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Reindersmeer - BirdForum Opus

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The Reindersmeer is a large, open lake, with the shape of glasses, in the south of the Netherlands. It is surrounded by forests, most of them are pine woods, drift sand areas, heathlands and several small ponds and marshes. The water in the lake is very clear, much more clear then other lakes in the neighbourhood. This attracts special animal and plant species to this large area.


Notable Species

There are several species that use the Reindersmeer area and its diversity in biotopes as their breeding territory, like the Greater Whitethroat, Bluethroat, Woodlark, Little Ringed Plover, European Stonechat and Tufted Duck.

Breeding species that need a little more attention, are the Common Nightingale, Black-necked Grebe, Eurasian Nightjar, Long-eared Owl and the Common Cuckoo.

In winter, there are a several species that stay here and, mostly, fly back in spring, like the Goldeneye, groups of Whooper Swan and Black-necked Grebe and Smew.

Passag birds include, for example, the Red Kite, Osprey and especially the Common Crane. Southern Netherlands, especially the province Limburg, is a very important area for this crane species. They rest on several places while on their way to the south in winter, and back north in spring.


Birds you can see here include:

Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Bean Goose, Greylag Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Canada Goose, Barnacle Goose, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Common Shelduck, Ruddy Shelduck, Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Common Teal, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Smew, Common Merganser, Grey Heron, Great Egret, Great Cormorant, Osprey, European Honey Buzzard, Red Kite, Hen Harrier, Western Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, etc.

A complete list of species that occurred in the Reindersmeer area from 2000/2010, but in the Dutch language: http://waarneming.nl/gebied/species_list/14407

Other Wildlife

At the Reindersmeer, there are almost no mammals to find. Tracks from rabbits can be found in de sand and sandhills around the lake, sometimes tracks of the European roe deer can be seen, but nothing else remarkable.

For insects, the ponds and marshes around the lake are very attractive. Especially for dragonflies, butterflies and water insects.

Site Information

History and Use

Before the Reindersmeer existed, there was nothing but forests. The government started to dig out sand and gravel for the concrete industry. In the 1960s, they started digging up and many years later, after finishing the job, it became a part of the national park "de Maasduinen". This organisation started a re-establishment plan to protect the vulnerable heathlands and, of course, the endangered flora and fauna in the area. The next points stood on the list for establishment: - On several places around the lake, the shores were made more shallow for fish, waterfowl and waterplants. - They made a big difference between the shores. This means, that some shores were wet-dry, deep-shallow, etc. This made a big diversity possible for flora and fauna. - The sluice between the Reindersmeer, the Leukermeer (another big lake, dug out for sand an gravel), and the main river in the south of the Netherlands, the Maas, is closed, so that the water exists only of fresh and clear ground water.

Areas of Interest

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Access and Facilities

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Contact Details

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External Links

A map of the Reindersmeer: http://waarneming.nl/gebied/info/14407

Photos from the fauna and flora: http://waarneming.nl/gebied/photos/14407