When the grass is wet in the morning and fog covers meadows and fields, autumn has arrived in Seewinkel. Temperatures can still rise above 20°C in October – perfect conditions for observing nature.
Until late October you can watch different birds on their way south. Grey Plover, Sanderling, Little Stint, Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper or Spotted Redshank rest on the saline lakes of Seewinkel on the way to their winter destination.
Other wading birds like Avocet, Lapwing and Curlew gather here as well before migrating further south. Depending on the water levels you can find huge flocks of different duck-species in the National Park area.
In years with high water levels, you can find Teals, Mallards and Gadwalls around the saline lakes. If water levels are low, these ducks prefer the Nature Reserve Zone in the south of the Neusiedler See.
More and more geese arrive in the Austro-Hungarian borderland as temperatures drop in the north and winter also approaches in Seewinkel. In early autumn, you can find mainly Greylag Geese and as autumn advances, more and more Nordic geese, like the Bean Goose and the White-fronted Goose, that spend the winter in the Neusiedler See area. These flocks can be very large, consisting of thousands of individuals.
It is hard to predict when the most impressive natural spectacle – the large gaggles of geese in flight – is going to take place. It mainly depends on temperatures in the north when geese leave to fly south.
From mid-October on, you can normally watch geese flying to and from their roosts at several water bodies.
As winter approaches, the number of wintering birds in Seewinkel increases. First Great Grey Shrikes and Hen Harriers can be found already in October. Some weeks later, Rough-legged Buzzards arrive. The most striking autumn plant in Seewinkel is the Pannonic form of the Sea-aster (Tripolium pannonicum),its pink-lilac coloured blooms cover parts of the region like a carpet. This flower, just like some other plants, can cope with high salt concentration in the soils and therefore grows mainly on meadows and shores near saline lakes that are flooded in spring.