In consequence of the LIFE project "Oberes Maintal" a couple of former quarry ponds were renatured and have since developed a rich avifauna. The area is highly structured with reeds, riparian forest, former and still active quarry ponds and attract a large diversity of breeding and resting birds. Note that the area is in some parts continually changing and hence birdlife, as well.
Black Kite, Bluethroat, Common Tern, Golden Oriole, Grasshopper Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Litte-Ringed Plover, Marsh Harrier, Night Heron (feeding), Purple Heron (feeding), River Warbler (irregular), Sand Martin, Savi's Warbler, Willow Tit
Black Tern, Bittern, Garganey, Honey Buzzard, Osprey, Pintail, Shoveler, Waders
By Car: Leave the motorway 73 at the "Dreieck Lichtenfels" and follow subsequently the B 173 and B 289 until you reach the village "Trieb". Turn here left into the second street and park somewhere on the side of the road. Unfortunately, there is no real car park.
As of 2023 it isn't any more possible to access the site from here. Instead, turn left before arriving at Trieb at the "Autohaus Amon". A new road leads from here in northern direction. After about 500 meters it joins the "old" road again, which has been dismantled in the meantime.
By Public Transport: The whole area can be discovered easily on the bicycle. An officially denominated cycle trail runs just north of the railway, which crosses the site.
To access the relevant viewing points follow the lane that turns off northwards from the road where you've parked your car. After 500 m you reach the first pond on your left-hand side, which is best looked over from an improvised and suboptimal hide (a panel with viewing gaps) located a bit off the track (1). Dabbling ducks, herons and reed-specialized birds are regularly encountered here. Pay attention to flying over Black Kite and Marsh Harrier.
A second interesting pond is situated 500 meters north of the latter. Therefore you have to cross at first the railway (the actual crossing is equipped by gates and traffic lights). From here you should already see an observation hut on the shore of the lake. With a bit of patience you should be able to hear the songs of Bluethroat, Grasshopper Warbler and Marsh Warbler from the high grass and the bushes of the surrounding area. Furthermore, Lesser Redpolls, Nightingales and sometimes even River Warblers are observed here, too. The already mentioned second lake (2) was in the first years a good place for resting waders thanks to extensive sandbanks. However, in the meantime these sandbanks have overgrown and are now the home of species like Great Reed Warbler and Herons (pay particularly attention to Night Herons here).
The last two years have shown that it is well worth to go even further on. You enter now an area that is still characterized by active gravel excavations, so be careful. On the lake north of (3) you should look out for a nesting raft which has been used from 2019 onwards by the only breeding pair of Common Tern in Franconia. Hopefully, this species will develop a stable breeding presence here in the future. Apart from the Terns the lake is home to some pairs of Sand Martins and might attract the one or other scarcer species in the winter (as long as it isn't frozen).
Finally, I briefly point out that the newest gravel pit northeast of the last mentioned lake develops nicely (sandbank) and could be worth a visit as well in the future.
In 2023 the area has changed considerably between 2 and 3. Both lakes are now linked and the dam with the path indicated on the map doesn't exist anymore. Instead, there is a new path running along the southern shore. The lake on the northeast offers still attractive sand banks.
(1) [50°09'10.54"N 11°08'12.78"E]
(2) [50°09'24.63"N 11°08'18.98"E]
(3) [50°09'25.77"N 11°08'27.45"E]
P [50°08'53.16"N 11°08'13.47"E]