Europe can be seen. Among the most important are Whooper Swan and Bewick's Swan, and most of the Svalbard population of Pink-footed Goose are present. Nymindestrom Reserve, further south, is mainly dunes and has breeding Short-eared Owl. Crested Lark formerly also bred, but is now extinct in the region.
Birds you can see here include:
Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Great Cormorant, Great Bittern, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Bewick's Swan, Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose, Barnacle Goose, Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Common Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander, White-tailed Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Rough-legged Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Corncrake, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Eurasian Dotterel, Eurasian Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Sanderling, Little Stint, Temminck's Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Black Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Cuckoo, Short-eared Owl, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Skylark, Horned Lark, Meadow Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Crested Tit, Twite, Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting
Ringkøbing Fjord is a Ramsar Site and the entire area is excellent for birds.
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Just inland the canalised river valley at Skjern has been led back to a natural state containing wet meadows with breeding duck, Marsh Harrier and Corn Crake, various waders, and Common Kingfisher. Passage White Stork sometimes frequent this area. This area is now a National Park.
The complex of Tipperne - Værnengene - Nymindestrøm in the south end of the fjord contains other meadows in an area mixing brackish and fresh water.
Access and Facilities
Tipperne is a scientific reserve and is only open to the public on Sundays and access to other areas is limited but much of the fjord and surrounding areas can be seen from the roads
Ringkøbing town has hotels and makes an ideal base to explore the area.
Content and images originally posted by Steve