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Showing off the natural beauty of the Scheelhoek reserve -The ST Vista at ‘T IJ

September 12 2019

Showing off the natural beauty of the Scheelhoek reserve -The ST Vista at ‘T IJ

A giant Sandwich Tern egg out of timber and hay sitting on a nest of reed on a sandy Dutch beach. From afar, it almost looks like Pacman – or for those who do not remember this iconic character: an emoji – with a funny haircut. Around it, the vast prairie-like landscape of the Scheelhoek nature reserve inhabited by countless bird species expands.




‘T IJ: a bird hide like no other

It definitely is a bird hide like no other: ‘T IJ (a Dutch wordplay on both “tide” and “egg”) is situated in Scheelhoek, a nature reserve close to the Haringvliet sluices near Stellendam in the Netherlands.

This fascinating bird observatory is the biggest and most striking of a series of objects designed to celebrate the opening of the Haringvliet sluices in November 2018. They improve water quality, promote biodiversity, and stimulate fish migration from the North Sea to the Maas and Rhine river deltas. Now, visitors may experience and explore these changes thanks to numerous bird hides.


© ROAD, Lepelaar- Eurasian Spoonbill


Take a walk on the wild side

As part of a grand landscaping plan, a walk through the Scheelhoek nature reserve was designed culminating at ‘T IJ. Walking along the path, you may observe sand martins, waders, and terns. The last section of the path leads you through a tunnel, manufactured from re-used, natural material and covered in sand, to provide habitat and breeding grounds for birds.

At the end of the tunnel, you reach the egg-shaped bird hide ‘T IJ, where the climax of the walk awaits: the ST Vista.

Seize the opportunity to look at the surrounding natural beauty through this spectacular spotting scope. Observe the large reed beds within or the flat sand islands beyond the coastal defense. Enjoy discovering various species of birds like the Common Tern (Sterna hirundo), Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), and the icon of this area, the Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis).



© ROAD, Katja Effting

Absolutely breathtaking

‘T IJ is one of the world’s most breathtaking view points and should be on every nature or birding enthusiast’s travel list.

“Experiencing nature in ‘T IJ is great, but what makes it even better is the sublime SWAROVSKI OPTIK spotting scope ST Vista. The images of the Sandwich Terns (Thalasseus sandvicensis), the Spoonbills (Platalea) and many other birds appear up close before your very eyes. You feel as though you were right among them. A wonderful experience for all visitors!” – Ad Kil, RO&AD Architecten, Bergen op Zoom - RAU Architecten, Amsterdam



© ROAD, Katja Effting

’T IJ is a great spot for birding all year round. The ST Vista makes the experience even more intense. During breeding season, I use the brilliant optics to watch different Terns (Sternidae). From spring to late summer I enjoyed observing Kingfishers (Alcedo atthis), Great Egrets (Ardea alba) and White-tailed Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus Albicilla).” – Td C.J. Sluijter, passionate birder and forest warden Natuurmonumenten


Further information on the ST Vista outdoor spotting scope





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