Tij is an egg-shaped bird hide situated in Scheelhoek, a nature reserve close to the Haringvliet sluice near Stellendam. The reserve consists of large reed beds and some flat sand islands with many birds. These islands are breeding and feeding grounds for several species of birds like Common Tern, Eurasian Spoonbill, and the icon of this area, Sandwich Tern.
Walking along the path to Tij observatory, visitors can view several types of bird biotope favoured by Sand Martin, several kind of waders and, of course, terns. To prevent the birds from being disturbed, the last section of the path is actually a tunnel. The tunnel is covered in sand to provide habitat for terns or waders. The outside of the tunnel provides artificial nesting holes for Sand Martin. The end point of the walking route is the egg-shaped bird hide from where you can view hatching terns and all the other species that live in and around the water.
The egg itself is modelled on a Sandwich Tern egg, and sits on a nest of sand, much like a tern would have done it herself. But before you watch the birds, admire the inside of this architectural gem. It's really beautiful!
Near the town of Stellendam is a small harbour with a parking lot. The parking is free, but when you enter the harbour you have to pass a barrier. From the parking lot (see the P on the map) you can walk a path of some 600 meters to the bird observatory. The path itself is also interesting for songbirds like Cetti's Warbler, Common Nightingale and other small stuff. Note: high water is possible once or twice a year and you will need boots to get in if this is the case. You don't need to take a telescope, because Tij has a high quality telescope installed. Admission is free.
Terrain and HabitatWetland, Mud flats, Scattered trees and bushes, Sea, Reedbeds
ConditionsFlat, Swampy, High water possible
Is a telescope useful?No
Good birding seasonAll year round
Best time to visitSpring
Difficulty walking trailAverage walk
Birdwatching hide / platformYes
The design of this bird hide has won several prizes. So this place attracts also many non-birders who come to admire the architecture.
The dunes of Kwade Hoek and the Quackjeswater are close. Two great bird areas.