Baai van Heist

51.34225 , 3.23022

Belgium

Mostly saltwater marsh and a beach with a small group of trees and shrubs. The bright lights of the harbor next to it make it one of the most famous migrant traps in the country, which can deliver very spectacular finds and numbers of unexpected birds, especially in autumn.
Apart from that, the beach is often full of birds in migration season, mostly gulls and waders.

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The introductory text should contain general information about the site, which may include for instance:
• geographic/ biogeographic location
• habitat and vegetation
• typical bird species/bird communities
• protection status
• land use and history
• importance for birdwatching

Coordinates were set by Peter Wijnsouw : 51.3422/3.2302 (2022-06-08 17:39:05 )

Site name was set by Peter Wijnsouw as "Baai Van Heist" (2022-06-08 17:39:05 )

Edited by Peter Wijnsouw on 2022-06-08 17:48:31
Mostly saltwater marsh and a beach with a small group of trees and shrubs. The bright lights of the harbor next to it make it one of the most famous migrant traps in the country, which can deliver very spectacular finds and numbers of unexpected birds, especially in autumn. Apart from that, the beach is often full of birds in migration season, mostly gulls and waders.

List up to ca. 25 species that:
• have a limited distribution range and/or are rare on a global level
• are most sought-after by birdwatchers at this site
• and are relatively easy to see at this site (year-round or seasonally)

Not available yet

In winter, the beach is worth checking for gulls and waders and with some luck there might even be a group of snow buntings at the edge of the beach and the dune-like part!
Most interesting though are autumn and spring, when birds are migrating. The best place to start out (ideally at sunrise) is at the scrubs and trees next to the lighthouse; it's often worth checking those thoroughly. Very rare birds are often found there. Also interesting is the dyke, where some lost song birds may be found in the few bushes on there.
The path through the fenced off marshland might be interesting to find pipits, wheatears or whinchats in spring and autumn.

You might also see ongoing migration of all kinds of songbirds - pipits, finches, starlings, ...

Give recommendations for making your visit as productive as possible.
This may include for instance:
• best season
• best time of the day
• how much time to spend at the site
• best means of locomotion within the site
• recommended routes / areas within the site
• guiding

Edited by Peter Wijnsouw on 2022-06-08 18:29
In winter, the beach is worth checking for gulls and waders and with some luck there might even be a group of snow buntings at the edge of the beach and the dune-like part! Most interesting though are autumn and spring, when birds are migrating. The best place to start out (ideally at sunrise) is at the scrubs and trees next to the lighthouse; it's often worth checking those thoroughly. Very rare birds are often found there. Also interesting is the dyke, where some lost song birds may be found in the few bushes on there. The path through the fenced off marshland might be interesting to find pipits, wheatears or whinchats in spring and autumn.autumn. You might also see ongoing migration of all kinds of songbirds - pipits, finches, starlings, ...
Edited by Peter Wijnsouw on 2022-06-08 18:02
In winter, the beach is worth checking for gulls and waders and with some luck there might even be a group of snow buntings at the edge of the beach and the dune-like part! Most interesting though are autumn and spring, when birds are migrating. The best place to start out (ideally at sunrise) is at the scrubs and trees next to the lighthouse; it's often worth checking those thoroughly. Very rare birds are often found there. Also interesting is the dyke, where some lost song birds may be found in the few bushes on there. The path through the fenced off marshland might be interesting to find pipits, wheatears or whinchats in spring and autumn.

Can be reached easily by car or tram (for the tram stops see the map above). Also accessible by train - it's a 1,5 km walk from the station of Heist.

It doesn't really matter where exactly to park your car but the easiest place is marked on the map.

Explain from where and how to get to this site with private and public transport.

Edited by Peter Wijnsouw on 2022-06-08 19:00
Can be reached easily by car or tram (for the tram stops see the map above). Also accessible by train - it's a 1,5 km walk from the station of Heist. To park your car it It doesn't really matter but where exactly to park your car but the easiest place is marked on the map.
Edited by Peter Wijnsouw on 2022-06-08 18:25
Can be reached easily by car or tram (for the tram stops see the map above). Also accessible by train - it's a 1,5 km walk from the station of Heist. To park your car it doesn't really matter but probably the easiest place is marked on the map.
Edited by Peter Wijnsouw on 2022-06-08 18:25
Can be reached easily by car or tram (for the tram stops see the map above). Also accessible by train - it's a 1,5 km walk from the station of Heist.Heist. To park your car it doesn't really matter but probably the easiest is marked on the map.
Edited by Peter Wijnsouw on 2022-06-08 18:04
Can be reached easily by car or tram (for the tram stops see the map above). Also accessible by train - it's a 1,5 km walk from the station of Heist.

