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Slovakia in Autumn

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Old Friday 12th July 2019, 10:27   #1
woodsey5
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Slovakia in Autumn

Hey all. Will be visiting Slovakia in late Sept - early Oct and wondered if anyone had any advice. Have read up on a few good birding spots but most seem to be best in spring/summer when everything is present/singing. Will be trying to visit Zemplinska reservoir which is supposed to be good in Autumn but didn't find much else for the time of year. Will be spending a bit of time staying near the Low Tatras then moving on up into the High Tatras. Also spending a couple of days in southern Poland near Zakopane before heading down into Slovakia again but further south nearer the border with Hungary (northwards of Budapest).

It's a family holiday so will only have the odd day here and there for birding so any advice would be welcome on good sites for the time of year.

Any advice on what birds will still be around and likely to be findable would be very welcome. I know the Woodpeckers are all resident but harder at that time of year but what about Raptors and Game birds? Anything likely by Sept-Oct? Any other good sites for interesting species - Wallcreeper/Rock Thrush etc.?

Cheers for any help
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Old Friday 12th July 2019, 12:15   #2
kb57
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Visited the High Tatras several times in the early 2000s when working in Poland, but haven't been birding there - my main interest at the time was botany, for which the Bielanskie Tatry (white Tatras = limestone) was of greatest interest, between Tatranska Lomnica and the road to Polish border.

However, I did see my best ever view of a nutcracker on a dwarf pine on the path between Stary Smokovec and Strbske Pleso - this would be a great family walk from the top of the funicular at Hrebienoc as it is a mostly level path which contours westwards along the southern slopes of the Tatras, and there is a tram to get you back which links all the villages on the slopes - my son, who was 10 at the time, really enjoyed the walk.

Trails are all well signed and maintained - walking is a popular pastime in Slovakia, or at least it was when I was last there, so you won't be on your own there - worth bearing in mind from a birding perpective!

One thing which has changed unfortunately is tree cover - they had a massive storm a few years ago, my son returned recently and hardly recognised villages like Tatranska Lomnica which used to nestle in the forest.

I've also been to Zakopane, but again not birding - its a pleasant enough mountain town, but I prefer the Slovakian side - in fact so did a lot of the Polish people I worked with at the time.
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Old Friday 12th July 2019, 14:56   #3
FOOON
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Hi

There is an autumn lek for Capercaillie in October mainly for winter territories. I've seen and heard Hazel Grouse in October. Raptors might include a lingering Lesser Spotted Eagle perhaps.

If you need a guide, let me know, and will forward details.

Happy to send details for Hazel Grouse too.

Regards
Ian
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Old Friday 12th July 2019, 17:20   #4
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I do not think Rock Thrush is present in Slovakia? There are certainly Wallcreepers in Tatras on both sides of the border, but the sites seems to be quite well guarded secrets. This spring there was an unusual upturn in Ural Owl sightings around people, but I am not sure if this is still relevant in the autumn. However for Ural Owls, Slovakia seems to be the best country around (I will probably have to go there eventually, as this species consistently evades me).
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Old Wednesday 17th July 2019, 10:20   #5
woodsey5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOOON View Post
Hi

There is an autumn lek for Capercaillie in October mainly for winter territories. I've seen and heard Hazel Grouse in October. Raptors might include a lingering Lesser Spotted Eagle perhaps.

If you need a guide, let me know, and will forward details.

Happy to send details for Hazel Grouse too.

Regards
Ian
If you could send on details for both that would be great. Not sure what time we will have but can check if there are any suitable spots that a guide could take us to.

Do you know what areas the Capercaillie leks might be in, or is it just a case of coming across them in the right habitats by chance?

Cheers,
Karl
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Old Wednesday 17th July 2019, 10:24   #6
woodsey5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opisska View Post
I do not think Rock Thrush is present in Slovakia? There are certainly Wallcreepers in Tatras on both sides of the border, but the sites seems to be quite well guarded secrets. This spring there was an unusual upturn in Ural Owl sightings around people, but I am not sure if this is still relevant in the autumn. However for Ural Owls, Slovakia seems to be the best country around (I will probably have to go there eventually, as this species consistently evades me).
I think I read somewhere that there were 1 or 2 sites around the Hungary border for Rock Thrush but not sure how accurate or up to date the information is.

Ural Owl would be a lovely sight though not going to get my hopes up with the time of year
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