Birding around Frankfurt Airport: Langener Waldseen

Gavia stellata

Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is the gateway to continental Europe. Many airlines use the airport as a hub for connecting flights all over the world. If you have spare time between two flight and you are a birdwatcher, you might be interested to know, where you can find good sites to stretch your legs, enjoy fresh air and enjoy birding for typical european birds. One of these places – only 10 minutes away from the Frankfurt Airport – are the Langener Waldseen. These artificial lakes are situated just 2 km east of the runway and are a highly frequented recreation area with an oper-air swimming area. But wintertime is quiet and goods birds – including some vagrants – can be seen on the most western lake. This lake is still an active gravel spit, thus access especially for the best site is more or less tolerated and cannot be guaranteed.

Good birds to be seen on the lake in wintertime here on a regular basis are Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus), Gadwall(Anas strepera),  Common Pochard (Aythya ferina), Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) and  Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula). At the beginning of December 2012 there was an influx of cold temperatures in Germany. Shortly after a Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellate), Smew (Mergellus albellus) ,  Common Merganser (Mergus merganser ) and a male Red-crested Pochard  (Netta rufina) as well as up to 10 Velvet Scoter  (Melanitta fusca) showed up. The woods hold all 6 species of continental woodpeckers (incl. Black, Middle-spotted and Grey-faced Woodpecker) and vast numbers of Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes ) and Bramblings (Fringilla montifringilla) in the winter. Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus) are often heard and sometimes seen in the canopy of the many pine trees.  For the last winters 1 Great Grey (Northern) Shrike (Lanius excubitor) used the area as a wintering ground. I have seen large flocks of Common Crane moving overhead in late October from this site.

For direction it is recommended to take a taxi for the 10 minutes trip. Tell the taxi driver to bring you to Sehring Sand & Kies GmbH, Sehringstrasse 1, near the small town of Langen. He will probably take the highway (Autobahn) A5, than exit the Autobahn on the next possibility south of the Frankfurter Kreuz. This is Exit 23 (Zeppelinheim or resp. Neu-Isenburg/Neu-Zeppelinheim/Dreieich) for just 800 m, than you are already on the L3262. Drive this good road for 1,5 km and keep right on the B44 in the direction of Groß-Gerau/Walldorf.

The entrance for the Langener Waldseen is signed “Fa. Sehring”. This company is the owner of the gravel pit. Parking on the entrance road is allowed only on weekends. From here you have to walk for almost 2 km along a fenced-of area. If you have passed the fence, the view opens up and you’re standing in front of a lake with a wide free water surface. Then you are on a small hill overlooking the slope down to the water. From here observeations are already excellent – besides in sunlight because you are on the northern side of the lake. Just walk for more 10 minutes and you can see the water surface from the east.

Beware: Arrange for a taxi pick-up to return to the airport in due time.

There are other places in nearrer surroundings but access is a bit tricky. Please contact via the contact form if I can give further directions or even guide you. Please leave a valid e-mail-adress, so  I can respond to you!


  1. great Information.
    I normally run around the forest near the airport chasing the deer and pigs. I always stay in the Steigenburger Hotel so this is great. I will be out looking for the birds this monday and appreciate the info.

  2. Hi Johannes – many thanks for your email. I sent you a reply. Did you get it? I’m at the Steigenberger Airport Hotel this Tuesday night and may be able to visit Langener Waldseen Wednesday morning. Would you be able to give me exact directions from the hotel? If you think you may be able to help me find Black Woodpecker, let me know if you could guide me. All the best, Andrew

  3. Thank you for this very useful post! I used it to plan my layover birding while transferring through Frankfurt. A few hours in early April netted me several target species. Woodpeckers had a good showing with 4 species (Black, Middle-spotted, Great Spotted, and Grey-faced), along with Hawfinch, Crested Tit, and other common woodland species. Only target that eluded me was Mistle Thrush as my taxi cancelled my pre-arranged return trip to the airport cutting my birding time a bit short while I searched for a phone! Cheers!

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