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A large city park on the northern part of Gouda; lots of waterfowl and reedbirds.
The "Goudse Hout" is a large city park on the northern part of Gouda en consists of an old peat meadow area with many high bushes, forested areas, ditches and ponds. There's a large body of water in the western part of the area. Many species of waterfowl can be found here, like Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Northern Shoveler and Barnacle Goose. Also, scarce species like Red-crested Pochard can be found here. In summer, Common Tern uses the water body as foraging area. Large areas of reedbeds surround the water body, which are being used as breeding habitat for Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Marsh Warbler. Also, scarce species like Cetti's Warbler, Savi's Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler can be found here.
The "Goudse Hout" mainly consists of old pastures with high bushes and forested areas. Within these areas, species like Lesser Whitethroat and Icterine Warbler breed. Other species, like Cuckoo and Eurasian Green Woodpecker can also be found here. Eurasian Hobby and Marsh Harrier use the area as hunting ground. If you're lucky, small groups of Black Tern, Mediterranean Gull or even an Osprey pass overhead.
In winter, the area is mainly used by large flocks of mixed songbirds, like finches and thrushes. Large groups of Siskin and European Goldfinch use the area as foraging area. In the ditches, Great Egret can be found.
There's a large parking spot in the southern part of the park. You're able to walk a circular route around the park on (mostly) paved roads. You can either choose to go on foot or by bike and is about 5 km long. There are several information boards in the park telling about the old peat landscape. In the central part of the park, just south of the large water body, a wildlife garden is located. You can enter it for free and walk around the garden.