The Damvallei is located around the cross juction of the E17 and R4. Altough this natura-2000 nature reserve is mainly known for it's botanical diversity, it's also a cosy place to go birding. In the swampy woodlands it holds one of the last location in the region the see Willow Tit . Also Eurasian Hobby still breeds in the area, wich you can easily see hunting dragonflies over the meadows and small ponds if you visit this location. The reed beds contain warblers like Bluethroat , Sedge Warbler , Reed Warbler and Cetti's Warbler. Around the old cottages you can see Common Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher . The biggest lake in the nature reserve contains a breeding colony of Common Tern on artificial ponds.
Parking spaces can be found at the junction between Lagen Heirweg-Hooistraat in Heusden, Bergenmeersstraat or Schoofmeersstraat in Destelbergen, at the junction between Schipgrachtstraat - Damvalleistraat or at the Meerstakkerstraat in Laarne.
Terrain and HabitatForest, Wetland, Reedbeds, Grassland, Scattered trees and bushes, Moors/heathland
Is a telescope useful?No
Good birding seasonSpring, Summer
Best time to visitSpring migration, Spring
Difficulty walking trailAverage walk
Birdwatching hide / platformYes
As it is botanical a vulnerable area it is very important to stay on the tracks and don't walk freely in the meadows (even when mowed in late fall/winter).
Gent - Gentbrugse Meersen
Gent - Bourgoyen-Ossemeersen