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In the north of the Czech Republic and close to the Polish border, this national park is situated in the high and dramatic Krknose Mountains of Bohemia.
Although the mountains contain the national park and several nature reserves the area suffers heavily from tourism with hikers in summer and skiers in winter. Much of the area is coniferous forest, mainly spruce and pine on the mountainsides with beech forest in lower areas but the entire region has long been affected by acid rain.
Despite this an excellent range of coniferous forest birds can be found and the additional habitats of peatbogs and alpine meadows have a distinct set of species. More than 150 species have been recorded breeding in the area, Eurasian Dotterel once nested here but after a long decline they are now extinct as breeders.
The upper areas have Ring Ouzel, Alpine Accentor (at about its northernmost point in Europe) and Water Pipit and Red-spotted Bluethroat and Black Grouse can be seen in the peatbogs. Lower down in the forest zone Lesser Spotted Eagle, Western Capercaillie, Black Stork and Spotted Nutcracker breed. Other forest birds include Red-breasted Flycatcher, Crested Tit and Common Rosefinch and Greenish Warbler is a recent colonist.
Birds you can see here include:
Black Stork, European Honey Buzzard, Hen Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Common Kestrel, Merlin (rare), Peregrine Falcon, Black Grouse, Western Capercaillie, Grey Partridge, Corn Crake, Stock Dove, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Eurasian Pygmy Owl, Tengmalm's Owl, Common Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Wood Lark, Tree Pipit, Water Pipit, Common Dipper, Alpine Accentor, Red-spotted Bluethroat, Common Redstart, Ring Ouzel, Fieldfare, Greenish Warbler, Goldcrest, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Crested Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Spotted Nutcracker, Northern Raven, Eurasian Siskin, Northern Redpoll, Common Crossbill, Common Rosefinch
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Access and Facilities
Easily reached by road from Prague, about 130km on the E65, this area has a good tourist infrastructure due to its popularity with skiers.
Most of the local villages can provide accommodation and Spindleruv-Mlyn and Harrachov have national park information centres.
The highest peak is Snezka at 1602m and this has a chair-lift from Pec pod Snezkou.
Content and images originally posted by Steve