The Kalkense Meersen is one of the last strongholds of the Black-tailed Godwit in Flanders. Annually around 30 breeding pairs can be seen between the hedgerows in the grasslands and meadows. As you walk on the paves between the pollarded willows you go back to medieval times. This habitat is ideal for Little Owl , Long-eared Owl , Northern Lapwing , European Stonechat , Common Quail , White Stork and Common Redstart . The small streams, ditches and ponds with an abundance of reed vegetation attract Bluethroat , Sedge Warbler , Grasshopper Warbler , Common Kingfisher and with some luck you can even hear a Spotted Crake calling from the meadows. During winter times alot of 'arctic geese' species come to overwinter on the grasslands, mainly Greylag Goose and Greater White-fronted Goose mixed in with flocks of Eurasian Wigeon.
In the most southern part you can find the subarea 'Wijmeers Ontpoldering' which is connection with the Scheldt river. This area is part of the Sigmaplan to protect the Flemish region from floods. Due to the unique tidal moment of the Scheldt river natural mudflats are created. During migration periods this is an excellent place to spot migrating wader birds like Wood Sandpiper , Common Greenshank , Common Sandpiper , Dunlin , Common Redshank , Green Sandpiper and many more. It's also a good site to see Spoonbill , Little Egret , Lesser Spotted Woodpecker or Snipe.
In total over 220 native bird species have been seen in the Kalkense Meersen in the last 20 years. Around 170 native bird species are seen annually.
Parking places can be found in Kalken ('Vaartplein' and in the village center around the church) and Schellebelle (village center, you have to take the shuttle boat over the Scheldt River).
Terrain and HabitatWetland, Scattered trees and bushes, Grassland, Reedbeds
Is a telescope useful?Can be useful
Good birding seasonAll year round
Best time to visitSpring migration
RoutePaved road, Unpaved road, Wide path, Narrow trail
Difficulty walking trailEasy
Accessible byFoot, Bicycle, Car, Wheelchair
Birdwatching hide / platformNo
Overmere - Donkmeer/Nieuwdonk, Wichelen - Bergenmeersen, Berlare - Paardeweide, Gent - Bourgoyen Ossemeersen, Lokeren - Molsbroek.