The Rhine Delta is protected under Natura 2000 and Ramsar Convention and situated on the shores of Lake Constance (Bodensee). It comprises the alluvial forest at the old Rhine, meadows, reed beds, mudflats and shallow water. Also intensively used areas and dams are part of the reserve. At the Rhine Delta two migration routes meet: the northern rim of the Alps and the Rhine valley that is used by many migrants for crossing the Alps. This is why so many rarities are recorded here. There are 3 places you can visit here that are all very good for birding. The Rheinspitz, The Rohrspitz and the Sanddelta. We focus here on the Sanddelta with it's interesting mudflats and lagoon. Some rarities that are regularly seen here are: Ferruginous Duck, Red-throated Diver, Squacco Heron, Red-footed Falcon, Pectoral Sandpiper, Arctic Skua (Parasitic Jaeger), Caspian Tern, Ortolan Bunting and Cirl Bunting.
From the parking (see P on the map) go straight and walk on the dam. After a short while you will find on your right hand side (at the New Rhine) interesting mudflats (if the water is low enough). At the right time of the year you find waders here. Check out the bushes, patches of reed, trees and areas of gravel - surprises have turned up everywhere. A little bit further on you will find a lagoon on your left hand side. Here Mediterranean Gull and Common Tern are breeding. The reeds along Lagune host Little Bittern. At the tip of the dyke, try some "seawatching" for skuas, divers and terns - depending on the season. You can circle this lagoon anticlockwise on your way back. The best mudflats (waders, gulls and rarities) are at the end of the dam. The total length (bi-directional) of the walk is 6.5 km.
From Bregenz in the direction to Fussach. Before You reach Fussach you have to take the first turnoff to the right after you have crossed the New Rhine (be careful: do not leave the road after You have crossed the Bregenzer Aach. Make sure that You have crossed two rivers before you turn off). Now you drive for 1.6 km parallel to the dam in the direction to the lake until you reach a gate. Here you have to park on the parking site (see the P on the map).
Terrain and HabitatWetland, River, Lake, Mud flats, Reedbeds, City/village, Forest
ConditionsFlat, Swampy, Open landscape
Is a telescope useful?Yes
Good birding seasonWinter, Spring, Autumn
Best time to visitSpring, Spring migration, Autumn migration
RoutePaved road, Unpaved road
Difficulty walking trailAverage walk
Accessible byFoot, Bicycle
Birdwatching hide / platformNo
Best time to visit is January-May and September-January. During the summer months, many places along the lake are crowded with tourists and birdactivity also drops.
The Rheinspitz and The Rohrspitz a two other great birdingplaces in the Rhine Delta nature reserve. To visit the Sanddelta and these two sites you will need a full day. A good website with info on Birding along the whole Lake Constance (Bodensee) is: https://www.bodensee-ornis.de/der-bodensee/beobachtungsorte/