Wandering for Lesser Spotted Eagle and Black Stork

birds of forests and wetlands of Orava

Visit the land of eagles. Discover the nature of Orava, where the preserved coniferous forests meet with peat bogs and agriculture land. All enclosed in mountains. Let’s try to find hiding Black Storks or rare Citrine Wagtails. Discover the region rich not only on bird species but also on traditional settlements and beautiful landscapes.

characteristics: Mountainous region in the northern Slovakia near the border with Poland is a mosaic of preserved coniferous forests, bogs, wet meadows, pastures and small–scaled managed agricultural land. Water reservoir Orava, the largest in Slovakia, is an important stop-over site for migrating waterbirds. Isolated location of Orava enabled this region to maintain its traditions and values, from traditional village settlement to its bird richness.

highlights of this area: preserved partly untouched spruce forests, peat bogs, wet meadows, traditional small-scale farming, unique rescue center for wild animals in Malá Fatra Mts., traditional sheep cheese products

other highlights possible to include in to the trip itinerary: the museum of traditional Slovak village, majestic Orava Castle, art gallery on Slanica island in the middle of the Orava water reservoir, wooden churches in Leštiny and Tvrdošín (UNESCO)

protected areas visited: IBA (and SPA) Horná Orava, Protected Landscape Area Horná Orava, IBA (and SPA) Malá Fatra and Malá Fatra National Park

target species: Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), Corncrake (Crex crex), Snipe (Gallinago gallinago), Ural Owl (Strix uralensis), Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium passerinum), Tengmalm´s Owl (Aegolius funereus), Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo), Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus), Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos/Picoides leucotos), Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus), Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola), Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor), Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva), Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis), Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus) – the end of May – June, Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix), Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes), Common Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus), Icterine Warbler (Hippolais icterina), River Warbler (Locustella fluviatilis)

species upon request (possible to visit places with their occurrence): Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix/Tetrao tetrix), Greenish Warbler (Phylloscopus trochiloides), Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris), Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)

Trip length: 4 days

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

Accommodation: *** guest house in a quiet locality surrounded by coniferous and mixed forests and pastures – possibility to walk around before breakfast or in free time

Day 1: arrival in the afternoon, accommodation, after the dinner: owls of Orava

Day 2: morning after breakfast: species of mixed forests (woodpeckers, flycatchers, …); afternoon: birds of wetland habitats – water reservoir Orava and litoral habitats of Black Orava River (Black Stork, Snipe, Citrine Wagtail)

Day 3: morning: species of beech forests (woodpeckers, flycatchers, …); afternoon: birds of open spaces (Lesser Spotted Eagle, Golden Eagle, Corncrake, Great Grey Shrike …)

Day 4: rescue center in Zázrivá village and its surroundings, Malá Fatra Mts. (Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Corncrake, …); afternoon: departure

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

Recommended term: April – June

Prices for guiding in English for 1 person:

565,- € / 3 – 5 participants

395,- € / 6 – 10 participants

325,- € / 11 and more participants

Price includes: transportation, accommodation for 3 nights, full board (3x breakfast, 4x lunch, 3x dinner), full guiding service, local guide, binoculars and bird identification guide rental, corporate insolvency insurance

Price does NOT include: individual travel insurance


More info about this area could be also found in our trip report:
100 species and no more, because the guide wants to have his beer