In the west of “Erlangen” and in the south of “Höchstadt/Aisch” several hundred ponds are located. While their original purpose is to breed carps, they also attract an interesting birdlife. On the one side it is an important breeding site for all species specialising on the reeds. On the other side dozens of waders rest on the ponds, when the water is drained from the ponds in September. The most interesting part of this area lies in the north of the small village “Mohrhof”.
Black necked Grebe, Gadwall, Great Reed Warbler, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Red-crested Pochard, Savi's Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Water Rail,
White Stork (in nearby villages)
Black Kite, Garganey, Mediterranean Gull (has bred in 2018), Osprey, Spotted Crake, Waders in general
By Car: Leave the motorway A 3 at the exit 80 “Höchstadt - Ost” and follow the B 470 to “Gremsdorf”. Turn in “Gremsdorf” left in the direction of “Krausenbechhofen”. Staying on this street you'll get straight to “Biengarten” via “Krausenbechhofen” and “Poppenwind”, which is a good starting point for a trip to the ponds.
Leave “Biengarten” in southern direction and turn right into the second path, where you can also park your car.
By Public Transport: The next railway station is located in “Höchstadt/Aisch”. From there it is five kilometers to the site. So it is recommended to take a bicycle with you. The best starting point for a tour through the site is the small village “Biengarten”, which is reached from “Höchstadt” via “Großneuses” and “Boxbrunn”.
The area can also be reached by bus. “Biengarten” is served by the bus line 248, the adjacent village "Poppenwind" by the lines 247 and 246.
Leave “Biengarten” in southern direction and take the second path on your left hand side.
The following circuit walk (length: 2,5 km) is just an example and it is likely that you can observe the species mentioned above, but also take into account to expand your tour. If you proceed as described here, it will take you between two and three hours with the observation-time being already considered.
At first cross the road from the car park and go straight on. Soon afterwards you'll already find ponds on your left and right hand side. At (1) the path seems to fork, turn here
right. This is because during breeding season (between 1st March and 31st August) not all trails are allowed to use. In any case there is a signpost indicating the seasonal prohibition. In the
following the path gets narrower and wetter, pay here attention to Sedge Warblers and similar species.
After approximately one kilometer turn at the first possibility left (2). For the next 400 meters there will be a big pond (”Großer Strichweiher”) on your left hand side which is very good for the most species and hosts normally breeding Black-necked Grebes. Sadly, there is just a single gap in its reed belt (3), where you can look on the pond. Keep afterwards going on (the path makes shortly after the gap a bend to the left) until you meet the street from “Biengarten”. Unfortunately, you have to follow the street back to the car park for a stretch of 150 meters.
Furthermore there is an alternative access to the area from the village "Poppenwind" via the paved path between the latter and the hamlet "Mohrhof", especially at (4) it is good for reed warblers. Note however that it isn't allowed to drive on it. In the autumn, when the ponds are drained (normally in the first week of September) and the conditions for resting waders are perfect, it can be well worth to explore some of the other ponds too. Over the last years the trails (5) and (6) have proved to be a good guideline. Yet it is necessary to keep in mind that the situation can change quickly.
(1) [49°39'32.40"N 10°50'02.08"E]
(2) [49°39'33.32"N 10°50'29.23"E]
(3) [49°39'41.33"N 10°50'27.01"E](4) [49°39'51.07"N 10°50'35.88"E]
(5) [49°39'27.69"N 10°50'57.26"E]
(6) [49°39'52.74"N 10°51'04.91"E]
P "Biengarten" [49°39'32.82"N 10°49'39.72"E]
P "Poppenwind" [49°40'13.28"N 10°50'42.58"E]
Christoph Moning, Christian Wagner: Vögel beobachten in Süddeutschland, Stuttgart 2012.