Highlights & Hotspots

This is a listing of interesting natural occurrences and good observation points that gives you an overall view of the seasonal highlights in the Neusiedler See - Seewinkel National Park. Of course, there is much more to discover. The listing is based on our many years of work for the National Park. Unforeseeable events (fluctuation of water levels or temperatures) may cause changes.

 Highlights & Hot Spots  (~ 120 KB)

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 JANUARY

Highlights

  • depending on the weather you can find huge gaggles of geese (35,000 in Austria& Hungary, mainly White-fronted Goose)
  • Nordic birds of prey like Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier, White-tailed Eagle, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Merlin.
  • wintering birds are for example: Crested Lark, Bearded Tit, Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Blue and Great Tit, Penduline Tit, Great Grey Shrike, crows, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Hawfinch as well as Mallard, Curlew, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Great White Egret, Buzzard, Syrian Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

HotSpots

    Depending on water level and temperature:
  • Waterfowl: Lange Lacke, St. Andräer Zicksee, Darscho, Mekszikopuszta and Bösarkany in Hungary
  • Birds of prey: Lange Lacke, St. Andräer Zicksee and all large meadows and fields

 

 



 FEBURARY

Highlights

  • depending on the weather, gaggles of geese decrease; Greylag Geese separate from the flock in pairs and start breeding in late February
  • early birds like Lapwings or Redshanks arrive
  • Ducks arrive: Shelduck, Shoveler, Gadwall, Wigeon, Pintail, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Garganey arrive in small gro s
  • With a little luck, experienced bird watchers will find goose species like Lesser White-fronted Goose and Red-breasted Goose.
  • Nordic birds of prey, Goosander and Smew leave for their northern breeding areas

HotSpots

    Depending on water levels and temperatures:
  • Waterfowl: Lange Lacke, St. Andräer Zicksee, Darscho; Mekszikopuszta and Bösarkany in Hungary
  • Birds of prey: Lange Lacke, St. Andräer Zicksee, all large meadows and fields

 

 



 MARCH

Highlights

  • Lapwing, Redshank, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Avocet can be seen
  •  Golden Plover and Ringed Plover pass by
  •  wintering birds leave
  •  first gosling at the end of the month
  •  Bustards start courtship
  •  song birds: first Blue-headed Wagtails arrive
  •  first storks arrive
  •  first amphibians can be heard at the end of the month

HotSpots

  • Lange Lacke, Illmitzer Zicklacke, Oberstinker, Darscho
  • Mekszikopuszta and Bösarkany in Hungary
  • Austrian part of Hanság

 

 



 APRIL

Highlights

  • Bustard courtship
  • Short-eared Owl and Montagu’s Harrier 
  • passing and arriving shorebirds: Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Snipe, Whimbrel, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper(end of April),
  • most of the Reed Warbler, Martins, Red-backed Shrike arrive
  • Nightingale and Skylark can be heard
  • different song birds pass by (Black Redstart, Meadow Pipit, Pied Flycatcher, Stonechat, Song Thrush, Corn Bunting, etc.)
  • Lapwing, Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit start spectacular courtship
  • local breeding birds choose their spots and start breeding
  • Fire-bellied Toad and Tree Frog can be heard on warm days, Green Toads at the end of the month
  • European ground squirrel
  • Flowering plants: Iris pumila and orchids

HotSpots

  • Lange Lacke, Illmitzer Zicklacke, Oberstinker, Geißelsteller, Darscho, reed belt along the Seestraße in Illmitz, Zitzmannsdorfer Wiesen
  • Mekszikopuszta and Bösarkany in Hungary
  • Austrian part of Hanság

 

 



 MAY

Highlights

  • many birds pass by
  • passing shorebirds: Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Sanderling, Little Stint, Temminck´s Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff (until mid-month), Spotted Redshank (until mid-month), Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Turnstone
  • Red-crested Pochards gather
  • Bee-eaters arrive around the 15th
  • squabs start hatching
  • breeding season’s peak
  • song birds in the reed belt
  • Bittern can be heard
  • Fire-bellied Toad, Tree Frog and Green Toad
  • European ground squirrel
  • Dragonflies: mainly damselflies (Blue-tailed Damselfly, Azure Damselfly) but also dragonflies (Orthetrum, Four-spotted Chaser)
  • flowering plants: Iris pumila, Linum austriacum, Lepidium crassifolium, spiny restharrow, Salvia nemorosa,
  • Pasturing at the beginning of May,
  • Mowing at the end of May

HotSpots

  • Lange Lacke, Illmitzer Zicklacke, Oberstinker, Geißelsteller, Darscho, reed belt along the road to the lake in Illmitz (Illmitzer Seestraße), Zitzmannsdorfer Wiesen
  • Mekszikopuszta and Bösarkany in Hungary
  • Austrian part of the Hanság

 

 



