Garstadter Seen

Bavaria, Lower Franconia  >  Germany

The Garstadter Seen are renatured quarry ponds that have developed an astonishingly rich birdlife for its size, basically for species that specialize on reeds.

Added* by Thomas Büttel
Most recent update 9 March 2023


The birdlife is rich in the Garstadter Seen (lakes). Meaning a total of more than 270 recorded species of which more than a 100 are breeders. For this reason a visit in late spring is highly recommendable, even though of course it's worth a visit all around the year. On migration regularly rarer species are detected and particularly for waterfowl it's an important resting site in the region. The site is best explored on a 4 km circuit walk.

The woods hold all woodpecker species of the lowland like Grey-headed Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Particularly in the "Garstadter Holz" pay furthermore attention to Collared Flycatcher. During spring the sound of Great Reed Warbler, Bluethroat and Savi's Warbler is very characteristic. With a bit of patience Little Bittern should be audible and even show up briefly; they prefer the reedy pond south of the tower. Once the Purple Heron has been a regular breeder, recently however their number has decreased as they've mostly moved to other wetland areas. In the winter the patient observer might even get a glimpse of a Great Bittern.

The lakes are surrounded by an open area intersected with bushes, where in the summer European Turtle Dove, Red-backed Shrike and Wryneck can be expected. In the winter months Great Grey Shrike are recorded regularly.

After the large influx of Pygmy Cormorant in Germany beginning summer 2021 , about 30 individuals have remained in the reserve during the winter and have succesfully bred in 2022.



Leave the motorway A70 at the exit "Schweinfurt-Zentrum" and follow the road southwards for 4 km. Turn to the right following the signs at first towards Röthlein and afterwards to Heidenfeld. Shortly after you have passed Heidenfeld on your left hand side turn right to the first lane (driving on it is permitted). Finally you arrive at a crossing, where the car park is situated.

The bus line 8137 (starts in Schweinfurt) stops at Heidenfeld. Alternatively, you can access the site by bicycle (the next train station is located in Schweinfurt), however the circuit walk itself isn't suitable for cycling.

Terrain and Habitat

Forest , Mud flats , Lake , Wetland , Reedbeds , Scattered trees and bushes


Flat , Wet , High water possible

Circular trail


Is a telescope useful?


Good birding season

All year round

Best time to visit

Spring , Summer


Narrow trail , Wide path

Difficulty walking trail

Average walk

Accessible by


Birdwatching hide / platform



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