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This famous Biosphere Reserve in the south of the Ukraine covers about 110km2 of open steppe, cultivated land and artificial ponds and forms an important site for steppe birds. Much of the area is covered with Sheep's Fescue and Feather-grass but more than 400 species of flowering plant are known from this long-established reserve. Birds of this area include many exciting species difficult to see further west in Europe.
Steppe specialities such as Demoiselle Crane, Great Bustard and Little Bustard and raptors including Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard and Steppe Eagle can be seen at Akania-Nova.
The wetland areas attract Greater White-fronted Goose and Red-breasted Goose on passage and Ruddy Shelduck in winter. European Bee-eater and European Roller are present and passerines include Calandra Lark, Lesser Grey Shrike and Pied Wheatear and Isabelline Wheatear.
Rose-coloured Starling can be seen but as elsewhere this is an unpredictable species.
Birds you can see here include:
Greater White-fronted Goose, Red-breasted Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Steppe Eagle, Red-footed Falcon, Common Crane, Demoiselle Crane, Little Bustard, Great Bustard, Black-winged Pratincole, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Calandra Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Tawny Pipit, Isabelline Wheatear, Pied Wheatear, Lesser Grey Shrike, Rose-coloured Starling, (irregular)
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Access and Facilities
Askania-Nova lies between Odessa and the Crimea near Kherson which has an airport. As well as by air the southern Ukraine can be reached by road from Romania or by sea from other Black Sea countries.
Birding has immense possibilities in the Ukraine although the tourist infrastructure is still rather primitive. Undoubtedly in the near future the steppes of Askania-Nova will become a regular feature on the itineraries of the larger birding tour companies.
Content and images originally posted by Steve