The Geiseltalsee used to be a coal mining area. Therefore most parts are dry and sandy. As it is now flooded you will find many sandbanks and good opportunities to watch waterbirds.
The area is quite large. It is best to explore with a bicycle. The circular route surrounding the lake complex (see map) is completely asphalt, so it is perfect for bicycle and wheelchair. However, surrounding the entire lake on foot or wheelchair will be strenuous: the circular route is 25 km (15 miles) long.
Breeding birds in summer: It is easy to see European Bee-eater as they are nearly everywhere and breed in the area. Around the lake there are plenty of spots with Wryneck. The sandy and dry areas are good for Northern Wheatear and Tawny Pipit. An overflying European Turtle-Dove is a regular sight and with luck you can also see Barred Warbler or Great Grey Shrike.
Winter visitors: The lake is full of waterbirds in winter. It is a great place to see many species of ducks and geese. Red-crested Pochard can be seen in good numbers. Divers of all species have been recorded here – it is a surprisingly good place to see Slavonian Grebe (Horned Grebe) in winter for inland Germany. Other divers are Red-necked Grebe, Black-necked Grebe and Black-throated Diver (Arctic Loon). Goosander, Red-breasted Merganser, Smew and Velvet Scoter are regular winter visitors.
In spring and summer the central sandbanks (near red marker) are good for waders and gulls. Black-winged Stilt has bred in the area. More common breeding waders are Little Ringed Plover and Northern Lapwing.
You can get there by train via Merseburg. Get off the train at Mücheln(Geiseltal), Krumpa or Braunsbedra and walk north.
There are at least seven large-capacity car parks around the lake (see P on map) with good viewpoints nearby.
Three high lookout towers are in the area, each with a car park close by. They provide a good overview of the area but birds are quite distant (scope is useful).
The asphalt circular route around the lake is only for walking, cycling or wheelchair but it is quite long (25 km). A bicycle is the best option. Bicycles can be rent at Marina Mücheln (see map).
Terrain and HabitatLake, Mud flats, Scattered trees and bushes, Valley
ConditionsHilly, Dry, Dusty, Open landscape
Is a telescope useful?Can be useful
Good birding seasonAll year round
Best time to visitWinter, Summer
Difficulty walking trailStrenuous
Accessible byBicycle, Foot, Wheelchair
Birdwatching hide / platformYes
There are several restaurants in the south of the lake (e.g. at Mücheln and Neumark) and a vineyard in the northwest. Many leisure activities are being offered around the lake, including camping, boat trips, bicycle hire (Marina Mücheln) and more.