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PR officer for the Neusiedler See National Park, Alois Lang, is also a keen birdwatcher, so we asked him what he thought makes birdwatching so fascinating. What is the aim of bird watching?

Alois Lang: It’s certainly not to show as many birds in as short a time as possible! It wouldn’t work either. Instead we try to convey the connection with nature and to make it comprehensible, to make people more aware and to impart a little basic knowledge about habitats. You can’t hurry bird watching, by the way – you must be prepared to take your time. Are some birds easier to spot than others?

Alois Lang: Yes, because of course there is a distance at which every species will naturally flee and this varies greatly. Grey geese, for example, are much more trusting than great bustards; you will never be able to get closer to them than 100 metres. In other words you need binoculars?

Alois Lang: Binoculars or a telescope. I take both with me on excursions. We also loan out Swarovski binoculars free of charge – just for one day. Which time of year is especially good for bird watching?

Alois Lang: Spring. Firstly the conditions for sighting are very good then. Secondly in March and April the water level is very high, which brings the banks closer to the paths. And the vegetation is still low, which also makes watching easier.

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The main purpose of the two main domains and is the promotion of Austria as a holiday destination.