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Birdwatchers flock to Lake Neusiedl

First-time birdwatchers are often surprised by how exciting a Birdwatching Safari in the wild can be. This is especially true in National Park Neusiedler See-Seewinkel where there are over 300 species of birds to discover.
 

Author: Michaela Schwarz


First, it’s a few bushels of grass that rustle in the distance. Then, the white head of a bird, crowned by a black tuft, shoots up and stares straight into the spotting scope – a powerful telescope on three legs that lets you see every little detail. It’s a pewit whose melodic call was audible from far away. The species breeds in the marshlands on the borders of the Neusiedler See each spring. If your instinct is to get a few snapshots, fight it. There is no need to rush things. It’s the slowing down, the anticipating silence, and complete focus that make up a birdwatching experience. And besides, the park ranger already connected your smartphone to the telescope, guaranteeing stunning close ups. This “Phonescoping” is one of the creative ways in which the National Park Neusiedler See-Seewinkel gets beginners excited about birdwatching.
 

Birds of prey and mating rituals

  • National Park Neusiedler See © Nationalpark Neusiedler See - Seewinkel National Park Neusiedler See © Nationalpark Neusiedler See - Seewinkel
  • Birdwatching © Österreich Werbung, Nina Baumgartner Birdwatching © Österreich Werbung, Nina Baumgartner
  • Observation tower © Österreich Werbung/Nina Baumgartner Observation tower © Österreich Werbung/Nina Baumgartner
  • Geese © Nationalpark Neusiedler See - Seewinkel Geese © Nationalpark Neusiedler See - Seewinkel
  • Birdwatching © Österreich Werbung/Nina Baumgartner Birdwatching © Österreich Werbung/Nina Baumgartner
  • White stork © Nationalpark Neusiedler See - Seewinkel White stork © Nationalpark Neusiedler See - Seewinkel
  • Redshank © Nationalpark Neusiedler See - Seewinkel Redshank © Nationalpark Neusiedler See - Seewinkel
Watch out! The park ranger points into the sky and six curious pairs of eyes peer through the binoculars that are offered for free to tour guests. Lo and behold: high above, two kestrels fight over a field mouse that one must have just snatched up. Moments later, the fight is over and the victorious bird takes off with its prey. Even if you don’t know exactly which species you will spot on the Birdwatching Safari, you’re sure to get a good sampling. After all, 300 types of birds nest and breed in the grassland and and reed belts around the Neusidler See – the biggest variety on the European mainland.

 

The mating ritual of the great bustard

  • Bustard mating session © Nationalpark Neusiedler See - Seewinkel Bustard mating session © Nationalpark Neusiedler See - Seewinkel

You don’t have to wait long for more action: a male fieldlark propels itself into the air with a forceful cry and launches into a nose dive. The things you do to impress the ladies! This break-neck maneuver is purely for courtship, and you can’t help but hope the little guy succeeds. Equally dramatic is the mating ritual of the great bustard, the heaviest flying bird in the world: the males turn their grey and brown feathers inside out to reveal their white bottom, transforming the whole animal into a white, fluffy feather ball. You can witness this particular spectacle only in Hansàg – a marsh on the Austian-Hungarian border where a small stock of this endangered species lives. But why not go on another Birdwatching Safari the next day? After all, you just got a taste for it.
 

Discover the National Park with an experienced ranger

  • Nationalpark Neusiedler See - Seewinkel © Österreich Werbung/Nina Baumgartner Nationalpark Neusiedler See - Seewinkel © Österreich Werbung/Nina Baumgartner

A special world.

Birdwatching

Nationalpark Neusiedler See

Informationszentrum und Ökopädagogikzentrum
7142 Illmitz

Nationalpark Neusiedler See

Informationszentrum und Ökopädagogikzentrum
7142 Illmitz

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Birdwatchers flock to Lake Neusiedl

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