Daily Diary written by Andy from Bird Holidays, UK
(Birding in the Czech Republic - Trip Report, 14th to 22nd May, 2015)
Thursday 14th May - arrival and transfer to Kubova Hut.
Half the group arrived in Prague on the Manchester flight just before six, a little ahead of schedule. Helen had already arrived on an earlier flight from Stansted and I had arrived from Leeds on an even earlier flight and taken a taxi into Prague. I had met up with Marvin, Bihoa, Schub and Myra who had been in Prague for several days having flown from Riga some days earlier. We had a little stroll together around the old part of Prague. Then we met up with Jiri our ground agent, who came with us to the airport to meet the rest of the group. He then caught the bus back in to town. By 6:30 we were all on our way with Jarda, our driver to the first hotel at Kubova Hut in the Sumava Mountains.
We did the drive in record time - about two hours - and ate our sandwiches, crisps etc on the way. Grey Heron, White Stork at a nest and a few Roe Deer were perhaps the best sightings for the drive. After settling into our rooms at the very pleasant Penzion Klose, we went for a half hour orientation walk. By this time we had also met Jenda, who would be our local guide for the next few days and he came with us for the walk. Kubova Hut has the highest railway station in the Czech Republic standing at around 1000m. It is a very picturesque little spot. From there we walked to the hotel that was the one advertised in the brochure but had mysteriously shut. I thought it had had a fire but Jenda thought there were other reasons. Whatever the reason the new hotel was a more than adequate substitute and will be my preferred choice in future years.
We were a little late for diurnal birds, though Robin, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Willow Warbler and Song Thrush were all still singing. It was just getting dusk at around 9:30 when a Tawny Owl flew over giving great silhouette views. We then tried calling it but it did not respond. We retired fairly early ready for an early start the next day.
Friday 15th May - Black Grouse and Three-toed Woodpecker day!
We met at six for coffee and a pre-breakfast drive with Jarda and Jenda to Dobra village. The weather was fine and better than the forecast. It is about a twenty minute drive to Dobra but well worth it. Almost the first birds we saw were two Black Grouse males which were later joined by a third bird. We had great 'scope views of them. There was also a Snipe perched up on a post, a male Whinchat and many Crossbills about. An Icterine Warbler was sat out in the open singing loudly and there were brief views of a Hawfinch flying by. A Grasshopper Warbler could be heard, just in the distance and Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Bullfinch were all flitting about. We had good views of Nuthatch very low down on a shrub and several other small birds were seen. We returned for breakfast with quite a tally. Breakfast was a cold buffet but an excellent spread which included some delicious home made pate.
Around nine we set off walking up the hill, Mount Boubin, behind the hotel. We quickly notched up more Crossbill, Goldcrest and Firecrest which all gave good views. We saw several male Ring Ouzels which are of the alpestris race here. In fact we got good views of at least half a dozen males. British birds like Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Siskin, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Great Tit and Blackcap were all heard singing. There were also Mistle and Song Thrushes, Blackbirds and Fieldfares. We found the nest of a Coal Tit which sat tight when we looked inside the hole with a torch. The highlight of the morning though had to be the Three-toed Woodpecker. Just as we were about to give up on this bird and head back down the mountain a male responded to our drumming and gave us great views. Bob even got a picture showing the toes..and the lack of a second hind toe. We returned to the hotel by one to have our lunch and coffee. At two we headed out again but this time by vehicle. Our first stop was a little bridge near the village of Pekna. It is a very picturesque area where we walked along a tiny road by the Vltava River. We heard and then called in a Grey-headed Woodpecker and saw several other birds there including White and Grey Wagtail, briefly, and a fine male Reed Bunting. Grasshopper Warbler was heard again but was rather distant. We drove to another area down what should have been a private military road but we went anyway! Jenda was taking us to his 'sure fire' Tengmalm's Owl site where he had an active nest hole staked out. After a shortish walk we eventually reached the nest hole but the owl, if it was in, would not peep out of the entrance, even though we scraped the tree trunk to simulate something climbing up! We then drove a short distance to a nearby site where we managed to pull in Black Woodpecker and got good if brief views.
Surprisingly we also heard Nutcracker here. We then headed for another site near Boubin Prales where we tried for Red-breasted Flycatcher but they did not appear to have arrived yet. It was time to return to Penzion Klose for a shower and change before going to the restaurant in the village. We had a pleasant traditional meal with best Czech ale. Most of us then went out with Jarda and Jenda for some owling. Unfortunately the owls were not cooperating but we did hear several Corncrakes and a drumming Snipe. We also picked up eye shine from several Roe Deer and glimpsed a fox on the drive back to the hotel. We got back just before eleven after a very full and active day.
