Like the Mohrhof-Weihergebiet the Bischofsweiher are part of the Aischgrund which is a region in the northern part of Middle Franconia that is characterized by hundreds of ponds. In contrast to the first the site it's closer to the next cities, which means it can be accessed easily by public transport. However, for this advantage the birdwatcher must pay a price: especially around the "Großer Bischofsweiher" during the summer there are lots of other people.


Generally, the complex is neither as a breeding nor as a resting site as important as the ponds around Mohrhof. Notable for all instances is the regular presence of Night Herons almost all around the year on the Dornweiher. Apart from that you'll find particularly on the "Kleiner Bischofsweiher" good conditions for Dabbling Ducks and Grebes. A visit is best in the breeding season, but it can still be worth visiting the site all over the year. In the winter it's certainly very calm on the ponds (which should be drained), pay instead attention to the rare Bittern and Bearded Reedlings.

Target Species:


Black-necked Grebe, Bluethroat, Garganey (rare), Golden Oriole, Great Reed Warbler, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Night Heron, Red-crested Pochard, Water Rail



Bittern, Black Tern, Garganey, Goldeneye, Little Gull, Osprey, Shoveler, Teal, Waders (depending on water level), Wigeon



Bearded Reedling, Bittern



By Car: Leave the motorway A3 at the exit "Erlangen-West" and follow the signpost towards the village Dechsendorf.  For reaching the "Kleiner Bischofsweiher" turn left at the second junction after the motorway interchange and keep going on in the direction of "Röttenbach". 2 km after you left Dechsendorf behind you should find a turn-off to the small village "Röhrach" on your left-hand side. Turn instead to the right on a small trail and park your car on the edge of it.


To access the "Großer Bischofsweiher" coming from the motorway turn left at the third junction and again right after another 250 meters into the "Naturbadstraße". The latter directs you out of the village. Immediately after a right-hand bend you'll find a car park on your left-hand side.

By Public Transport: Thanks to the vicinity of the city Erlangen the different spots can be reached rather easily by bus. The next bus stop for the "Kleiner Bischofsweiher" is situated next to the turn-off to Röhrach and is served by the bus line 205.
The "Großer Bischofsweiher" can be approached with the bus line 283, which terminates at the stop "Dechsendorfer Weiher" (a second name of the site).

The Night Heron is a quite regular appearance in the Dornweiher area
The Night Heron is a quite regular appearance in the Dornweiher area

The area can be separated in three parts: the two large ponds (Kleiner and Großer Bischofsweiher) and the smaller "Dornweiher" between the latter which is surrounded by a large reed belt. If you have little time focus on the "Kleiner Bischofsweiher" and the "Dornweiher" (plan with 2-3 h). Usually the "Kleiner Bischofsweiher" is a bit calmer than the "Großer Bischofsweiher" and attracts more birds. Yet you should pay attention on both ponds for dabbling ducks, Red-crested Pochards and Black-necked Grebes.


Kleiner Bischofsweiher: Follow the trail from your car to the southwestern corner of the "Kleiner Bischofsweiher" (1). Normally, it's advisable to walk around the pond, so go on northwards and stay in the following always right. From the northern shore (2) you should gain suitable views on the water body*. Having reached the eastern end of the "Kleinern Bischofsweiher" you can proceed either by following the path southwards, which would lead you to the "Großer Bischofsweiher" or by turning right.

At the southern corner (3) a trail turns off to the left which you should take, in case you'd like to visit the "Dornweiher" (for details see below). The way back on the southern shore isn't as interesting as its pendant, since from late spring onwards the view is limited by the reed. When the water level is low, you should look out for waders (normally just common species).


* Up until 2018 this has always been possible. In 2019 however the path along the northern shore (2) was closed during the breeding season. If current information is available on the situation in the next years, I'll update the site description.

Dornweiher: Head southwards from (3). Especially the southern part is very interesting, pay here attention to Night Heron, (Great and Common) Reed Warbler, Kingfisher and Bluethroat in this area. If you follow the path further you'll meet shortly afterwards the circuit walk around the "Großer Bischofsweiher".

Großer Bischofsweiher: The above mentioned circuit walk should offer you sufficient views on the water body. As stressed before there are more people visiting the "Großer Bischofsweiher". The rumours concentrate normally on the southern half, because the northern part is a nature reserve. Probably the most interesting spot on the circuit walk is the smaller pond neighbouring the "Großer Bischofsweiher ", as it is surrounded by a large reed belt. You can gain a limited view on the latter by a small hide (5) (just a wooden wall with gaps in it for binoculars or spotting scopes).


(1) [49°38'44.39"N 10°55'42.50"E]

(2) [49°38'42.79"N 10°56'18.51"E]

(3) [49°38'27.93"N 10°56'18.32"E]

(4) [49°38'15.57"N 10°56'29.62"E]

(5) [49°38'8.01"N 10°56'30.11"E]

P "Röhrach" [49°38'45.59"N 10°55'15.58"E]

P "Dechsendorf" [49°37'48.24"N 10°57'27.73"E]


Christoph Moning, Christian Wagner: Vögel beobachten in Süddeutschland, Stuttgart 2012.