Franconia  hosts  an  isolated  population  of  Ortolan Buntings,  the  only one in  Southern Germany.  The attractive Bunting can  only be found  at places with diversified  vegetation.  This  diversity  is  however  threatened  by  the  intensive agriculture.  That´s  the  reason  why  the  population  here  in  Franconia  is  declining. Between “Grettstadt”  and  “Sulzheim”  however  there  are  still  good  chances  to  see  this species.

Target Species:


Black Woodpecker, Collared Flycatcher, Corn Bunting, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Ortolan Bunting, Quail, Red-backed Shrike, Turtle Dove, Wryneck



By Car: Leave the motorway A 70 at the exit 8 “Gochsheim” and  follow  the  street  in  the  direction  of  “Gochsheim”,  which  you´ll reach shortly afterwards. From this point on there will be signs leading you to “Grettstadt”, you'll arrive after a few kilometers. 


Now you only have to stay on the main street. After you've  passed “Grettstadt” the parking ground is only a few more kilometers to go. At first you'll pass a wood on your right, afterwards a wood on your left. Turn right to the second lane after the last wood, where also a couple of trees are standing.  Additionally there is a small blue sign  indicating the car park.

By Public Transport: There is no station  near the  site, however you can go by bicycle from the main station of “Schweinfurt”  via “Gochsheim”. The distance is about 13 kilometers. The villages  of “Grettstadt” and “Sulzheim” (the  village  south  of  the  site) are both approached by the bus line 8160, which starts in  “Schweinfurt”. For closer navigation to the site please pay attention to  the clues given in  the  section  Access - By Car.

Franconia is the only region of South Germany where the Ortolan Bunting yet breeds
Franconia is the only region of South Germany where the Ortolan Bunting yet breeds

Near the car park however you won't yet be able to observe Ortolan Buntings. For reaching the first territories you have to walk a bit at first. Follow the main trail for a few hundred meters. On your left hand side you can see a mixed area with trees, hedges and bushes being a reliable place for Red-backed Shrike, Turtle Dove and Wryneck. Sometimes also Quails are calling from the fields  around.

Finally  you´ll  come  to  a  very  long  row  of  trees (1),  which  is  running  almost  parallel  to  the street. Immediately behind this row you have to turn right and follow a smaller path  along  the  trees. After almost two kilometers the path will end in another  trail (2). Here you should be able to hear the melancholical song of the Ortolan Bunting. Quite reliable for this species as  well is also the  edge of the near forest, where furthermore Collared Flycatcher and Middle Spotted Woodpecker can be encountered. Turn to your  right and shortly afterwards left until you reach the edge of the forest (3). Now you can walk along the forest and turn to your left after having passed it. Turn at the next left and follow the path until you reach the row of trees, where you have started the small circuit walk.


For reaching the first territories of Ortolan Buntings you have to walk at least 3 kilometers from the parking ground. If you expand your walk to the forest, you will have yet to spend another hour.


(1) [49°57'17.29"N 10°18'47.74"E]

(2)  [49°57'56.93"N 10°18'36.52"E]

(3) [49°58'7.22"N 10°18'34.51"E]

P  [49°57'20.78"N 10°19'23.52"E]

Sources: (23.07.15)
Christoph Moning, Christian Wagner: Vögel beobachten in Süddeutschland, Stuttgart 2012.