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A Report from

Seefeld, Austria, 30th May – 6th June 2012,

Bob Shiret


This trip was a late booking mainly due to poor UK weather and a good offer at Crystal Lakes & Mountains which meant that the cost for one week including daytime flights, transfers, half board plus wine and beer with evening meals for my wife and I was £375 each.  Seefeld is a small, pretty Austrian town about 1200 metres above sea level with many walking trails in all directions.  There is a funicular railway that goes up to 1750 metres and two gondola cable cars that reach 2050 metres.  Note: - the funicular and gondolas only started operating the Saturday before our arrival.  In truth I did not expect to be constructing a trip report after this holiday but after seeing five “lifers” in our first four days I thought it might be useful to share the details.  I must stress however that for ultra keen birders there was not a mass of birds to take in.  Our holidays consist if leisurely walks most days and taking in the wildlife and scenery as we go, Seefeld was an excellent base for this.  As the birds featured in this report were in the main quite site specific I have constructed it around the local waking map (1:50,000) purchased from shops in the town.

Lake Wildsee

This low lying lake lies adjacent to Seefeld and has a large marshy area at the end, there is a path that goes all around it and is widely used by walkers.  In spite of this on our first visit a Common Rose finch (lifer) and a family of Lesser Redpolls (lifer) were seen at the marsh end.  There is a Red Squirrel feeding station on the lakeside where they can be fed by hand, very fussy – turned their noses up at our biscuits!  At this station Greater Spotted and Green Woodpecker were very confiding along with a Jay. In the marsh on just one occasion a Crake was heard, frustratingly not long enough to record for identification.

Lesser Redpolls

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Red Squirrel

Top of Funicular Railway (1750m)

There is a short circular walk that starts on the left about 200 yards up the ski slope from the end of the railway.  On this walk were Willow and Coal Tits plus a party of Crossbills (lifer) were seen.


Top of Seefelder Joch Gondola (2050m)

On our visit there was still a lot of snow about and be warned it was very cold!  Ring Ouzel were very common on the ski slopes, a flock of Alpine Choughs showed some very unusual behaviour when they spotted a Ptarmigan (lifer) I had been watching fly onto a ledge.  They appeared to be attacking the Ptarmigan but on closer inspection they were just harassing it for fun!  On the far side of the mountain we were lucky to observe a group of Chamois, which were well camouflaged in their environment.

Ring Ouzel


Ptarmigan being harassed by Alpine Choughs


Walk 62 Brunschkopf Lookout (1510m)

This hill walk is west of Seefeld and two Three Toed Woodpeckers (lifer) were seen at the summit along with a Greater Spotted.  The lookout point was the best place we encountered on our travels for butterflies, with several Swallowtails showing well.

Three Toed Woodpecker

Walk 6 Playcastle North of Seefeld (1134m)

The only pair of Crag Martins on our trip were seen here, in the woods there were Blackcap, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff.

Walk 86 Gschwandkopf (1495m)

At the top of this walk on a cloudy day a Buzzard, Raven and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (lifer) were seen.


Although not on a par with Andorra a few butterflies were seen identified and pictured below.

Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Green Hairstreak

Duke Of Burgundy

Woodland Ringlet

Mountain Argus

Mountain Small White

Mountain Green Veined White

Grizzled Skipper

Carline Skipper

Northern Wall Browns

Large Wall Brown


Seefeld in early June was not too hot due to being 1200metres above sea level.  Good birds, hotel, food, walking and weather meant that this was a holiday to be repeated.

Thanks to Mike King (The Gloster Birder) for id help.


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