Birding in the south of Germany
Birding and culture in the border triangle of Southern Germany, France, and Switzerland
BirdingTours and OOS’ Dr. Stefan Gleissberg have designed this unique 10 days/9 nights tour exclusively offered to OOS members. Join us to explore diverse birds, landscapes and cultures in the Three-Country-Corner where Germany, France, and Switzerland meet. The mild climate here already attracted neolithic people, and we will often encounter traces of roman and medieval cultures.
Expert guide Christoph Hercher will help us find European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, Alpine Swift, Melodious Warbler, Cirl Bunting, Ring Ouzel, Spotted Nutcracker, Citril Finch, Common Crossbill, Red- and Black Kite, White-throated Dipper, Common Nightingale, Eurasian Crag Martin, European Stonechat, European Green Woodpecker, Eurasian Wryneck, Eurasian Hobby, European Honey Buzzard, and many more.
27 May – 5 June 2022
10 days / 9 nights
6 – 14 participants (OOS members only)
11 – 14 participants:
$ 2.710 per person (double room)
Single supplement: $ 295
6 – 10 participants:
$ 3.290 per person (double room)
Single supplement: $ 155
Contact and booking information:
Dr. Stefan Gleissberg Phone: 740 818 6494
Phone: 0049 7634 5049845
Dauer: 10 Tage / 9 Nächte
Teilnehmer: 6 bis 14 Personen
Arrival in Staufen
After transfer from the airport, we check into our hotel ‘Haus Goethe’ in the medieval town of Staufen. Welcome with coffee and cake and introduction to the trip with our guide. On a first walk we explore the surroundings of the old city, looking for Green Woodpecker, Red Kite, Yellowhammer, and Cirl Bunting. Evening exploration of the medieval town, dinner in one of Germany’s oldest restaurants with seasonal white asparagus on the menu.
Kaiserstuhl Mountain, Hoopoe and Bee-Eater
After breakfast, we board our tour bus and drive into the heart of the Kaiserstuhl (‘Emperor’s Chair’), a volcanic mountain range situated in the middle of the Rhine plain. The Kaiserstuhl is Germany’s warmest region and home to sub-mediterranean flora and fauna, including various orchids and the Western Green Lizard. Our walk takes us through flower meadows and hollow-ways between walls of loess, a soft sediment that is a witness of glacial retreat. Our aim is the unique Hoopoe and the colorful European Bee-Eater. Views across the Rhine plain flanked by the two sister mountain chains of the Black Forest and the Vosges. Dinner in a small charming tavern in the village of Ihringen. Hiking distance: 5 miles. Return to Staufen.
Feldberg and the Black Forest
Take the funicular to the Schauinsland at 4,200 feet and enjoy the vista. Our bus picks us up for a drive to the Feldberg, the highest peak of the Black Forest at 4,900 feet. When the weather is right, we may see as far as to the Swiss Alps to the south. This is a refuge of uncommon species such as Ring Ouzel, Common Raven,Nutcracker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Citril Finch, and Water Pipit. Target birds include the Crag Martin, a rare cliff nester. Hiking distance: 6 miles. Return to Staufen and dinner in a winemaker’s pub.
Upper Black Forest
In the morning, we explore high elevation meadows, forests, and mountain streams where we look for White-throated Dipper and Gray Wagtail. We’ll take the funicular up to the Belchen, the third-highest peak at 4,600 feet for wide views and look for montane birds such as Common Raven, Nutcracker, and various pipits. Transfer to 2nd accommodation in the High Rhein valley.
High Rhine, Switzerland
After breakfast, we explore birding hotspots and old river towns at the Hochrhein (High Rhein valley) that borders Switzerland. At the Klingnau Reservoir, we look for waterfowl like the Red-crested Pochard, Tufted Duck, and Common Merganser, along with Mute Swan and Great Crested Grebe. We explore the old riverside city of Bad Säckingen with its gothic cathedral, parks, and museum with artifacts going back to the region’s prehistoric past. A leisurely walk across the wooden covered bridge, built in 1700, brings us to the Swiss side of the river. We continue to nearby wetland hotspots at Wehramündung and Altrhein Whylen, for more opportunities to spot various waterfowl and wetland birds, and maybe Black Kites and Common Kingfisher. Depending on time, we may visit a Roman Amphitheatre across the river. On our way back to our accommodation, we enjoy dinner in a rustic fisherman hut (fresh trout on the menu) at a small bog lake.
