De Brand (north side)

Udenhout  >  Netherlands

Great and small scale marshland with many rare species, most notably 5 species of woodpecker, Great Bittern and Bearded Tit.


The area is very little visited and often good for many rare species, especially in spring. Some of the most noteworthy species are Great Bittern (very regularly heard booming in the reeds), Bearded Tit, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Black Woodpecker

The trail as seen on the map firstly leads you over a small bridge. When you've crossed the bridge there is a lake just ahead look here for ducks and geese. Follow the small dique towards the west in the direction of the reedbeds. In the first section, Cetti's Warbler may be heard and seen. A little further ahead scan the tops of the reeds for Bearded Tit and keep an eye out for Bluethroat as well, the latter especially in the scrubs fringing the canal. The reeds beyond the canal are the haunt of the extremely elusive and rare Great Bittern, a bird that is frequently heard here in spring but very difficult to see. The best hope you have on seeing one is to be here either very early (at sunrise) or at sunset, when it may be out hunting (check the edges of the canal and the reedfringes at the lake at the start).

Continue along the trail until you reach a crossroads, just ahead is a fence, go left (into the swamp forest). The forest holds many interesting species, most notably 5 species of woodpecker: Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Green Woodpecker and Black Woodpecker. The best way to locate them is to listen for their distinctive call. The best place to see Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is near the big fallen tree, just over 100 metres further ahead, that blocks the path. Another interesting species here is  Northern Goshawk, which nestst nearby and acts as one of the top-predators here.  Climb over the treetrunk and continue.

Further ahead turn left, all the wile watching for woodpeckers and Hawfinch. At some point (use the map) you should turn left onto a narrow path, back into the woods. follow this until you once again reach the reedbeds. This stretch of forest is excellent for finding the Middle Spotted Woodpecker. From this side you will have better views over the open water, search for ducks, grebes and geese. 

Apart from the birds, the area also holds one of the last dutch populations of European Tree-frog as well as many other amphibians. Among the mammals, roe deer and fox are common and so is badger. Lastly the area is famed for many rare insects and butterflies. 



Very easily reached from Tilburg and Drunen, use your GPS. The trail that is shown on the map is 3,2 km.

Terrain and Habitat

Forest, Wetland, Lake, Agriculture, Grassland, Reedbeds


Flat, Swampy, High water possible

Circular trail


Is a telescope useful?

Can be useful

Good birding season

All year round

Best time to visit

Spring, Summer, Spring migration


Wide path, Narrow trail

Difficulty walking trail


Accessible by

Foot, Bicycle

Birdwatching hide / platform


View birdingplaces in the area that are published on Birdingplaces.eu


Top 5 birds

Other birds you can see here


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