De Mokbaai is a miniature version of the Wadden Sea, with salt marshes, mud flats, a channel and a mussel bed. De Mokbaai’s salt marsh is an important refuge for wading birds at high tide. Much of the bay is dry at low tide. The salt marshes run along its edges and there are two bird reserves in the north: De Petten and ’t Stoar, making De Mokbaai an ideal spot for birdwatching.
The Mokbaai has a special history. In the 18th century this waterway (Spanjaardsgat) became sanded. This area was used as an airport from 1917 until the beginning of the Second World War. In the bay a large bowl was dredged for the Dutch Naval Air Force. Here they could station their planes and also land at low tide. The Germans took the Mokbaai under fire on May 10th and 11th, 1940 to attack Den Helder from here. During this attack many planes were destroyed. The airport was not repaired after the Second World War and has a new meaning as The Mokbaai.
In the Hoornder Nieuwland there are two bird sanctuaries called the Petten and 't Stoar. The Petten consists of a lake with a few islands in it. Kluten, black-headed gulls, common terns and furry plovers use this as breeding grounds. These birds catch food for their young in the Mokbaai and fly a lot over the dike. At high tide you can also see wadden birds resting here. In the east of the Petten is the meadow bird reserve 't Stoar. Avocets, black-tailed godwits and lapwings breed here, and in wintertime wigeons can also be found regularly.
Editors De Krim Texel
Update: November 26, 2022 14:00