The South of Noord is bordered by the IJ. In the IJ, the salt water of the North Sea meets the sweet water of the IJmeer, a phenomenon you won’t find in many other parts of the world. On the bottom layer of the salt water, there’s sea fish swimming around, like herrings, and flatfish like plaice and cod. You find blue crabs, Chinese mitten crabs and all sorts of shrimp. In the sweet water, the upper layer, there’s pike, redeye and bream.
North of Noord lies Waterland, one of the richest areas for field birds in the world. In spring, the place is filled with black-tailed godwits, northern lapwings and Eurasian oystercatchers. In winter, thousands of geese eat from the juicy grass here. Each year, they come from Scandinavia and Russia to hibernate in Waterland.
Close to Noord and Waterland is the IJmeer. Due to the thousands of ducks hibernating there, it was appointed as a European nature reserve. Seagulls, terns and waders breed every year on the artificial sand dam near Durgerdam. You can cycle on the dike up North from Durgerdam, it's best early May. You'll also pass the Hoeckelingsdam, where you'll see thousands of birds busy searching for suitable breeding spots, or pied avocets and shelducks laying eggs around the puddles inside the dikes.
As well as these special nature reserves, Noord has some beautiful parks too. Vliegenbos is a good example. This rough looking forest, with its many elms, shelters a lot of woodpeckers and birds of prey. Spring is spectacular, when carpets of gleeming yellow cellandine cover the ground. Then there’s the little swamps in Kadoelen and ecozone Schellingwoude by the Schellingwouder bridge. There you even find grass snakes. All in all, Noord has a lot to offer, naturewise.