Forst Tennenlohe

The most characteristic feature of the site is a sandy open area that has attracted some rare and sought-after species like Nightjar and Woodlark. Furthermore, the surrounding forest provides a good selection of woodland species. Be careful to stay on the paths and particulary not to enter the fenced in open area, as it has been used by the military until 30 years ago.

Target Species


Black Woodpecker, Golden Oriole, Grey headed Woodpecker, Pygmy Owl, Nightjar, Red-backed Shrike, Tree Pipit, Woodcock, Woodlark



Northern Wheatear, Tawny Pipit, Whinchat



By Car: Leave the motorway A 3 at the intersection 84 "Erlangen-Tennenlohe" and follow the B 4 in the direction of Erlangen. After further 3 km you should come to the exit "Walderlebniszentrum", leave the highway and take the first exit towards "Tennenlohe" on the subsequent roundabout. Follow the road until it bends to the right, here you should find a car park on your left-hand side.

By public transport: The next bus stop "Tennenloher Walderlebniszentrum" is approached by the bus line 20 from Nuremberg. Yet, it is hardly suitable for a visit at dawn for observing Nightjars or Owls. Furthermore, on the 750 m from the bus stop to the car park there is no real pavement.

Alternatively, you could consider taking the bicycle for exploring the site, since the paths are generally broad and even. 

Red-backed Shrikes are found realibly on the open area
Red-backed Shrikes are found realibly on the open area

The best season for Owls (after sunset) and woodpeckers is early spring. The most other typical breeders arrive subsequently until mid May. From this point on you can expect to find the Nightjars singing under suitable circumstances (some time after sunset, no rain, not too windy), they can be heard at least until mid July. Be aware that other animals like certain insects or toads sound similar! For orientation on a nocturnal visit a torch can be very useful, but please don't point it on birds or other animals.


On the northern edge of the car park you should find an inconspicuous sign post to "Erlangen Rangers", follow it in southeastern direction until you reach a junction at (1). A broad path runs from here eastwards along the northern edge of the mentioned open area. In the vicinity of a small hill (3), which offers a good view by the way, you find at (2) (on a slightly elevated trail running parallel to the main path) and (4) two good positions for listening to Nightjars. After 1,7 km from the first junction the path leaves the open area (5), it's not worth continuing on it any further.


(1) [49°33'19.30"N  11°2'19.66"E]

(2) [49°33'27.87"N  11°3'5.31"E]   

(3) [49°33'26.88"N  11°3'30.18"E]

(4) [49°33'32.60"N  11°3'18.10"E]

(5) [49°33'45.25"N  11° 3'45.57"E]

P [49°33'31.68"N  11°2'4.45"E]


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