One of my favourite places to visit for walking and wildlife spotting in our area is the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen, Zandvoort/Bloemendaal (I can’t believe I haven’t written a post about it before!). In fact it belongs to a water company which supplies Amsterdam with water and has since 1851, but luckily for us it is also a Nature reserve and open to the public.
There are no huge reservoirs or lakes but a vast system of channels and filtration systems. Due to the abundance of water the AWD is a fantastic place to find dragonflies and damselflies and the rare Water shrew has been frequently observed but not by me, just a dead one once.
The AWD has considerable landscape variety with open areas with blowing sands, sand dunes and mixed woodland, pine forests were planted on on sand to control the sand drift (between 1900-1945). Brushwood, moist and swampy valleys and dry plains. Places exposed to sea spray typical species like Marram grass, Sea rocket and Sea sow thistle can be found. In the more sheltered places and the inner dune forests there are plants like Honeysuckle, Hedge garlic and Bracken. There over 660 plant species, of which 27 can’t be found elsewhere in the Netherlands. The major part is covered by mosses, grassland and low shrubs, often dominated by Privet and Sea buckthorn on the dry slopes and by Creeping willow in the valleys. Calluna heath can be found in the SE. In sheltered areas, shrubs develop with hawthorn and oak, and willows and birch in the valleys. Many wet meadows have become rich in flowers, with sedges, violets, orchids and Grass of Parnassus.
Approx 970 species of fungi has been found here, that is a quarter of all fungi species which can be found in The Netherlands.
The AWD is one of the largest dune areas in the Netherlands. Because of excavation for water collection a lot of the original landscape has disappeared. In the south though the dunes are to a large extent still intact. The western part of the AWD the vegetation is low, while higher scrub and woodland increase towards the east, especially in sheltered valleys. The abundant Sea buckthorn scrub offers shelter, nesting opportunity and food to numerous birds and mammals.
Every year approx'100 bird species breed here including Stonechat and Lesser whitethroat in the dunes and reed birds like Bluethroat and Sedge warbler. The AWD is a core area for the Sand lizard, other abundant species are the Red fox, Roe and Fallow deer. The number of rabbits, once a key species for the dunes, has dramatically dropped as a result of the VHS-virus in the nineties. Small predators (Ermine, Weasel and Polecat) are rare. Bats, use World War II bunkers as their winter shelter, hunt in large numbers above the ponds and the canals during summer.
(It is nice to see) Up to date info tells us species numbers but sadly not which they are and no bat numbers seein as I have mentioned them.
660 (47 on red data list)
179 (9 on red data list)
87 ( 8 on red data list)
970 (264 on red data list!)
57 (4 on red data list)
33 (3 on red data list)
33 (3 on red data list)
140 (0 on red data list)
Grass hoppers and crickets
17 ( 4 on red data list)
Moths macro and micro
832 (0 on red data list)
116 (6 on red data list)
7 (1 on red data list)
34 (3 on red data list)
70 (13 on red data list)
5 (0 on red data list)
2 (1 on red data list)
Sadly this is another case where I have talked something up but have discovered I have very few images of the actual landscape.
I will add some at a later date.