štvrtok 23. augusta 2018

Basic notes to birdwatching in Slovakia

Flying Mute Swan
When you have decided to visit Slovakia, you should know some rules and basic information. First of all, the landscape is very rich in different habitats - forests, pastures, fields, rocks, karst, wetlands and more. So the diversity of bird communities is also rich in species.

What can offer Slovakia for a birdwatcher? It is famous for forest species like owls (large Ural, Pygmy and Boreal Owl population), woodpeckers (White-backed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Green and Grey Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker). Mountains are dwelled by the population of the Golden Eagle and Peregrine Falcon about high density. In lowlands nest one of the biggest european population of the Imperial Eagle and Saker Falcon. Information about bird species you can find on sites like birdlife.org or Atlas of slovak birds. The distribution of species is of course uneven. Many birdwatchers come to Slovakia only for a few days, especially to Bratislava or Košice city. Here we describe interesting places around the Bratislava capital city and information about transport.

Beech forest in Malé Karpaty mountains

The closest good birdwatching point near Bratislava Airport is Bratislava Airport. It is similar to another airport where green areas attracting raptors. You can observe common buzzards, Imperial Eagles, Saker Falcons. If you visit Bratislava city during the winter, you should check the Danube river - it is not rare to observe some birds of the Genus Gavia, White-tailed Eagle, Pygmy Cormorant or different duck species. Ideal for waterbirds is the big area - Hrušovská zdrž by Čunovo village. For the large area you will need a monocular. This area is not interesting only for high numbers of ducks and geese. Alluvial forests along the river represent rare habitat protected by NATURA 2000. During the summer or spring, we recommend visiting the Nature Reserve Devínska Kobyla. There is a colony of bee-eaters and it is a good watchpoint for soaring raptors and storks. This hill is also a home for pairs of Eagle Owls. Near to this site is another area - Devínske alúvium of the Morava river and Devínske jazero area. It is a complex of the alluvial meadows and wetlands. Interesting time for birds is during the spring and autumn migration of waders, raptors and water birds.

White Stork nest

Best for the trip is a bicycle, then you can use many cycle roads in mountains and along the rivers. For the trip planning it is ideal Freemap - online maps with different layers for hiking or biking. Thanks to Locus app it is simple to use Freemap offline. Also it is easy using public transport around the city.

When you are in a new country, you should know rules - where you can go, what is your right. In Slovakia there are five levels of the nature conservation:

1. level - cover the whole country out of protected areas

2. level - cover the Protected Landscape Areas

3. level - cover the area in National Parks

4. and 5. level - cover small protected areas, for example, Nature Reserves, Natural Monuments and strictly protected zones in National Parks

Details you find in this DOCUMENT.

Also, you have a right moving free in forests (if they are protected by 1st or 2nd level of protection). Be aware, it does not apply in army forests.

We will add information about trips for nature watching in Slovakia and about nature conservation. Follow us on the website www.sovule.eu/p/en.html for next info!