Záhorie – the land of contrasts

birds of wet floodplain forests and dry pine and oak forests on sand

Beautiful landscapes, interesting habitats and its bird inhabitants less than an hour of ride from Bratislava. On one side dynamic Morava River with its oxbow lakes, wet meadows and well preserved floodplain forests. Dry oak and pine forests on sand on the other. Whether during the day or night, Záhorie has always much to offer to a birdwatcher. Definitely worth of a visit!

characteristics: This westernmost region of Slovakia is bounded by Morava River and range of Small Carpathians. Regularly flooded floodplain in contrast with dry sandy habitats offers an interesting landscape. Man can find here floodplain forests and meadows along Morava River, small wetlands and peatlands hidden in sand depressions, fishponds with great diversity of species.

highlights of this area: eolic sands, small forests wetlands, well-preserved floodplain forests, wet meadows, dry oak and pine forests on sands, old city park

other highlights possible to include in to the trip itinerary: Skalica oldtown center, unique Baťa canal, Park area Lednice – Valtice (UNESCO), Mikulov, fine regional wine, St. Margaret of Antioch Church, Kopčany – an architectural monument originated from the times of Great Moravia

protected areas visited: Protected Landscape Area Záhorie and IBA (and SPA) Morava, The Trilateral Ramsar site Floodplains of the Morava-Dyje-Danube Confluence

target species: Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris), Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus), Western Great Egret (Egretta alba/Casmerodius albus), Garganey (Anas querquedula), Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina), Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca), European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europeaus), Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus), White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca), Black Kite (Milvus migrans), Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug), Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus), Corncrake (Crex crex), Little Crake (Porzana parva), Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana), Black Tern (Chlidonias niger), European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster), Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius/Picoides medius), Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis), Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus), Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), Crested Tit (Parus cristatus/Lophophanes cristaus), Woodlark (Lullula arborea), Icterine Warbler (Hippolais icterina), Common Grasshopper Warbler (Locustella naevia), River Warbler (Locustella fluviatilis), Savi’s Warbler (Locustella luscinioides), Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Barred Warbler (Sylvia nisoria), Short-toed Treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla), Eurasian Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris), Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata), Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis), Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica), Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)

other species: Western Osprey (Pandion haliaeetus) – April nad later, Red Kite (Milvus milvus), Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), Coal Tit (Parus ater/Periparus ater), Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus), Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix), Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus), beaver (Castor fiber)

Trip length: 3 days

Terrain difficulty: easy; plain, lowland area; some places may be wet

Accommodation: ** hotel in the city center of Malacky

Day 1: meeting in the morning, transfer to Záhorie, first stop colony of European Bee-eaters; lunch; second stop birds of prey (White-tailed Eagle, kites, Saker Falcon, Imperial Eagle, Common Kestrel, Marsh Harrier); accommodation, dinner; after the dinner: first evening walk (Woodlark, Nightjar, Tawny Owl)

Day 2: morning before breakfast: species of an old city park (treecreepers, woodpeckers, flycatchers, Spotted and Collared Flycatcher, Icterine Warbler); morning atfer breakfast: birds of wetland habitats – fishponds (Black Stork, Little Bittern, Western Great Egret, Garganey, Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Water Rail, Black Tern, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Bluethroat, White-tailed Eagle, Western Osprey, Common Kingfisher, beavers); afternoon: birds of wetland habitats – Morava River, floodplain forests (Black Stork, Eurasian Bittern, Little Bittern, Western Great Egret, Garganey, Red-crested Pochard, Honey Buzzard, Imperial Eagle, Black Kite, White-tailed Eagle, Red Kite, Saker Falcon, Water Rail, Corncrake, Little Crake, Spotted Crake, Black Tern, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker , Grey-headed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Icterine Warbler, Common Grasshopper Warbler, River Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Barred Warbler, Short-toed Treecreeper, Eurasian Treecreeper, Spotted Flycatcher, Bluethroat, Common Redstart, Tree Pipit, Common Kingfisher, Willow Warbler, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, beavers); evening: second evening walk (Bittern, Little Bittern, Crakes, Corncrake, Water Rail, Bluethroat)

Day 3: species of rare pine and oak forests on sand and small forest wetlands and peatlands (shrikes, Black Stork, European Nightjar, Honey Buzzard, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Crested Tit, Woodlark, Icterine Warbler, Short-toed Treecreeper, Eurasian Treecreeper, Spotted Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Tree Pipit, Coal Tit, Willow Warbler, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Eurasian Siskin); evening: departure

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

Recommended term: (April) May – June

Prices for guiding in English for 1 person:

335,-€ / 3 – 5 participants

275,-€ / 6 – 10 participants

235,-€ / 11 and more participants

Price includes: transportation, accommodation for 2 nights, full board (2x breakfast, 3x lunch, 2x dinner), full guiding service, local guide, binoculars and bird identification guide rental, corporate insolvency insurance