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Birds and Bears Long Weekend Tour - tour in detail

BIRDS & BEARS, SLOVAKIA & HUNGARY

5 days/4 nights.

Day 1

FLIGHT To POPRAD
Arrival to Poprad airport. After meeting our bus and guide we will head for Orava region, an area close to Polish border. The drive is about two hours and our hotel is set below the high peaks of the West Tatras in undulating terrain, adjacent to spruce forests. An evening walk with a local guide will be arranged on this evening. Capercaillie, Pygmy and Tengmalm´s Owls and Nightjar are all possible.
Hotel/Pension Antares 3* - 1 night - (large spacious en suite facilities)

Day 2

ORAVA MOUNTAINS
Early in the morning we will search for Black Grouse nearby in the Orava Mountains (about forty minutes from our hotel). An open area of hay meadows and peatbogs at Slovak-Polish border still hosts good numbers of Black Grouse. This will be the only early start during the holiday. We will then have a late breakfast after which the birdwatching will be a forest walk. Species at both hotels are similar but not always easy to find.
We will rely on the knowledge of our local guides, who always choose the easiest option. Nutcracker and Lesser Spotted Eagle are common and widespread while equally abundant Hazel Grouse is sometimes a tricky bird, but late April is the best season to see it. Black Storks are often seen every day in Orava. Targets in the forest will be Three-toed and Black Woodpeckers. Sightings of Ural and Eagle Owl much depend on accessibility of their nests, but again they are not uncommon breeders.
In the evening bear observation will take place from one, of two comfortable elevated wooden hides, for 6 or 7 people.
Orešnica (Nutcracker) Hotel 3* - 3 nights (spacious en suite rooms in attractive surroundings)

Day 3

ORAVA to HIGH TATRAS
We will transfer to the High Tatras in the morning. We will bird en route as we plan to stop in Chočské Hills and take an easy walk in local mixed forest. The track we will follow is even all the way with good selection of possible bird species. If time permits there will be a brief stop at artificial lake before we arrive at our hotel. The lake often holds good numbers of migrants, including Red-necked Grebe and marsh terns.
A forest walk could yield Black, Grey-headed, White-backed and Three-toed Woodpeckers, Tengmalm´s and Pygmy Owls, Golden Eagle, Collared Flycatcher, Wood Warbler and other passerines.
In the evening bear observation will take place from one, of two comfortable elevated wooden hides, for 6 or 7 people.

Day 4

HIGH TATRAS
Depending on our success with forest birds we can take another forest walk or go up by chairlift provided it is operating and the snow cover is not too high in the alpine zone. At the upper station we should look for Alpine Accentor, Marmot and Chamois. Water Pipits are common and Golden Eagle often forages up there.
In the time remaining we will roam around our hotel. The search for woodpeckers and owls takes time and the tour will be rather focused on these (as some migrants will not yet have returned).
In the evening bear observation will again take place from one, of two comfortable elevated wooden hides, for 6 or 7 people, or if the bears have already been seen a further search for owls can be done. Besides bears, Red Deer and Fox are regular and we rarely see Wolf, Otter, Wild Boar, Pine Marten and other mammals of local forests. Woodcock, Mistle Thrush and Ring Ouzel also turn up regularly.

Day 5

DEPARTURE
Birding in the High Tatras around our hotel trying to find species still missing on our list. Lesser Spotted Eagle is common in the area, Dipper and Northern Grey Shrike within walking distance and the forests near the hotel are good for many of the above mentioned species. Transfer to Poprad airport for homeward flight, with possibly a short time in the town for shopping, if required.

Price calculation

INCLUDES:

  • accommodation with breakfast 4
  • picnic lunch 4
  • dinner with café 4
  • bus
  • bears observation in Podbanske 3 evenings
  • local ornitHologist
  • E-TOURS guide

NOT INCLUDED:

  • flight
  • drinks
  • insurance
  • personal cost (like phone calls)

GROUP SIZE:

  • min. 5 - max 12 persons

PRICE £ 448

Single room supplement £ 65