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Discover The Lower Inn Reserve, Bavaria With Eschenbach

Find out more about the Lower Inn nature reserve bordering Austria and Bavaria.

| Landscape and Travel

Discover The Lower Inn Reserve, Bavaria With Eschenbach: Lower Inn

Two countries, a 55 kilometers river, 300 bird species; the Lower Inn European Reserve’s variety of flora and fauna is impressive.
It’s springtime on the Lower Inn reserve! Several species of heron, including the elegant egrets, cavort on the banks of the shallow waters, woodpeckers and orioles populate the lowland forest, water and beach runners complete the picture. The diversified water area extends across borders through Bavaria and Austria, at the bottom right corner of Germany.

The 5500 hectares of the reserve, including the river, are carefully protected. About 300 species of birds have been spotted here, making the region an important hub of the European migration. From spring to autumn, visitors can experience a wonderful biodiversity that is not limited to birds. The Lower Inn has a fascinating fauna (including rare orchids) and houses about 800 species of butterflies! Even the beaver is at home there.

Mixed landscapes and species

The once very wild river was gradually tamed over the years and stowed in different places, so the landscapes were increasingly varied along the shore. Nowadays Lower Inn consists of reservoirs, riparian forests, shallow waters, mudflats and reed beds, each one offering different birds a resting and breeding ground.


40 different species of birds have already been spotted there, from waders to snipe, curlews, river and ringed plovers, lapwings, sanderlings, godwits and knots. Various types of swallows (for example white-winged swallows and caspian tern) make a stop on their spring and autumn migration in the reserve. Rail species like the spotted crake show up in the reed field. Gray, night, silk and purple heron are also frequently observed.

Shelducks have been spotted in the Lower Inn, especially at the Obernberg barrage. There are also pochards, marsh harriers and falcons. Eagles have nested there since 2009 and legged gulls are regular breeding guests. Gray and small woodpeckers knock in the lowland forests. Green woodpeckers venture out to the local edges. There are also orioles and flycatchers .

The lower Inn is quiet during the winter as the shallow waters freeze over quickly. The main stream of the Inn remains free and is populated by geese; both sawyers and goldeneye. Eagles, hen harriers and bitterns can still be found.

How do you get to the Lower Inn European Reserve?

From Munich, you have to reach the small town of Ering by driving east on the A94 and then B12. Once in Ering, just follow the brown signs to “Europareservat”, the information and reservation center of the reserve (their exact address is Innwerkstraße 15, 94140 Ering, Germany and they can be called at +49 08 573/13).

They organise guided walks and offer bikes, hiking maps as well as a permanent exhibition. You can also ride through the information center until you come to the dam. The shallow water areas and islands are just around the corner from there. Follow the dam to appreciate different views and head for the floodplain where you can encounter woodpeckers and orioles. From Ering, you can also reach the birdwatching tower located on the Eglsee. You will discover waders, terns, eagles and sometimes even Chile flamingos from there.

There are also several starting points for bird observation on the Austrian side: the Rechberger Au (Minaberg) is particularly recommended during the breeding season as a path between ravines and fields leads to the best viewpoint over the mixed heron colony of Lower Inn. From the city of Kirchdorf, you can also go to the Egglfing-Obernberg barrage which is a great observation point of waders, marsh harriers, spoonbills and shelduck.

Whatever side of the border you’ll choose to go, don’t forget to bring your Eschenbach binoculars with you to enjoy the outstanding flaura and fauna of the Lower Inn!

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