Climb up the bird tower and hide yourself in a bird hide. At Lake Hornborga, you get to enjoy the birds up close. In total there are eight bird towers and three bird hides to visit around the lake.
On Fågeludden on the eastern shore of Lake Hornborga there are three bird hides. They are open 24 hours a day for the public to use.
The gull hide (Måsgömslet) is closest to the nature environment with a good view of the colony of black-headed gulls. If you sit quietly in here, and you are lucky, the birds will come really close. Then you can see common pochards (brown ducks), tufted ducks and various species of grebes swimming past.
Further out on Fågeludden is the Vadargömslet (Wader Hide). From here you will see a wide variety of birds when the water level is high.
If you follow the trail south, towards Ytterberg, you will arrive at Doppinggömlet. It can be reached via a footbridge through a wetland forest with alder. In the spring and summer, you can almost every kind of bird native to the region here. The sound stage of black-headed gull (sometimes collegially referred to as the laughing gull) bird colonies is impressive. In the middle of the greenery, the woolly black-headed gull nestlings can also be seen.
At Fågeludden, the Bird Point, you will also find two lookout towers. One is inside the Naturum Hornborgasjön. You can get up by lift or stairs. From the tower you can look out over the plateau mountains and straight down to the black-headed gull colony.
Even at the far end of Fågeludden you can enjoy the views. The building Utsikten is here. Built in 2008 from local limestone and oak. There is room for stopping for a break to eat, hiding from the rain when it is raining, and looking out over the lake.
In total, about 300 different species of birds have been seen at Fågeludden over the years.
You have an overview here of the northern part of the lake. The tower is a great place to visit in the autumn. Then you will see how flock after flock of cranes fly into the lake to spend the night. The tower is only 500 metres from the car parking area. There is also a grilling area here.
At Fäholmen, almost 230 species have been seen over the years. In the spring, the nightingale often sings from the swamp forest. Birds of prey such as western marsh harriers or buzzards may be sailing high above you.
On the east side, in the middle of the lake, you will find Ytterberg. If you walk 400 metres from the car parking area, you will be at the viewing platform that is situated here. Under the platform there is also a weather-protected room for eating a snack.
If you continue on the Ytterbergsleden trail north towards Naturum Hornborgasjön there is another bird watching tower. You’ll find it in the middle of the Kalvamuren wall.
About 250 species have been observed from Ytterberg. Among other things, white-tailed eagles, great crested grebe and common pochard (often called a brown duck).
The Almeö Tower requires a hefty hike, from the parking area at Skattegården. But even the Hornborga open space usually offers bird experiences. The trail passes through the bird sanctuary area, however as long as you stay on the trail you can to hike here all year round. During wet times, you may need to wear boots on the hike.
From the tower at Almeö you can see the southern parts of the lake. The tour to Almeö offers, among other things, sightings of common snipe, tufted ducks, Eurasian wigeons and the common redshank. The tower is in need of renovation and there are plans to rebuild it in 2021.
The Hånger Tower is perhaps the least known tower at Lake Hornborga. The tower is located in the southern part of the lake and requires a walk of about 1.5 kilometres. At Hånger, about 230 different species of birds have been seen.
Common birds that can be seen here include the northern wheatear, western marsh harrier and the meadow pipit. During the spring, this is also an excellent place to experience the cranes on your own. You have a nice view of the rich and varied nature around the lake from here.
When you have hiked to the farthest end of the trail to Ore Nabb you find the bird tower. The 1.5 km long hike offers diverse environments. You walk on a ridge, through deciduous forest and pastures, with poor moss lands on the left side and the rich lake on the right.
In the spring, wood warblers, European pied flycatchers and Eurasian wrens sing here. More than 220 species have been spotted on the Ore backar.
The bird tower at Utloppet on the west side of the lake is worth a visit during winter and early spring. The flowing water offers a refuge for ducks and swans when the rest of the lake is frozen over.
Here, Lake Hornborga flows into the Flian river. In the autumn of 2020, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency rebuilt the previous governing of the lake into a more natural rapids. Hopefully the more free-flowing water will attract both fish and birds.
You might see the unusual black-necked grebe here. Other species you may encounter at Utloppet are the osprey (often called a river hawk), great warblers and red-necked grebes.
There is no bird tower at Trandansen. However you will still have good views and in the spring can get really close to the birds. During March and April, this is the stage for the cranes dancing. At this time you can see cranes, whooper swans and many other resting birds.
Trandansen is a good place for bird watching even outside of the crane season. During winter’s eagle days, when the eagles are fed, this is where you see them best.
In the autumn when the cranes again pass Hornborga, they can be seen at Trandansen again. This is especially so in the evening, when the large flocks go in for landing on the lake to rest. In total, some 220 bird species have been seen from Trandansen.
In 2024 there will be no bird hides at Trandansen. It is mainly due to the fact that the administration and management of the hides is costly and resources are now more limited. In addition, interest has decreased in recent years.
If you are interested in photographing birds at Hornborgasjön, there are still very good opportunities. At Trandansen, the cranes, especially in the morning and afternoon, are often very close to our vantage points.