An extensive area of intertidal mudflats and sandflats in the western part of the Wadden Sea, between the harbour area of Den Helder and the Amsteldiep gully (site 001 is contiguous with this site). Along the dyke are some small saltmarshes, partly extended in the late 1980s to compensate for habitat loss due to dyke reinforcement. Stock farming is restricted to dyke slopes and (occasionally) saltmarsh. The site has been entirely closed to cockle Cardium and mussel Mytilus fishing since 1993.
The site is an important high-tide roost for tens of thousands of waterbirds, and huge numbers of Chlidonias niger roost here at night in late summer, after feeding during the day on the IJsselmeer (034). It holds important breeding numbers of Recurvirostra avosetta and Sterna hirundo; the small areas of saltmarsh are the only available breeding sites for these species in this part of the Wadden Sea.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Balgzand. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/12/2021.