Bavaria, Middle Franconia  >  Germany

Around two large ponds in the vicinity of Erlangen interesting reed-based breeders and winter guests can be found.

Added* by Thomas Büttel
Most recent update 19 December 2021
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The area offers birding potential for some hours. If you're time is limited focus on the Dornweiher between the "Kleiner Bischofsweiher" and "Dechsendorfer Weiher" (Großer Bischofsweiher), which is often the most interesting part.

The "Dechsendorfer Weiher" is only partially a nature reserve, which is situated on the northern shore. Yet, particularly in early spring or autumn (when it's too cold for swimming) you might find some interesting waterfowl on it, such as non breeding Black-necked Grebe, Common Goldeneye and others. The woods around offers habitat for species like Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker and Golden Oriole.

In contrast to the latter the "Kleiner Bischofsweiher" is protected and often holds Gadwall, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard and Black-necked Grebe. Note, that during breeding season the path along the northern shore might be closed. Yet, especially on its eastern shore you still have a good overview, but birds can be quite distant. In late spring/early summer Great Reed Warbler and Reed Warbler should be more easily heard than seen in the reeds around the shoreline.

The most interesting part of the area are however the "Dornweiher" between both sites. Black-crowned Night Heron are seen regularly and in recent time apparently all around the year (unusual in Germany). Pay furthermore attention to Common Kingfisher, Bluethroat and Great Reed Warbler. The patient observer might even be rewarded with Great Bittern or Bearded Tit during the winter.

In most years conditions for wader migration aren't suitable. Yet, here and then one of the more common species is observed, instead the open waterbodies attract Osprey, Black Tern and Little Gull on a regular basis.



You find a quite large car park nex to the southeastern shore of the "Dechsendorfer Weiher" on the road between Dechsendorf and Möhrendorf. If you're more interested in the northwestern part of the area, drive instead from Dechsendorf in the direction of "Röttenbach". Shortly after leaving the village you should come to a junction (to Röhrach), where you can also park your car on a field path on the right side of the road.

Next to the mentioned junction and in the village Dechsendorf you find bus stops which are approached by the bus lines 205 and 283 from Erlangen.

Terrain and Habitat

Forest , Wetland , Lake , Reedbeds , City/village


Slippery , Wet , Flat , High water possible

Circular trail


Is a telescope useful?

Can be useful

Good birding season

All year round

Best time to visit

Spring , Summer


Wide path , Narrow trail

Difficulty walking trail

Average walk

Accessible by

Foot , Bicycle

Birdwatching hide / platform


Extra info

There is an observation facility south of the Dornweiher, which however is to my view a bit misplaced and not treated well.


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