Kalmthoutse Heide

Antwerpen  >  Belgium

The Kalmthoutse heide is one of the biggest nature reserves in Flanders and is one of the largest parts of remaining heathland with an area of 6.000 ha.

Added by Bram Vogels


The central part on flemish side is heathland with several fens. In the north there are some old agricultural fields which attract some Black-winged Stilt and at the edges there are large tracts of mostly pineforests.

In winter, there are less birds, but Great Grey Shrike is one of the main targets, together with Hen Harrier, Red Crossbill and on the fens Common Goldeneye. Larger groups of mostly Greater White-fronted Goose are foraging in the northern area. Spring starts early in february with the singing Wood Lark, which is very common and continues with other birds which are here still very common like Tree Pipit, Common Redstart, Cuckoo, Spotted Flycatcher, Eurasian Nightjar, etc. On migration Ring Ouzel, Northern Wheatear and Whinchat are common, Black Stork, Red Kite, Tawny Pipit and Wryneckare uncommon but there are several yearly. It is one of the better areas to find the rare Red-footed Falcon which is almost a yearly visitor. In the forest itself Black Woodpecker and Hawfinch is quite easy to find European Honey-buzzard and Woodcock(most easy in winter) are present but not always obvious. If the water level is sufficiently high in the northern area small amounts of stilts like Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit turn up and sometimes more interesting species like Temminck's Stint or Curlew Sandpiper.



The area is only accessible on foot, car parkings are present around the area. During breeding season some trails are closed, this is clearly indicated so please respect these restrictions.

The route shown on the map is 10 km.

Terrain and Habitat

Forest, Wetland, Grassland, Scattered trees and bushes, Lake, Dunes, Moors/heathland


Sandy, Flat

Circular trail


Is a telescope useful?

Can be useful


Unpaved road

Difficulty walking trail

Average walk

Accessible by


Birdwatching hide / platform


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Top 5 birds

Other birds you can see here


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