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Covering little more than 2,500 km² and one of the smallest countries in Europe, Luxembourg nestles between Belgium to the north and west, France to the south and Germany to the east. More than half of Luxembourg is heavily cultivated and like Belgium it is not usually considered a birding destination.
Although 30 % of the land is forested much of the original mature deciduous woods have been replaced with extensive conifer plantations. The northern part of the country is the most heavily forested, an extension of the deep wooded valleys of Belgium's Ardennes.
Elsewhere in the country woods are more scattered through the arable farmland. Wetlands in Luxembourg are scarce although a few small areas of interesting marshland have survived the onslaught of intensive farming in recent decades.
Not unexpectedly the main birding interest in Luxembourg is its woodland birds and much of the Ardennes Forests are covered by the Belgium-Luxembourg and German-Luxembourg Natural Parks.
A few pairs of Black Stork have bred in the Ardennes forests since the mid 1980s and one of Luxembourg's rarest breeding birds, Tengmalm's Owl, may also be found here. Both Red Kite and Black Kite breed along with Common Buzzard and European Honey Buzzard and one of the most sought-after of the country's birds, Hazel Grouse, although this species is typically very elusive.
The best area is possibly the forests around the reservoir at Pont Misere. Woodpeckers are well-represented in Luxembourg with Black Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker and Grey-headed Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker all breeding.
The most important wetland in the country is Haff Reimich, a Ramsar Site, Special Protected Area and Natural Reserve. Haff Reimech lies in the far southeast of the country in the valley of the Moselle and includes gravel pits, grassland and scrub and the best area is around Remerschen.
More than 230 bird species have been recorded in this area and it is the breeding site for several species very rare in Luxembourg.
There are several other small wetland reserves in the south of Luxembourg, particularly on the Alzette Plain.
Woods, agricultural land, flood meadows and abandoned mining land cover large areas and this is the most important area in the country for breeding Corn Crake, Wood Lark, Tawny Pipit and Northern Wheatear. Other breeders include Golden Oriole, Great Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike and Red-backed Shrike.
Birds you can see here include:
Black-throated Diver, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Great Cormorant, Great Bittern, Little Bittern, Black-crowned Night Heron, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Black Stork, White Stork, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Taiga Bean Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Tufted Duck, Greater Scaup, Common Goldeneye, Smew, 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, Northern Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Hazel Grouse, (confined to the Ardennes Forest), Grey Partridge, Common Quail, Common Pheasant, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Corn Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Crane, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Eurasian Woodcock, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Common Tern, Black Tern, Feral Rock Dove, Stock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Cuckoo, Barn Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Little Owl, Tawny Owl, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Tengmalm's Owl, (may be irregular breeder in the northern forests), European Nightjar, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Wood Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Bohemian Waxwing, Common Dipper, Common Wren, Dunnock, Eurasian 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, Sedge Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Common Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Common Firecrest, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tit, Marsh Tit, Willow Tit, Coal Tit, Crested Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Common Treecreeper, Short-toed Treecreeper, Penduline Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Great Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Common Jay, Common Magpie, Spotted Nutcracker, Eurasian Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Siskin, Eurasian Linnet, Northern Redpoll, Common Crossbill, Common Bullfinch, Hawfinch, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting
Luxembourg has only relatively recently begun to seriously tackle its conservation problems and hunting is still a major problem in many areas.
Access and Facilities
However, there are interesting and rare birds to be seen in this country although accommodation, food and car-hire is fairly expensive compared to neighbouring countries.
Content and images originally posted by Steve