Owls and woodpeckers of Carpathian forests

tranquil nature of Carpathian arc

Discover the uniqueness of Carpathians. Sparse population of this area provides perfect conditions for large stands of undisturbed forests. It makes a good place for thriving of many mammal and bird species. Slovakia is a little country, but you can spot here all European species of woodpeckers or various owl species such as Ural, Tengmalm’s or Pygmy Owl. If we add Collared Flycatcher or Black Stork, the trip to the Carpathian nature is worth a serious consideration.

characteristics: Almost the whole territory of Slovakia lies in western part of the Carpathian arc. Natural conditions of this long range of mountains provide habitat for significant European populations of owls and woodpeckers. Volovské vrchy Mountains in the eastern Slovakia are the biggest protected area in Slovakia. Due to their location in the Carpathian mountains close to warmer lowlands there are high variety and richness of species. It is a large forested mountain area with prevailing beech forests in the eastern parts and the spruce forests in the west. Volovské vrchy Mts. also belong among the most important breeding areas for Collared Flycatcher in Europe and the whole world.

highlights of this area: large undisturbed beech and spruce forests, the fourth highest Collared Flycatcher population in Europe, largest concentration of owl and woodpecker species in Central Europe

other highlights (possible to include in to the trip itinerary): romantic Betliar chateau, Jasov monastery park, Jasov Cave, medieval water mills for metal processing

protected areas visited: IBA (and SPA) Volovské vrchy, IBA (and SPA) Slovenský kras and Slovenský kras National Park

target species: Hazel Grouse (Tetrastes bonasia/Bonasa bonasia); owls: Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium passerinum), Tengmalm´s Owl (Aegolius funereus), Ural Owl (Strix uralensis), Tawny Owl (Strix aluco), Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo); woodpeckers: Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus), White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos), Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major), Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor), Syrian Woodpecker (Dendrocoopos syriacus), Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis), Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus), Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)

other species: Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus), Spotted Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes), Crested Tit (Lophophanes cristatus/Parus cristatus), Willow Tit (Poecile montanus/Parus montanus), Marsh Tit (Poecile palustris/Parus palustris), Hawfinch (Coccothrastues coccothraustes), Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva), Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis)

Trip length: 3 days

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

Accommodation: *** family hotel in locality surrounded by beech forests – possibility to walk around

Day 1: arrival in the afternoon, accommodation; after the dinner: forest species of owls (Pygmy Owl, Ural Owl, Tengmalm´s Owl)

Day 2: species of coniferous (fir, spruce) and mixed (fir-beech) forests: Three-toed Woodpecker, Crested Tit, Hazel Grouse, Black Woodpecker, Red-breasted Flycatcher, White-backed Woodpecker

Day 3: species of oak and beech forests: Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Collared Flycatcher, Black Woodpecker; evening: departure

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

Recommended term: March – June or September – October

Prices for guiding in English for 1 person:

410,- € / 3 – 5 participants

360,- € / 6 – 10 participants

320,- € / 11 and more participants

Price includes: transportation, accommodation for 2 nights, full board (2x breakfast, 2x lunch, 2x dinner), full guiding service, local guide, binoculars, spotting scope 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 +421 903 751 330. We can then discuss the date that suits your needs the best.

Genereal terms and conditions