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A Photography Trip To The Ahlhorn Fishponds, Germany

A Photography Trip To The Ahlhorn Fishponds, Germany - Eschenbach introduce us to the Ahlhorn Fishponds in Germany, an ideal getaway for bird photographers

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Landscape and Travel

Ahlhorn fishponds


A photography trip in the Ahlhorn fishponds, Germany


What are the Ahlhorn fishponds?

The history of the Ahlhorn starts in 1929. As the Lethe river flows in this area of Lower Saxony, the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg decided to set up a fish farm there. 54 fishponds were created. What was a sterile area became a forest full of life. In fact, during the breeding season, the abundance of rare birds makes it the place to be for all the nature photographers.

Nowadays, only 35 ponds remain and they have been protected since 1993. They are designated as European Fauna-Flora Habitat (FFH)

The Ahlhorn fishponds are located north of the city of Emstek. To reach the Ahlhorn fish ponds (Ahlhorner Fischteiche in German), one should take the B213 and then the road "Zu den Fischteichen".


Which birds can you photograph?

About 90 species of birds breed on the fishponds, but more than 200 different species have already been discovered there. The best periods to go are spring and summer, as most ponds are drained during autumn.

However, throughout the year, the Ahlhorner fishponds are home to greylag geese, kingfishers and great egrets. In late summer, you can observe many species of ducks, including northern shovelers, common pochards, gadwalls, eurasian wigeons and northern pintails. Tufted ducks and ferruginous ducks often show up. The common goldeneye is particularly interesting as he spends the whole year around the ponds and brood there too.

Among the breeding birds are also the northern goshawk, common raven, wood warbler and pied flycatcher. In the old forests around the ponds live various species of woodpeckers as well as orioles, cuckoos (to be heard rather than to see) and red crossbills. On the roadsides, red-tails can be watched at their lively hustle and bustle.


In late summer, if you wait until dusk, you could enjoy a special show. Several thousand stares then use the ponds as a sleeping place and fall as a black cloud into the reeds.


Bird photography between water and forest

You can explore the Ahlhorner fishponds through different hiking trails. They are all color-coded and well marked. It is particularly convenient to take the blue "Fischteich-Weg" trail. It is five kilometers long and leads to the northwestern pond area. You will pass various water surfaces and a small observation tower. The Schwanensee lake has a considerable size and therefore invites you to stay longer. Here you can observe different water birds. The path finally leads back to the starting point through knotty oaks (good woodpecker chances!)

Of course, you can try out other trails or make a detour to the old forest. With its giant trees and bracken growing in large zones, it looks like an enchanted forest. Don’t forget your binoculars to enjoy the view. Have fun watching!


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