Because of the diversity in landscape, the species list of this area is high. Eurasian Nightjar, Red-backed Shrike and good numbers of European Stonechat breed here in summer. In the surrounding forests, Black Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker , Wood Warbler, Crested Tit and Red Crossbill can be found. Common Raven, Northern Goshawk and European Honey-buzzard also breed in this area.
Northern Wheatear, Whinchat and Ring Ouzel are present in both Spring and Autumn migration. In autumn, migration is intensively followed from a fixed watchpoint. Hightlights include Ortolan Bunting, Tawny Pipit and Black Stork, but as always during migration, anything can turn up. This is one of the places in the Netherlands to watch for migrating raptors, with good numbers of Red Kite, Common Buzzard and Osprey and even the occassionaly rarer Eagle or Black-winged Kite. Great Grey Shrike and Hen Harrier winter here.
For the mammal lovers, the Maashorst is home to a herd of Wisent. Accompanied by singing Eurasian Skylark, Yellowhammer and Common Quail if you're lucky, a visit to De Maashorst is always satisfying.
There are several free parking places around the area. The villages of Zeeland, Uden, Nistelrode and Schaijk all give access to De Maashorst. You can enter the park on foot or on a bike.
You can explore De Maashorst best on foot or by cycling. There are several marked routes leaving from the information centre. There also is a marked network that allows for planning your own walking route. The route that is displayed on the map is about 12 km.
There is a information centre at Erenakkerstraat 5, 5388 SZ, Nistelrode where coffee and cake is served. This a great starting point for a walk or even a cycle tour. (You need to bring your own bikes). There is a paved circular wheelchair route in the woods. With a short detour, a visit to the Wisent herd and some nice views over the open grassland in de midst of the area, are also possible for the wheelchair bound visitors.
Terrain and HabitatForest, Agriculture, Scattered trees and bushes, Grassland, Moors/heathland
ConditionsFlat, Open landscape
Is a telescope useful?Can be useful
Good birding seasonAll year round
Best time to visitAutumn migration, Spring
RoutePaved road, Wide path, Unpaved road, Narrow trail
Difficulty walking trailEasy
Accessible byFoot, Bicycle, Wheelchair
Birdwatching hide / platformNo
The Kraaijenbergse Plassen near Cuijck can be worth a visit if you're in the area, especially in winter. You can expect several species of geese, Smew, Goosander, Common Goldeneye, all species of more common ducks and even possible Slavonian Grebe (Horned Grebe) or Black-necked Grebe. As always, large bodies of inland water can also deliver a wintering Loon or Scoter.
The Biesbosch near Werkendam and Dordrecht is a National Park and a large wetland area that almost 'has it all' and is definitly worth a visit all year round. Autumn and spring migration is great due to high number of waders, Osprey and White-tailed Eagle breed here in summer. In winter, The Biesbosch is a paradise for anyone who enjoys ducks, geese and other waterfowl.
Other good birdingplaces are National Parks De Maasduinen and De Groote Peel, which are quite similar to the Maashorst in terms of possible bird species, but due to their location a bit more east, a higher chance of migration Common Crane in autumn.