Bamberg is mostly visited due to its cultural importance, though the large town is also surrounded by a varied cultural landscape, where more than 100 species are breeding. I focus on three profitable sites in the immediate near of the town, which may also be reached by the several bus lines from the centre.
At the end you´ll find some more sites, which may also be concerned when staying for a few more days.
Even though this park is very popular and often crowded with joggers, cyclists and walkers, it offers good birding, since the birds have adapted to humans and can therefore be observed from small distances. A visit is especially recommendable in the spring, when all breeding species have arrived, though the winter is better for spotting the more elusive woodland-birds. Notable breeders are Collared Flycatcher, Firecrest, Eurasian Treecreeper, Hawfinch, Kingfisher, Middle Spotted Woodpecker and Pied Flycatcher.
When you´re dependent on public transport, take the bus line 909 until it stops at "Wilhelm-Löhe-Heim". Follow afterwards the street in southern direction to a T-junction. Turn here right and stay on the street ("Hainstraße") until makes a bend to the right. Here a suitable parking ground is located [49°52'52.33"N 10°53'57.50"E], which is a good starting point for a walk.
The Stocksee and the ponds of Seehof-castle are the best sites around Bamberg for breeding waterfowl: Pochard, Tufted Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Gadwall, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe and Black-necked Grebe can be seen during breeding season. Furthermore, the large reed-belt of the Stocksee is inhabited by Reed Warblers, Reed Buntings and Water Rails.
The ponds can easily be combined with the Hauptsmoorwald, which is an exemplary mixed forest, where almost the full range of woodland-birds can be encountered. Highlights include breeding Goshawk, Honey Buzzard, Golden Oriole, Crested Tit, Woodcock, Wood Warbler, five species of Woodpecker and both Treecreeper-species.
You get a good overview of the site on the circuit walk which is marked on the map on the right. It has a length of 6,4 kilometers, which also includes the detour to (4). If you have a car, then leave the motorway A 73 at the exit "Memmelsdorf" and follow the signs towards the mentioned village. After having passed "Lichteneiche" on the left pay attention to the second path on the right, where you can park your car [49°55'34.02"N 10°56'24.12"E]. Here also a small pond should be located on your left hand side.
When you´re coming by bus, take the bus line 907 and leave it at the stop "Lichteneiche - Staatsstraße", from where you can walk the last 200 meters to the "Stocksee".
The description of the circuit walk starts at the "Stocksee", which is often the most interesting pond: Follow the path along the shore until you come to a barrier in the forest. Turn before that barrier (1) left into a small trail and follow it for the next few hundred meters. After a while you´re leaving the forest, keep here right. Shortly afterwards you reach the parking ground and the "Altsee". From this point on the path goes for several hundred meters along the ponds. After a while you´ll come to a huge pond (2), where you have to turn right and follow the path into the wood to another junction (3). Turn once again to the right and always staying on this path you´ll come after 1,6 kilometers straight to the barrier (1).
Here you can also make a small detour by turning left and keeping afterwards right. After a few hundred meters you´ll leave the wood and find a big open area in front of you (4). In the spring you should be able to observe Tree Pipits and Red-backed Shrikes here.
This part of the site belonged to the training area of the former US-casern. When the casern was eventually closed in late 2014, the training area was completely opened for the public. However not even a year later the interesting area, where several rare and sought-after species are breeding, was closed again, not least because the town of Bamberg hasn´t yet decided what to do with the area.
(1) [49°55'11.14"N 10°56'5.51"E]
(2) [49°55'25.35"N 10°57'19.15"E]
(3) [49°55'14.40"N 10°57'13.13"E]
(4) [49°54'52.60"N 10°56'25.77"E]
The southern slopes of the "Kreuzberg" hold several interesting breeders: In the spring you have good chances to see seven (!) species of Woodpecker (Black, Green, Grey-headed, Great, Middle, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and the Wryneck), Hawfinch, Firecrest, Crested Tit, Red Crossbill, Red-backed Shrike, Common Redstart and Bullfinch.
Furthermore the varied mosaic of meadow orchards, hedges and small woods attracts many birds in general all around the year. Whether there are large flocks of passerines in the winter or resting finches in the autumn, there is always something to see.
From the huge metal cross you have a magnificent panorama, which also means that it is a suitable spot for migration counts. The only disadvantage is that you cannot look towards north. Nevertheless the "Kreuzberg"-area shouldn´t be missed on a trip to Bamberg.
Leaving the motorway A 70 at the exit "Hallstadt / Bamberg Nord" follow the signs towards the centre of "Hallstadt". Pay then attention to signposts to "Oberhaid / Dörfleins / Stettfeld". After that you´re leaving "Hallstadt" and crossing the Main. Turn immediately afterwards right into the first street. Always keeping right you´ll soon arrive at the car park [49°56'3.90"N 10°51'52.08"E] at the edge of the village.
The bus line 904 stops at "Dörfleins - Obere Hut", which is in the near of the car park.
I highly recommend the nature-trail ("Naturlehrpfad"), which connects the most interesting parts of the site. Altogether it has a lenght of 2 kilometers. At first it goes uphill through forest and leads you through interesting meadow orchards. When the nature trail bends to the right, you can also make a detour to the already mentioned metal cross by staying straight on the path. Afterwards you´re descending to the river, where you should look out for Bluethroat, Kingfisher, Nightingale and River Warbler.
If you have more spare time, you may also visit the other parts of the "Kreuzberg"-area as well. Another possible circuit walk is marked in the map (red dotted path).
Generally the most birds can be found along the river Main. At the most quarry ponds you can observe Bluethroat, Nightingale and Kingfisher. Furthermore, in the winter and during migration normally interesting waterfowl can be seen.
Recommendable is the southern quarry pond of Roßstadt, which is the most profitable on average. You can park at the signposted sewage plant ("Kläranlage") of Trunstadt [49°56'4.30"N 10°45'5.78"E], follow afterwards the path westwards to a peninsula, from where you have a good overview of the lake.
Apart from that there are some further profitable quarry ponds in the north of Bamberg near Breitengüßbach. You can park here [49°59'42.87"N 10°52'56.21"E], both the western ("Röckelein Baggersee) as well as the southern quarry pond ("Porznersee") are often worth a visit. At the backside of the "Porznersee" you´ll find additionally a Riparian Forest, where Golden Oriole, Cuckoo, River Warbler and Black Kite can be found.
A similar Riparian Forest is located near Viereth, park here [49°55'38.66"N 10°45'5.78"E] and follow afterwards the path southwards into the wood.
If you´d like to have more detailed information, feel free to contact me.