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The 12-hectare flood retention basin of Roseldorf is a highly structured wet habitat, which supports a surprisingly high bird diversity.
Built in 2004, the retention basin undergoes an ongoing succession and change of habitat types. After loosing it's open character through the establishment of willow, alder and reed stands, it is now a very diverse, mostly flooded area of open water, reed beds and young alluvial forest. The construction activity of Eurasian Beavers alters the landscape regularly and creates more open habitats, where the beaver fells the young trees.
The basin holds significant numbers of different warbler species such as Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler and Savi's Warbler and also European Stonechat and Marsh Harrier. Breeding has been documented for Little Bittern and Black-crowned Night Heron. Common Pheasant, Grey Partridge, Water Rail, European Turtle Dove and Reed Bunting are regular or abundant breeding birds. Big flocks of Common Starling use the reed beds for roosting at night, so by the end of May, it is worth to check them for Rosy Starling. Barn Swallow also sleeps communally in the reed and attacks of Sparrowhawk and Eurasian Hobby can be seen regularly at dusk.
Overflying birds of prey, which can be seen quite regularly, include Imperial Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Saker Falcon and Montagu's Harrier. On migration, the area provides roosting habitat for bigger numbers of songbird migrants and surely has potential to produce rarity sightings as well. Citrine Wagtail has already been recorded, but the area is not covered well by birders, so most rarities surely pass unnoticed.
Winter visitors include the regular species Hen Harrier and Rough-legged Buzzard, but also a record of Great Bittern.
Access is easiest by car, but public busses service Roseldorf station which is approx. a 10 minute walk to the edge of the basin. Please follow the cirular route (2 km) and do not leave the track in order to not disturb any wildlife. It is definitely not recommended to enter the basin itself, as it is flooded in huge areas anyways. Click on the P in the map for directions.
Latest sightings can be seen on Ornitho.at, which is also recommended for submitting your personal sightings. See the clickable link below.