The Nieuwe Heerenven are two large fens on the northeastern border of the Maasduinen National Park. Both contain a large body of water surrounded by forests, heathland or pastures. A viewing platform gives you a beautiful overview over (mainly) the Southern fen, which is used by many species of wader during migration as a stopover. Due to the shallow waterlevel, the fen provides a perfect foraging area for these birds. Common species of wader that can be seen here are Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Dunlin, Common Ringed Plover and many more! In the last decade, many rare species of wader have been sighted here, like Black-winged Stilt, Pectoral Sandpiper, Broad-billed Sandpiper and Marsh Sandpiper.
Besides waders, the area is also a great spot for many other waterbirds, like ducks, geese and gulls. Scarcer species, like Ruddy Shelduck, Garganeyand Northern Pintail, can often be found here. During migration, the fen is sometimes visisted by rare species of tern and gull, like White-winged Tern, Whiskered Ternand Little Gull. Small numbers of Eurasian Spoonbill can be seen foraging in the deeper parts in the Northern part of the Southern fen. Large flocks of swallows and martins tend to hang above the fen, like Sand Martin.
Several birds of prey are attracted to this area due to the large numbers of prey animals, like Eurasian Hobby, Peregrine Falcon and Eurasian Sparrowhawk. European Marsh Harrier can often be seen above the heathland in the southwestern corner.
The surrounding forests are home to many species of common songbird, like Blackcap and Garden Warbler. Scarcer species, like Golden Oriole can be heard here too. The heathland provides a perfect habitat for European Stonechat and, in winter, Great Grey Shrike can be seen here too.
Above, a very concise summary of species has been presented. During migration, so many species can turn up here! The area has over 200 species on its list!
The area is easy accessible due to the road that lies between both fens. You can park you car near the viewing platform and walk next to the road to scan the fens. A bicycle road provides an overview over the Southern fen from the other side (see map).