Saturday 16th May - transfer to Trebon via Cesky Krumlov
A few hardy souls went with Jarda and myself on another pre-breakfast drive to the Dobra area. In fact most of us went! It was another lovely sunny day but was very misty in the valley bottom so we concentrated on the closer birds around and above Dobra village. We had some great views of Hawfinch perched close to us and a lot of the usual suspects were around such as Tree Pipit and several Red-backed Shrikes. Probably the best bird was a Wryneck which gave great views and even came out on to the electricity wires to sit and call. The people at Penzion Klose really looked after us and there was another good continental buffet spread and a kind of bilberry, home-made cake for breakfast at 8:00. By 8:45 we were packing the trailer with luggage and on our way before 9:00.
It only takes about an hour to reach Cesky Krumlov and Jarda dropped us off at the back of the palace at around ten. Corncrakes and Cuckoos were calling. Roger spotted a couple of raptors which turned into a Common and Honey Buzzard. The gardens were busier than normal with people, being a sunny Saturday, but were quieter than normal for birds. Helen has a great ear for birdsong and was quick to pick up a Common Redstart and we had good views of it eventually. The woodpeckers were rather quiet though and unusually for here we did not see one. There were several good birds about though and we kept hearing Golden Oriole and had good views of Spotted Flycatcher and some very low down Nuthatches. We had a short walk in town before meeting Jarda to drive to our restaurant for lunch. It was the old brewery restaurant just outside of the main town and we had a very good meal there. We then drove on to Ceske Budejovice, a large town and the home of Budweiser beer. We stopped just off the dual carriageway in an area that does not look too promising for birds at first glance. However there is a great series of fish ponds here where we met up again with Jenda. Once away from the main road this is a delightful place with good tracks popular with cyclists and even local birdwatchers. Virtually the first bird that came into view in my 'scope was a roosting Night Heron and on the same island were at least two Spoonbill nests. The birds on them were not showing well but a third bird standing in the water gave great views. Sheelagh spotted a pair of Goldeneye- the only ones of the trip at that stage and several other duck species were on the first lake including Pochard, Red-crested Pochard and Gadwall. The next lake back had about a dozen Black-necked Grebes on and some were very close and all were in splendid breeding plumage of course. Orioles were again heard regularly but not seen. Some of us also got our first sightings of Collared Flycatcher. Several Grass Snakes gave good views, mostly when they were swimming.
Next we drove to another little lake about ten kilometres away where we managed to get views of Great Reed Warbler singing. Sedge and Reed Warbler were also singing and seen briefly. A Water Rail gave its distinctive pig like squeals but was not seen We then walked a short distance to one of Jenda's Bluethroat patches. We heard and glimpsed a male almost straight away and then with a little patient watching and judicious use of a recording managed to get great views of the male, front on and singing. It was a lovely place with plenty of bird activity. Quails were calling. There were lots of Reed Buntings, the odd Lapwing and a female Marsh Harrier perched. As we walked back to the van we saw a White-tailed Eagle and a little later a Red Kite.
It was about an hour drive from there to Trebon where we were staying for two nights. It had been another gloriously sunny day with plenty of birds, some great scenery and a couple of very attractive old towns. Our hotel in Trebon, Zlata Hvezda (The Golden Star), is right in the centre of the old walled town but paradoxically, also very close to some countryside.
Sunday 17th May - the Golden Canal and fish ponds
Most of us met for an optional pre-breakfast walk at six. A couple of hundred metres or so from the front door of the hotel takes you to the Golden Canal. There is a beautiful walk along the side of the canal. An hour and a half before breakfast was just not long enough to do justice to it and we only covered about the first three quarters of a kilometre! We had Icterine, Marsh and Garden Warbler, Blackcap and Chiffchaff. A Black Stork flew very close by and a Nightingale was singing loud and clear but was not visible. A Wren, uncharacteristically for the Czech Republic, sang from the top of a small bush. Other birds included Black and Common Redstarts and Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Pat spotted some Long-tailed Tits which were of the europaeus race. Both europaeus race and the White-headed caudatus occur in Czech Republic. All in all, we had a great pre-breakfast haul. After breakfast we met Jarda at 8:30 and we drove north of Trebon to pick up Jenda. A short distance away we parked at the start of the Velky a Maly Tisy reserve and took a leisurely walk of about three kilometres but spent all morning doing it. It is a great place for wildlife and we saw Garden Warbler and Savi's Warbler briefly and had good views of two Marsh Warblers whilst more were heard. A Common Crane flew by- my first in the Czech Republic. We heard, and some of us saw, Penduline Tits. At least six different White-tailed Eagles were seen well. Other raptors included two Hobbies, plenty of Marsh Harriers and Red and Black Kites. Collared Flycatchers were plentiful and we had some brief sightings of Middle Spotted and Grey-headed Woodpeckers. The big fish pond at the end of the trail had several species of wildfowl plus some distant Ruff and Black-tailed Godwit. We took our packed lunch to a farmhouse restaurant at Hamr. Here we sat outside with our sandwiches and crisps and ordered drinks and ice creams. It was an idyllic little spot.
