winter has arrived
because buzzards are known to catch not only mice, but also rabbit
in spring Sand martins arrive and inspect the nesting facilities
in spring sheep and cow meet and greet
and sometimes the Maas takes complete possession of the uiterwaard, bringing disaster to the Common Voles
autumn is coming
a young fox is hunting mice. Not easy in the high grasses
sheep are ideal to manage and fertilize the slopes of the dike
the free eroding river banks that make Oude Schans famous. Cows enjoy to accelerate the eroding process
The Oude Schans is located directly west of the Empelse Waard, separated by a shallow inflow channel with stepping stones. Since 2004, the
areas are merged into one nature reserve that is managed by Natuurmonumenten.
The name Schans refers to a
long gone military defensive wall.
After the canalization of the Maas in 1870, the clay layer was excavated and later the land
was used for intensive grazing. As a result, the Maas overflows the uiterwaard (flood plains) here several times per year.
Oude Schans has one of the most beautiful freely eroding banks of the Maas and every year Sand martins come to nest in the steep clay
Cattle provide extensive grazing of the Oude Schans, and in the warm summer months they must share the beaches with
human bathers and sun lovers.
The area sports thickets of nettles and thistles, where scores of rabbits can hide from stray dogs. Kestrel, blue
heron, stork and occasionally fox and buzzard come here to snack on abundant Common Vole.
I visit Oude Schans quite often,
the photos are from 2021 onwards.
these stepping stones separate Oude Schans from Empelse Waard. Sometimes the Maas waterlevel is low
but sometimes waterlevels are much higher
cattle enjoy the beach
a rabbit carefully checks the environment
warmly dressed, you can enjoy the magic winter scenery
in summer cattle and people flock to the beaches