The Spuikom is a brackish water body, originally build for flushing the Oostende harbor (but never used for it). Located close to the coast, it attracts a lot of coastal birds and often provides nice views of birds which are otherwise to be seen at a far distance at sea. From fall to spring the Spuikom can attract many species of waterbirds. Often Common Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe and Eurasian Coot are common. Over the last years it has also proven to be a good place for species such as Greater Scaup, Common Eider, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Goosander, Red-breasted Merganser, Smew, Red-necked Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe (Horned Grebe), Red Phalarope, Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver (Common Loon), Black-throated Diver (Arctic Loon). Checking the Oyster Breeder often yields Common Kingfisher and waders (Northern Lapwing, Ruddy Turnstone and others), and Common Tern during breeding season.
Viewing conditions can be challenging, especially when it is windy. Often the ducks are in the middle of the water body. The Spuikom is used for recreation (mainly sailing), which can disturb the birds. During winter recreation is not allowed in some zones, leaving always some quiet places for birds.
There are different parking opportunities nearby. Depending on wind, weather and where other people have found birds you can choose to park near the Vicognedijk, near the Oyster grower, or near the Polderstraat. Walking around the Spuikom takes ~4km and is a good option when it is not too cold.
Terrain and HabitatLake
ConditionsFlat, Swampy, No shadow, Open landscape
Is a telescope useful?Can be useful
Good birding seasonAll year round
Best time to visitWinter
Difficulty walking trailEasy
Accessible byFoot, Bicycle, Car
Birdwatching hide / platformNo
It is worth checking Waarnemingen.be and eBird to check which species have been seen recently, as the birds present vary a lot. See the links below.
Check the harbour and beaches of Oostende (again, depending on the weather and season).