The Doove Gat is a fairly small wetland area near the village of Haastrecht and is a very popular area among birders to watch typical meadow birds, waterfowl and many other migrating species, like waders. The area consists of three large ponds and several smaller ones, ditches and surrounding meadows and reedbeds. Several small islands are located within these ponds, being a great spot to observe waders during migration, like Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin and Wood Sandpiper. The area is also used as a roosting area for many species of wader, like Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Curlew and Northern Lapwing.
The reedbed and several small covered islands are a great spot for Spotted Crake, although it has become a scarcer sight in this area. The reedbeds are great for species, like Bluethroat, Savi's Warbler and Sedge Warbler. Often, a European Marsh Harrier hunts here.
On the western side of the area, a typical Dutch windmill is located. A Peregrine Falcon often perches on top of the windmill. Common Kingfisher can be seen near the bridge across the Vlist river between the parking lot and the reserve.
On the northern side of the area, a nest of White Stork is present. They can often be seen foraging on the surrounding meadows.
Parking at the De Loete swimming pool (see the P on the map). From there you can explore the area on foot or by bike.
Terrain and HabitatWetland, Grassland, Lake
ConditionsFlat, Open landscape
Is a telescope useful?Yes
Good birding seasonAll year round
Best time to visitSpring migration, Autumn migration
RoutePaved road, Unpaved road
Difficulty walking trailEasy
Accessible byFoot, Bicycle, Wheelchair
Birdwatching hide / platformNo
A 100 meters ahead of the Doove Gat, take the first road to the right (Bilwijk). There you have an area where you can only walk. Parking available. Many birds of prey. Not suitable for wheelchair.