For almost 30 years the former quarry ponds located near Heidenfeld have been attracting a variegated birdlife. Especially for birds that specialize on the reeds, the „Garstadter Seen“ are important. Among the several breeders you also find such highly desired species like Little Bittern, Purple Heron and Grey-headed Woodpecker. The most interesting spots can be reached on a circuit walk, for which you should consider at least two hours (three or four hours are more likely).
Bluethroat, Collared Flycatcher, Great Reed Warbler, Grey headed Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Little Bittern, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Penduline Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Savi´s Warbler, Water Rail, Wryneck, Yellow legged Gull
Black Kite, Black Tern, Common Sandpiper, Garganey, Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Lapwing, Little Gull, Red crested Porchard, Red necked Grebe, Shoveler, Snipe, Teal, Wigeon, Wood Sandpiper
Bearded Reedling, Bittern, Goldeneye, Goosander, Great Grey Shrike, Greater White-fronted Goose
By Car: The nature reserve “Garstadter Seen” is located near the village of “Heidenfeld”. You leave the motorway A 70 at the exit 7 “Schweinfurt - Zentrum /Schwebheim” and follow the federal road B 286 in the direction of “Schwebheim”. After a few kilometers you have to turn off the federal road in the direction of “Röthlein”. The village will come in sight soon afterwards.
In “Röthlein” you have once again to turn left in the direction of “Heidenfeld”, which is located just 3 kilometers from “Röthlein”. The street however is not running through “Heidenfeld”, but is leading you around the small village. Shortly after you have passed “Heidenfeld” on your left hand side turn right to the first lane (driving on it is permitted). Finally you´ll come to a crossing, where also the parking ground is located.
By Public Transport: From the main station of “Schweinfurt” it is 10 kilometers to the reserve via “Bergrheinfeld” and “Grafenrheinfeld”, so it is recommendable to use a bicycle. “Heidenfeld” is also reached by the bus line 8137 from “Schweinfurt”. From “Heidenfeld” you have to cross the bypass-road and follow the smaller lane to a parking ground.
For exploring the nature reserve on the already mentioned circuit walk you have to take the opposite lane viewed from the parking ground. Shortly afterwards you should be able to see the water surface on your right hand side. Finally you get to a barrier for cyclists (1), from this point it is only 100 meters to the observation tower (2). The latter allows you to overview the front part of the lake.
The path will run from this point on next to the shore, though most of the times you cannot see through the trees and bushes at the lake. Now and then there are however gaps in the vegetation. Especially the back part of the lake is very interesting because of the breeding Grey Herons and Cormorants.
Afterwards you're going through a little wood called “Garstadter Holz” (3), pay attention to Collared Flycatcher and Woodpeckers here. Finally you´re passing another lake on your right hand side, which is normally not very interesting. Just a few hundred meters beyond that you´ll come to a last crossing (4), turn here to your right. From this point on it will take you only a few more minutes to reach the parking ground (left hand side). On your way you can look on another lake on your right hand side, which has proven to be sometimes a good place for waders.
(1) [49°57'55.42"N 10°11'25.46"E]
(2) [49°57'50.75"N 10°11'17.21"E]
(3) [49°58'8.43"N 10°10'31.30"E]
P [49°58'1.96"N 10°11'37.23"E]
Christoph Moning, Christian Wagner: Vögel beobachten in Süddeutschland, Stuttgart 2012.
Christian Wagner, Christopher König, Christoph Moning, Felix Weiß: Garstadter Seen in Bayern - Von der Sandgrube zum Vogelparadies, in Der Falke 2016, Heft 2, S. 5 - 8.