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A Report from

Slovakia & Czech Republic July 2005,

Brendan Threlfall and Suzanna Ivanic

This was part of a family holiday and not a birding trip and so only gives a flavour of the birds of the two countries. We drove from England and stayed in many different locations briefly before settling in Rakovec, a small village south of Zvolen for a week.

General information

Both the Czech Republic and Slovakia are cheap destinations. The roads are generally ok although some drivers overtake in almost any situation! The weather was good, with temperatures peaking around 30 degrees and not much rain. The weather in the mountains can be dramatically different though, and heavy and spectacular storms are possible. Watch out for ticks in the forests.

Czech Republic

Sebuzin, North of Prague –. Red-backed Shrikes were common in the area and a Middle Spotted Woodpecker was seen.

Brehinsky fish pond – An adult White tailed Eagle being mobbed by Marsh Harriers was a magnificent sight. White Stork was also fairly common in the surrounding area.

Slanik, South Bohemia – Impressive numbers of birds in the area. Golden Oriole were particularly common. A Green Sandpiper on a small patch of mud on the riverbank was a surprise.

Borovany, South Bohemia – An hours walk along a track by the rail station early morning produced Serin and single Wood, Marsh and Icterine Warbler.


Rakovec – Amazingly good considering its random location and typical habitat. Black Redstarts were numerous in the village, with Serin common in neighbouring Hortianske Nemce. Hobby was seen over the garden on a couple of occasions and Honey Buzzard was seen, although Common Buzzard appears to be by far the most numerous raptor in this part of Slovakia. Walking a short distance up a hill towards the nearby forests produced Turtle Dove, Hawfinch and many Red-backed Shrikes. Golden Orioles showed stunningly and uncahractersitically well here, with a family including 3 juvenilles perched in the open on a dead tree at one point. Wryneck was also seen on several occasions. Both Black and White Storks were noted overhead. The forests hold good numbers of woodpeckers and although Great Spotted is easily the commonest, a Middle Spotted was noted. Black and Syrian (in the vineyards) must be likely candidates to occur, and locals referred to the presence of owls – possibly Eagle.

Nizke Tatry – A brief visit to the UNESCO heritage village of Vlkolinec produced Fieldfare in the village and Crested Tit and Nutcracker in the conifers above it.


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