In the afternoon we tried several different fishponds and took a few short walks. We added several more birds to our list including Short-toed Treecreeper and Raven. At our last stop, at Rozemberk Lake, we had great views of both Middle Spotted Woodpecker and Collared Flycatcher.
We returned to the hotel before six as we were having an early dinner and then went owling after eight. We drove a short distance out of Trebon to a heavily wooded area to try for Pygmy and Tengmalm's Owl. The first bird we saw was a woodcock and we saw a few more of them roding after that. Roger picked out a Crested Tit calling and we managed to get great views of it. The owls were fairly uncooperative but we did hear a Tengmalm's which was surprisingly, calling rather early in the evening and almost continuously. We got back to the hotel about ten after another bird-filled day.
Monday 18th May - transfer to Hotel Hranicni Zamecek (Border Chateau), Hlohovec via Telc
We had a pre-breakfast session along the Golden Canal again, just from six until seven. It was a beautiful sunny morning and there was an abundance of bird song. Nightingale, Blackcap, Marsh Warbler, Garden Warbler and Icterine Warbler were some of the star singers. A Lesser Whitethroat was singing a song that was more complex than normal but I had heard something similar in Croatia a couple of weeks earlier.
After breakfast we had a walk from the hotel at 8:00 to around 10:15. We began by walking up to Svet Lake and walked along the dam wall which overlooks a trout farm and has an avenue of superb old oaks. There were Collared Flycatchers singing and we had great views of several of them. A Short-toed Treecreeper called and was glimpsed by some but we were still waiting for really good views of this bird. There is a beautiful park at the far end of the dam and diagonally opposite is another lake where we picked up a new bird for the trip, Common Sandpiper, which was another good spot by Roger. We walked the length of the park which included a brief visit to the Schwarzenberg Tomb - a chapel like mausoleum which is very ornate. There were plenty of Golden Orioles singing but none were seen , much to our frustration! Some of us returned along the embankment and some took the ‘pretty route’ via the Golden Canal again.
By 10:45 the van was packed and we were on our way to Telc. We were there just before twelve and had a lovely lunch on a restaurant terrace looking out on to the beautiful old square. We then walked through the town and the park meeting Jarda and the vehicle at the other end at around two. Soon we were on our way to the Border Chateau at Hlohovec. It should take about two and a half hours but with major roadworks in Znojmo, Jarda decided to reroute. We were only delayed by half an hour and arrived around five. By 5:30 we were out and birding the grounds which are fantastic for birds. We were quickly adding species like Redshank, Wood Sandpiper and Linnet. It was gloriously sunny weather as we watched several Black Storks and some White Storks fly by. Orioles were calling; Serins were singing everywhere; Tree Sparrows were on the roof; Grey and Night Herons flew around; Sedge, Reed and Great Reed Warblers were singing; Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pochard and Red-crested Pochard were all on the lake in font of us and Cuckoos called and flew by. It is an old hunting lodge formerly owned by the Lichtenstein family and really is in a superb location. The old Austria-Hungarian border runs down the middle of the restaurant and in to the lake.
Joseph, our local guide, met us for dinner at seven and whilst we ate, several Marsh Harriers and Black Storks came to roost just in the reeds in front of the restaurant, whilst Night Herons flew overhead and a Turtle Dove came to drink.
Tuesday 19th May - Lednice Palace gardens and Moravian wetlands
Some of us met for a pre-breakfast walk at 6:00. There is plenty to keep you occupied in the hotel grounds. Cuckoo and Green Woodpecker were calling loudly in the garden before I got out of my room. Turtle Dove and Black Woodpecker were heard once we were outside. The light was rather in the wrong direction but a pair of Teal were on the lake to add to our wildfowl collection. Two Black Storks flew off from one of the fish ponds behind the hotel, where we also had great views of a female Green Woodpecker and in one of the lakes there was a Muskrat swimming. Returning to the main lake we saw a male Golden Oriole fly between two clumps of trees giving good views for those who got on to it. The garden was full of birds and just on the roof of the accommodation block, all at the same time, were Serin singing, several Tree Sparrow, two Song Thrushes and a male Black Redstart. Cuckoos were plentiful in the garden and so were Grey Herons, Marsh Harriers and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
After breakfast we met up with Joseph and Jarda at about 8:45 and drove the short distance to Lednice Palace. It was another beautiful, sunny morning and the palace and grounds looked magnificent. We spent two and a half hours slowly walking through the park. We got our first Kingfisher and some good views of Sand Martin, Honey Buzzard and a superb, adult White-tailed Eagle. We walked round to one of the largest minarets in Europe built as a garden folly by the Lichtenstein family where we had ice cream and drinks. The minaret overlooks a heronry that contains Night Heron and Grey Heron. Also, recently, White Stork and Great Cormorant have started to nest in the same trees. Great Reed Warbler was singing from the reeds opposite and some very close, male Red-crested Pochards looked stunning in the bright sunlight. We walked out of the back of the park to a bridge where Jarda was waiting for us with the lunch. There is a small reserve here called Pastvisko. We had great views of a Black Woodpecker and Kingfisher whilst sat on a log having our sandwiches.
