The Afgraving - Bourgoyen - Ossemeersen

Flanders  >  Belgium

This nature reserve is the top birding site in the region is a man-made lake with adjacent marshland, grasslands and small woods.

Added* by Bastiaan
Most recent update 5 March 2023


The top birding site of the region. Part of the larger Bourgoyen-Ossemeersen reserve, the 'Afgraving' ('excavation') is probably the best place to focus on if your time is limited to 1 or 2 hr. If features a man-made lake with adjacent marshland and grassland. There are some smaller woods and a hide (although the viewing points might be better than the hide). The Afgraving is especially good during spring migration, winter and fall migration. Bird numbers highly depend on water level, while bird viewing options depend on the management (mowing), which varies between years. It holds large numbers of wintering waterfowl like Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal and Northern Pintail. During migration also many waders can be found here.



Park at the entrance Bunderweg. Parking might be difficult (often very muddy, limited number of places) but I always find a place; it is along a highway ramp so be carefull!. From here you have to walk to the viewpoints and hide. Be aware that this site is within reach of a city center, and gets crowded with non-birders on weekend-days when weather is fair. Receation level can be very high during spring weekend days.

Terrain and Habitat

Forest , Wetland , Mud flats , Grassland , Scattered trees and bushes


Flat , Open landscape

Circular trail


Is a telescope useful?

Can be useful

Good birding season

All year round , Spring , Winter

Best time to visit



Wide path

Difficulty walking trail


Accessible by

Foot , Bicycle , Wheelchair

Birdwatching hide / platform



View other birding spots in the area that are published on Birdingplaces


Top 5 birds

Other birds you can see here

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