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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Eastern Slovakia 25-28 May, 2004,
Hasse Berglund, Sweden & Arnold van Kreveld, Netherlands
Going for a meeting in Eastern Slovakia in the end of May, we of course had to do some bird watching in this interesting part of Europe. The first day after arrival we spent all day in the field, and the last day, Arnold together with our group of colleagues again went out. In between we only managed to make short walks in the morning or afternoon in the Hotel surroundings.
After a very delayed flight from Prague to Kosice on the 24th, we did not rise with the sun, but went out at nine a.m. Thanks to our friend Vlado Vancura, we were guided by a great park warden of the Slovak Karst National Park, Stefan Matis (contact details below). He knew where to find the birds, and managed to find almost everything we asked for! First we went from Kosice to Moldava Nad Bodvou, and on the trip saw Lesser Spotted Eagle, Red-backed Shrike, Serin and our first White Storks. We picked Stefan up, and went to a prominent hill, with a ruined castle on top, the Turna hill/castle. This proved to be excellent for birding, both on the north and south side. The highlights of the area were a pair of Imperial Eagles, which soared above, or sat in a pine on the slope of the hill. They were interested in the Sousliks (European Ground Squirrels) which were abundant on the grazed pastures. Another Souslik hunter was the Saker we managed to spot when passing the hill on our way back towards Kosice! Among other interesting observations were Turtle Doves, Wryneck, Marsh Harrier, Nightingale and Crested Lark.
After this, we went westwards, and entered the Zadiel gorge. This was a beautiful, beech-clad gorge, with a stream running down in the centre. Of special interest here where a pair of White-backed Woodpeckers, 2 singing males Red-breasted Flycatchers, breeding Dippers - at least one pair with more adults present -, a male Rock Bunting cleaning himself in the creek, Grey Wagtails, Hawfinches and Marsh Tits.
Still wanting to see more specialities, we were glad that Stefan took us to a quarry on the Hungarian border, where we heard and saw a male Rock Thrush singing, witnessed intense territorial disputes between at least three male Black Redstarts, and observed a Hoopoe and some Wheatears.
May 26th - 28th
As said before, we took some strolls in the vicinity of our Hotel, the Hotel Bankov, 6 km Northwest of Kosice. The hotel was situated in a nice, predominantly beech forest, with some nice trails. Apart from lots of common species, we saw Middle Spotted Woodpeckers - Arnold found three nests! - heard Black Woodpecker, Scarlet Grosbeak, saw Collared Flycatchers, two Honey Buzzards and heard a Quail just below the Hotel one evening.
The last day of the visit, the major part of our team went to Zadiel gorge once more, but the only species that was added to our list was a Collared Flycatcher, heard in the forest.
Species seen between 25th and 28th of May 2004 in Eastern Slovakia:
Great Crested Grebe
Seen in a reservoir near Zadiel gorge, 25th and the 28th.
One flying overhead near the quarry, 25th.
Several seen on the 25th.
One seen in the reservoir near the quarry on the 28th.
Several seen on the 25th, one or two near the hotel.
Two seen near the hotel on the 28th.
A pair seen both flying and sitting near the Turna castle on the 25th.
Lesser Spotted Eagle
One close to the road between Kosice and Moldava Nad Bodvou on the 25th.
One male flying near the Turna castle on the 25th.
One flying close to the main road near the Turna castle on the 25th.
Three observations on the 25th.
One calling in the evening of the 26th, just below the hotel.
One male near Moldava Nad Bodvou on the 25th.
Several in the reservoir near the quarry on the 25th and 28th.
Several calling, one in Zadiel canyon on the 25th, more near the hotel.
Many in towns and villages.
A flock of 6 near the Turna castle on the 25th, some calling in the forests around the hotel.
Several calling, both near Turna castle, in the quarry, and around the hotel.
One seen by our Finnish friend Harry Karjalainen near the hotel on the 27th.
One (or two) seen in the quarry on the 25th.
One heard in the forests near the hotel on the 26th.
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Several seen and heard.
Middle Spotted Woodpecker
One nest found, with two adults and several young ones in the nest on the 27th, then Arnold found two more nests near the hotel on the 28th.
One pair seen in the Zadiel canyon on the 25th.
One male calling on the southern slope of Turna hill on the 25th.
Several singing in open areas.
One seen near the Turna hill on the 25th.
A flock seen in the quarry on the 25th.
Heard near the hotel on the 27th.
Several, both adults and young seen in the Zadiel canyon on the 25th and 28th.
One female seen in Moldava Nad Bodvou on the 25th.
One seen near the hotel on the 26th.
Singing near the hotel on the 26th.
Seen and heard singing near the hotel on the 27th.
Only heard singing in the quarry on the 25th.
Heard singing near the hotel on the 27th.
One - two heard near the hotel 27th.
Several seen and heard near the hotel.
One heard by Stefan and Arnold in Zadiel canyon on the 28th, and two males and one female near the hotel the same day.
Two males singing in the Zadiel canyon on the 25th.
One female near the hotel on the 27th.
One beautiful male singing in the quarry on the 25th.
Several in the quarry on the 25th.
One singing near the Turna castle on the 25th.
Some near and around the hotel.
Some seen by Arnold near the hotel on the 26th.
Some sang near the hotel on the 26th.
Seen in Zadiel canyon on the 25th.
Several heard around the hotel, and around the hotel.
Both in the Zadiel canyon and near the hotel.
Several in the creek in Zadiel canyon, at least one pair breeding.
One male sang near Turna hill on the 25th.
One male took a bath in the creek in Zadiel canyon on the 25th.
Heard singing near Turna castle on the 25th, and near the hotel on the 27th.
Several seen and heard in the quarry on the 25th.
In Moldava Nad Bodrou on the 25th, and in Kosice on the 26th, singing in parks.
One male singing close to the hotel on the 26th.
In Zadiel canyon and near the hotel.
Seen near Turna castle on the 25th, and near the hotel.
Some between Kosice and Moldava Nad Bodvou on the 25th.
Common in Kosice
We can really recommend the assistance of Stefan Matis, without his help we would not have been able to see many of the species we did see!
Stefan Matis, tel: +421-907-168093, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Arnold van Kreveld
Alsnögatan 20, 5tr.
S-116 41 Stockholm