There's only one restriction: from april to early august, part of the reserve is closed off to give birds a chance to nest on the beach. In that case, you can't walk past the two gate icons on the map.
Apart from that, there's no opening hours or entrance fees. You aren't allowed to walk off the paths though (apart from the beach).

Please note: all of the paths are very sandy and only accessible by foot.

Provide information on how to enter this site, which may include:
• entry points
• entry permits / entry tickets and fees
• opening hours / opening season
• other restrictions

Note that this section should only contain information on how to ACCESS (= enter) a site. Info on how to REACH a site should be added to "How to get there" section.

Edited by Peter Wijnsouw on 2022-06-08 18:27
There's only one restriction: from april to early august, part of the reserve is closed off to give birds a chance to nest on the beach. In that case, you can't walk past the two gate icons on the map. Apart from that, there's no opening hours or entrance fees. You aren't allowed to walk off the paths though (apart from the beach).beach). Please note: all of the paths are very sandy and only accessible by foot.
Edited by Peter Wijnsouw on 2022-06-08 18:10
There's only one restriction: from april to early august, part of the reserve is closed off to give birds a chance to nest on the beach. In that case, you can't walk past the two gate icons on the map. Apart from that, there's no opening hours or entrance fees. You aren't allowed to walk off the paths though (apart from the beach).

Occasionally, seals (harbor seal and grey seal) might be seen near the shore or very rarely even on shore. Please do not disturb them in that case!
There's also a good deal of rare plants, specialized in coastal habitats. For a list of plants see: https://waarnemingen.be/locations/32493/species/?species_group_id=10

In summer, you can lay down and relax on the beach or swim in the sea next to the reserve. There's also some places to get a drink or a snack on the dike.

Add information about other attractions at this site, including
• wildlife (apart from birds)
• sights (natural, cultural, archaeological, etc.)
• activities (e.g. for non-birding companions)

Edited by Peter Wijnsouw on 2022-06-08 18:20
Occasionally, seals (harbor seal and grey seal) might be seen near the shore or very rarely even on shore. Please do not disturb them in that case! There's also a good deal of rare plants, specialized in coastal habitats. For a list of plants see: https://waarnemingen.be/locations/32493/species/?species_group_id=10 In summer, you can lay down and relax on the beach or swim in the sea next to the reserve. There's also some places to get a drink or a snack on the dike.
Edited by Peter Wijnsouw on 2022-06-08 18:17
Occasionally, seals (harbor seal and grey seal) might be seen near the shore or very rarely even on shore. Please do not disturb them in that case! There's also a good deal of rare plants, specialized in coastal habitats. For a list of plants see: https://waarnemingen.be/locations/32493/species/?species_group_id=10 In summer, you can lay down and relax on the beach or swim in the sea next to the reserve. There's also some places to get a drink on the dike.

None. If needed you can use the restrooms in one of the eating places but probably only if you get yourself something there.

Provide information about what type of facilities are available at
or near this site, including:
• information centers / information points
• catering
• accommodation
• hides and watchtowers
• restrooms / toilets

Edited by Peter Wijnsouw on 2022-06-08 18:19
None. If needed you can use the restrooms in one of the eating places but probably only if you get yourself something there.

Watch out for the tides - the water can come very quickly but probably the worst that can happen is you getting wet shoes.

There might be loads of people on the beach when the weather is good, especially in summer. You don't have that problem if you go birding early in the morning though.

Are there any security issues or other annoyances at this site? For
instance, these may include:
• offenses like robbery or theft
• natural hazards
• dangerous or annoying animals or plants (mosquitoes, leaches, thorn bushes, etc.)
• noise pollution

Edited by Peter Wijnsouw on 2022-06-08 18:23
Watch out for the tides - the water can come very quickly but probably the worst that can happen is you getting wet shoes. There might be loads of people on the beach when the weather is good, especially in summer. You don't have that problem if you go birding early in the morning though.
Edited by Peter Wijnsouw on 2022-06-08 18:23
Watch out for the tides - the water can come very quickly but probably the worst that can happen is wet shoes. There might be loads of people on the beach when the weather is good, especially in summer. You don't have that problem if you go birding early in the morning though.
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2021-10-05 Baai van Heist Peter Wijnsouw
2022-02-01 Baai van Heist Peter Wijnsouw
2022-04-20 Baai van Heist Peter Wijnsouw
Orniverse: Baai van Heist - Belgium