 JUNE

Highlights

  • At low water levels, many egrets and spoonbills in the reed belt of the Neusiedler See along the Illmitzer Seestraße
  • Many Red-crested Pochards
  • Mowing
  • Young of Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Curlew can be found in their preferred areas
  • At the beginning of the month still few shorebirds: Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint
  • Autumn migration begins in mid-June; Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit
  • European ground squirrel
  • Dragonflies: mainly damselfly (Blue-tailed Damselfly, Azure Damselfly) but also dragonflies (Orthetrum, Four-spotted Chaser)
  • flowering plants: Iris pumila, Linum austriacum, Lepidium crassifolium, spiny restharrow, Salvia nemorosa, etc.
  • water levels of saline lakes drop, some fall dry
  • first salt efflorescence

HotSpots

  • reed belt along the Illmitzer Seestraße
  • depending on water level: Lange Lacke, Illmitzer Zicklacke, Oberstinker, Darscho
  • Mekszikopuszta and Bösarkany in Hungary
  • Austrian part of Hanság

 

 



 JULY

Highlights

  • Birds can be found at the saline lakes that have not dried out yet
  • At low water levels, large flocks of egrets and spoonbills in the reed belt along the Illmitzer Seestraße
  • Gatherings of wading birds after the breeding season and autumn migration (depending on water levels) Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Lapwing, Temminck´s Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper,
  • European ground squirrel
  • Dragonflies: darters (Sympetrum)
  • Flowering plants: Linum austriacum, salt cresse, Ononis spinosa, Salvia nemorosa, Galium, Carduus nutans (Nodding thistle), Carlina vulgaris (Carline Thistle)
  • Salt efflorescence

HotSpots

  • Reed belt along the Illmitzer Seestraße, Drascho, Unterstinker
  • Mekszikopuszta und Bösarkany in Hungary, depending on water levels

 

 



 AUGUST

Highlights

  • Different birds like the White Stork and the Bee-eater prepare for leaving
  • At low water levels, huge flocks of egrets and spoonbills in the reed belt of the lake along the Illmitzer Seestraße
  • Starling flocks
  • Greylag Geese leave the area before hunting season starts on August 1st
  • Passing and flocking of different wading birds: Black-winged Stilt, Avocets, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish plover, Lapwing, Little Stint, Temminck´s Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper
  • Dragonflies: mainly darters (Sympetrum) as well as other species
  • European Ground Squirrel
  • Flowering plants: Ononis spinosa, Salvia nemorosa, Galium, Carduus nutans (Nodding thistle), Carlina vulgaris (Carline Thistle), Tripolium pannonicum

HotSpots

  • Reed belt along the Illmitzer Seestraße, Drascho, Unterstinker
  • Mekszikopuszta und Bösarkany in Hungary, depending on water levels

 

 



 SEPTEMBER

Highlights

  • Autumn migration of various birds
  • Wading birds: Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Sanderling, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Snipe, Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Wood Sandpiper
  • Huge flocks of starlings
  • Bats, especially Common Noctule during the day in good weather
  • Dragonflies, mainly darters (Sympetrum)
  • Flowering plants: Galium, Nodding Thistel (Carduus nutans), Carline Thistle (Carlina vulgaris)
  •  grape harvest

HotSpots

  • Lange Lacke, Darscho, Oberstinker, Illmitzer Zicklacke
  • Mekszikopuszta and Bösarkany in Hungary, and depending on water levels

 

 



 OKTOBER

Highlights

  • Geese and other animals like the Hen Harrier arrive to winter
  • Autumn migration of different birds lessens at the end of the month
  • Wading birds: Avocet, Kentish Plover, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Snipe, Curlew, Spotted Redshank
  • Ducks, mainly Mallard, Teal, Shoveler, etc.
  • Song birds: House Martin, Pied Wagtail, Robin, Great Grey Shrike, crows,
  • Flowering plants: Tripolium pannonicum
  • grape harvest

HotSpots

  • Lange Lacke, Darscho, Oberstinker, Illmitzer Zicklacke, St. Andräer Zicksee
  • Mekszikopuszta and Bösarkany in Hungary

 

 



 NOVEMBER

Highlights

  • There are still some shorebirds in the region: Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Curlew
  • Depending on the weather, larger or smaller gaggles of geese ( to 35,000 in Austria and Hungary)
  • Nordic birds of prey like Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier, White-tailed Eagle, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, and Merlin

HotSpots

  • Lange Lacke, Darscho, Oberstinker, Illmitzer Zicklacke, St. Andräer Zicksee
  • Mekszikopuszta and Bösarkany in Hungary
  • All larger meadows and fields

 

 



 DECEMBER

Highlights

  • Depending on the weather, larger or smaller gaggles of geese ( to 35,000 in Austria and Hungary)
  • Nordic birds of prey like Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier, White-tailed Eagle, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, and Merlin
  • Birds that winter are for example Fieldfare, Robin, Great and Blue Tit, Bearded Tit, Mallard and Curlew

HotSpots

  • Lange Lacke, Darscho, Oberstinker, Illmitzer Zicklacke, St. Andräer Zicksee
  • Mekszikopuszta and Bösarkany in Hungary
  • all larger meadows and fields