After breakfast, we head across the river to La Petite Camargue, a wetland and nature preserve to look for Common Nightingale and Kingfisher. We continue north to visit the historic towns of Colmar and/or Sélestat. Free time for lunch on your own and to roam the streets and visit museums. Arrive at 3rd accommodation at a hotel in Saint-Hippolyte, and high tea in a French restaurant.
After breakfast, we explore a nearby charming village with its medieval wall, observe White Storks on their nest on the roof of the church, along with other human-adapted birds such as Jackdaw, Black Redstart, Barn Swallow, and Common House-Martin. We venture out through vineyards to a nearby hillside, looking for Blackcap, Greater Whitethroat, Stonechat, Linnet, Serin, and Cirl Bunting. Options for the afternoon include a visit to the Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, a fully restored castle with stunning views of the Rhine Valley. Possibility for Common Raven. For dinner we visit a traditional French restaurant near our hotel
The City of Freiburg
We make our way across the river to visit the nature preserve and wetlands of Taubergiessen. On a boat ride, we explore the riparian forests and look for Kingfisher, Marsh Warbler, and Reed Warbler. In the afternoon, we head towards Freiburg, founded in 1120 by the house of Zähringen, with its towering gothic cathedral. Free afternoon in the city, but not until we find the large Alpine Swifts that share the skies with Common Swifts. Hiking distance about 2 miles. In the evening we return to our accommodation in Staufen.
Black Forest foothills and Three-Country-Point
We explore the Markgräflerland in the foothills of the Black Forest close to Switzerland and France, with traces of history going back to the Neolithic. In this cultural landscape, where Romans grew wine and cherry orchards abound, we look for Common Redstart, Melodious Warbler, Little Owl, Wryneck, and Cirl Bunting.
We visit a project of the NABU, Germany’s Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, that helps the local population of Little Owls to thrive. Part of our trip fee supports the project. Wine tasting at an organic vineyard concludes the day. Hiking distance: 3 miles.
After our farewell breakfast, we checkout and depart to Frankfurt Airport. On the way, a short walk to find Turtle Dove, Melodious Warbler, and Red-backed Shrike.
- 9 nights in three locations
- 9 breakfast, 9 dinner, welcome coffee and cake
- Airport pick-up and drop-off
- All entry fees (funiculars, boat ride, castle)
- All on-site transportation
- $250 donation per person for OOS nature conservation projects
- Donation for NABU Germany bird conservation
- Custom checklists
Nicht enthaltene Leistungen
- Waterproof and comfortable hiking/ walking boots
- Weatherproof, unobtrusive clothing
- Warm clothes, also gloves and hat (for the Black Forest)
- Field Guide
- Binoculars. Scope (if available).
- Sun protection and insect repellent
- Physical requirements: Hikes mostly up to 5 km
- Amount of the down payment in% of the travel price: 20 %
- Final payment in days before departure: 28 days
About target species
- Because we look for birds in their natural habitat on our tours, we can not guarantee that all listed species will be found. Our travel guides do their best to show you as many bird species as possible.
Persons with reduced mobility
- Our nature tours are generally not suitable for persons with reduced mobility. Please talk to us about physical requirements of a tour before booking.
Hinweis zu den Zielarten
Auf unseren Reisen beobachten wir die Vögel in ihrem natürlichen Lebensraum und können Ihnen nicht garantieren, alle hier aufgeführten Zielarten auf der Tour zu sehen. Unsere Reiseleiter bemühen sich, Ihnen so viele Vogelarten wie möglich zu zeigen.
Eignung unserer Reisen für Personen mit eingeschränkter Mobilität
Bei unseren Naturreisen handelt es sich um Reisen, die für Personen mit eingeschränkter Mobilität grundsätzlich nicht geeignet sind. Sollten Sie bezüglich der Anforderungen unsicher sein, sprechen Sie uns bitte unbedingt vor der Buchung an.