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These two picturesque lakes share the same name, are both rich in fish and a real magnet for waterbirds (common to rare) from late autumn to early spring.
The two lakes are clearly seperated, yet share the same name. The smaller lake is a former gravel pit and belongs to the municipality of Linkenheim-Hochstetten. The larger lakes belongs to Dettenheim and is still an active gravel pit (at least along the west shore).
Both lakes are very popular with fishermen and swimmers in season. However, in winter the birds take over. Good numbers of Eurasian Coot, Mallard, Gadwall, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Egyptian Goose and Great Cormorant can usually be seen.
With a bit of luck and in the right conditions, Common Goldeneye, Eurasian Wigeon and Greater White-fronted Goose and are also present in good numbers. Other locally common species such as Common Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail or Red-crested Pochard can also occasionally be seen here (as individuals or small flocks).
Rarer waterbirds turn up regularly here and sometimes hang around for days or even weeks. In recent years, Smew, Greater Scaup, Ferruginous Duck, Velvet Scoter, Slavonian Grebe (Horned Grebe), Black-necked Grebe and Red-necked Grebe have all been reported - and seen well.
The fields surrounding the lakes are worth checking for flocks of Geese. In addition to the previously mentioned Goose Species, flocks of Tundra Bean Goose have been observed here and one occasion, a single Red-breasted Goose was around for a few weeks!
The waterbirds are the stars, but the supporting cast of birds also deserve attention: The trees and hedges along the lake are a great habitat for many typical garden and woodland birds (Tits, Finches, Woodpeckers etc.). On a good day, locally less common passerines such as Tree Sparrow, Bullfinch and Firecrest are possible.
The lakes can be accessed easily from two directions. There are two large car parks (see map), plus some roadside parking booths between the two lakes. The path around the smaller lake is a nice circular walk and there are numerous spots with good views across the water. Most of the larger lake can be viewed well from the are around the "Fischerheim" restaurant (which is also a good place to eat and warm-up on a cold winter's day).
The nearby "Insel Rott" (with two restaurants) is also worth a stop. An arm of the River Rhine, woodland and the Rhine itself all make it quite a unique place. It's very accessible by car (handy for elderly or disabled people) or bike and offers nice views, picnic benches and various short walking routes.