The best of Birdwatching in Slovakia (and around)

For 2019, we prepared a selection of the very best of what Slovakia and its nearby surroundings have to offer. Although relatively small, Slovakia is comprised of some of the most variable habitats in the heart of Central Europe. Our country boasts several well-preserved forests – some of which are ancient, pristine, and untouched – as well as large meadows, pastures and wetlands. Slovakia is where Carpathian species meet Pannonian ones, creating and ideal habitat for bird watching.

During our trip we stop at Neusiedler See lake (one of the best bird watching sites in the whole of Central Europe), and we stop at the Danube river during the annual migration of Terns. From there, our trip continues towards northern Slovakia, with a short stop at the Night Heron colony. Northern Slovakia offers bird watching enthusiasts a chance to observe a wide variety of owl and woodpecker species. The country’s abundant coniferous forests provide excellent opportunities to see Golden Eagles, Lesser Spotted Eagles and Black Storks. We will also visit a unique bog and wetland area in northern Slovakia which has one of very few Citrine Wagtail nesting areas far and wide. We will end our bird watching experience in the forests around Bratislava, which teem with woodpeckers and flycatchers. We can’t forget to visit dominions of Imperial Eagles, the Saker Falcon and our rarest bird of prey – the amazing Red-footed Falcon.

 

As every birdwatcher knows, observing birds may be limited by many factors, including the effects of weather on bird migrations.

characteristics: This trip will bring us through many different biotopes, including the lowland areas around lake Neusiedler See, Pannonian and Zahorie, the Morava river basin, as well as the distinctive northern region of Orava and the Little Carpathians mountain range.

habitats and areas: salt marshes, steppe, preserved riparian forests, flooded meadows, former Iron Curtain regions, preserved coniferous forests, bogs, traditional small-scale agricultural plots, etc.

protected areas visited: IBA and the National Park Neusiedler See-Seewinkel, IBA Zahorske Pomoravie, Protected Landscape Area Zahorie; IBA and Protected Landscape Area Horna Orava, IBA and Mala Fatra National Park, IBA and Protected Landscape Area Little Carpathians

target species: Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna), Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina), Ferrugineous Duck (Aythya nyroca), Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), Great Bittern (Botaurus stellaris), Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus), Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata), Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops), European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster), Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus), Red Kite (Milvus milvus), Black Kite (Milvus migrans), White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina), Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug), Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus), Great Bustard (Otis tarda), Corncrake (Crex crex), Hazel Grouse (Bonasa bonasia); owls and woodpeckers: Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium passerinum), Tengmalm´s Owl (Aegolius funereus), Ural Owl (Strix uralensis), Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo), Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus), White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos), Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius), Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor), Syrian Woodpecker (Dendrocoopos syriacus), Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus), Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), Wryneck (Jynx torquilla); other interested species: Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola), Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva), Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis), River Warbler (Locustella fluviatillis), Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus), Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix)

Trip length: 6 days

Terrain difficulty: easy to moderate; mountainous area; longer transfers will be made via car/shuttle/bus, otherwise easy walking for short distances

Day 1: A unique locality of Neusiedler See – Seewinkel National Park, where we focus mainly on water birds, among them: the Common Shelduck, Red-crested Pochard, Ferrugineous Duck, Spoonbill , Great Bittern, Pygmy Cormorant, Pied Avocet , Eurasian Curlew, Eurasian Hoopoe, Penduline Tit, with a stop where Saker Falcon can be observed.

Day 2: Morning visit of the Danube River and Hrusov dam area, the most important wintering area for many aquatic bird species in Central Europe. During our visit, there will be intensive migration of Terns (Black Tern, White-winged Tern and Whiskered Tern) as well as Little Gulls on the way. Besides that, this area provides an excellent opportunity to observe the Penduline Tit. After noon, we will move up towards the Orava region, situated in the northern fringes of Slovakia, and pass through biotopes where we may spot Golden Eagles and White-throated Dippers.

Day 3 and 4: Is reserved for observing birds in the Orava region. We will visit beech, spruce, as well as alluvial forests, wetlands and open biotopes, where we may expect to see Golden Eagles, Lesser Spotted Eagles, White-tailed Eagles, Three-toed Woodpeckers, White-backed Woodpeckers, Grey-headed Woodpeckers, Black Woodpeckers, Black Storks, Hazel Grouses, Pygmy Owls, Tengmalm´s Owls, Ural Owls, Eagle Owls, along with song birds such as Collared Flycatchers or River Warblers. One of the draws of this area is also the rare Citrine Wagtail. The sequence of locations visited during the trip will depend on the state of bird species nesting during the time of travel as well as weather, which is very variable in this region.

Day 5: Morning visit of the last locations in the Orava region and transfer to Zahorie region near Bratislava city. We will visit a Night Heron nesting colony along the way. Zahorie provides the best possibilities to observe birds of prey, such as the Imperial Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Red Kite, Black Kite, Honey Buzzard and many more. In addition, we will stop at places with Woodlarks and Barred warblers, as well as locations with several woodpecker species, such as the Syrian woodpecker, Black woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker and Wryneck. By the end of the day, we will also visit a European Bee-Eater colony. After dinner, if interested, we may also visit habitats of Scops Owls or European Nightjars.

Day 6: Morning visit of the Little Carpathian mountain region with another target species such as a Red-breasted Flycatcher. We will without a doubt spot Firecrests and will have wonderful opportunities to take pictures of this smallest European bird. This area boasts a high population of Middle Spotted Woodpeckers. Later on, we will transfer to neighbouring Hungary (approx. 45 min) where we will observe Great Bustards at lek, observe majestic Imperial Eagles and try to find a very rare Red-footed Falcon. Our trip will conclude in late afternoon that day.

Starting and final point: Bratislava. Possibility to get an extra paid transfer from airport Vienna, Košice or Budapest.

Recommended term: April – June

Prices for guiding in English for 1 person:

695,- € / 3 – 5 participants

525,- € / 6 – 10 participants

455,- € / 11 and more participants

Price includes: transportation, accommodation for 5 nights, full board (5x breakfast, 6x lunch, 5x dinner), full guiding services, local guide, binoculars and bird identification guide rental, corporate insolvency insurance

Price does NOT include: individual travel insurance

If you are interested in this trip, please don’t hesitate to contact us, either by email to info@watching.sk or give us a call at +421 948 495 111. We can then discuss the date that suits your needs the best.

The best of Birdwatching in Slovakia (and around) 2019

Date: April 29 – May 4, 2019

Price: 495,- €

Price includes: transportation, accommodation for 5 nights, 5x breakfast, full guiding services, local guide, binoculars and bird identification guide rental, corporate insolvency insurance

Price does NOT include: individual travel insurance, meals (except breakfast)

Number of participants: minimum 3

Application form: The best of Birdwatching in Slovakia (and around) 2019 (doc), The best of Birdwatching in Slovakia (and around) 2019 (pdf)

The deadline for registration and payment is February 25, 2019. Please send the application forms to info@watching.sk, you can contact us also at +421 948 495 111.

General terms and conditions

Genereal terms and conditions