After lunch we had a short drive to an excellent piece of flood plain forest just outside Milovice, Krive Jezero. Several Common and Honey Buzzards flew overhead and we had good views of a perched Hawfinch. The real star of the show however was River Warbler. There were four or five singing within a very small area and we managed to get one or two of them to come very close but they were very difficult to see well. Yet another Black Woodpecker showed well however and we heard Grey-headed and some of us heard Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Great Spotted were seen well and this is supposed to be a good site for Middle Spotted too!
Bee-eaters were next on the agenda and so we drove on to Pouzdrany where we walked just a couple of hundred Czech metres to their nesting site! We had good views of them perched, in their nest holes and flying, when we had about twenty in the air at once. We also heard and saw a Barred Warbler briefly. Walking around the vineyard slopes past some of the Bee-eater holes we could hear another Barred Warbler and this time everybody got on to it, though it only showed itself briefly. It was probably a first year male as it had the pale eye of an adult but light barring. Next we visited the Nove Mlyny reservoir complex. The open water held a great collection of terns. There were several Common Terns but also there were many Whiskered and a few Black Terns. Roger picked out a White-winged Black Tern which was a very good find and it was in full breeding plumage. Our target bird however was Penduline Tit and Joseph took us to a spot where several pairs were breeding. We got fantastic views of two males perched up directly in front of us. We also saw a Little Bittern flying before it quickly dropped into the reeds.
We were having an early dinner but decided we had just enough time to bob to a pool where we hoped we might see one of the very few pairs of breeding Black-winged Stilts in the country. Before we even looked for the stilts we had some new waders for the trip. There was a Curlew-Sandpiper in near breeding plumage and a Little Ringed Plover. There were also several Redshank, Ruff and Wood Sandpipers. A Bittern boomed loudly close by- a good record for the Czech Republic. There were five male Garganey but best of all there was a male and two female Ferruginous Ducks. This was a great record and even Josef was very excited! We also had superb views of a male Marsh Harrier perched on the fence, very close by. Oh!...and we got the Black-winged Stilts as well!
In the evening we had a lovely traditional Czech meal in the village of Hlohovec. We ate early as we went straight from there to a site for Beavers. We spread out along a dyke bank that had a lot of evidence of Beaver activity. We sat and waited for an hour but none were seen. However it was very pleasant sitting in silence for an hour as it gradually got dark, listening to the bird song and watching the bats. Green Toads could be heard giving their nightjar like call. So it was not time wasted.
Wednesday 20th May - reserve at the confluence of Morava and Dyje
We met outside the restaurant between six and six-thirty for a pre- breakfast look at the lake. A Great Reed and a Sedge Warbler were seen well by those who were early and a Savi's Warbler could be heard singing as well as a distant Bittern's boom. A pair of Avocets came and went twice but when the man with the strimmer arrived it was time for us all to take a hike. We walked down the south side of the lake where several nightingales were singing and Pat spotted a Marsh Harrier overhead in a display flight. We had an early, seven o'clock, breakfast and the Cuckoo was still audible over the strimmer!
Jarda and Joseph met us at eight to drive to the Soutok Reserve at the extreme southern tip of Moravia. This is a restricted area which requires a special permit. At the moment however nobody is allowed in part of the reserve as a pair of Imperial Eagles are nesting close to the road. On the way to the area we saw a Crested Lark on the roof of a petrol station! It was the only one of the trip. They are rather scarce in the Czech Republic which is surprising given their distribution in Europe. They seem to like rather degraded habitat and the only previous one I have seen in the Republic was by another petrol station.
A Black Stork in the river very close to the road was another good sighting. Just beyond Breclav we picked up the permits and then took a forest road into some excellent floodplain forest habitat. We had a good long walk in the flood plain area and saw several raptor species, Red and Black Kite, Honey and Common Buzzard and Kestrel and Hobby. Unfortunately the Imperial Eagles cannot have strayed far from their nest site as despite constant scanning we did not see one. Also the three Saker known nests had all relocated just over the border in to Austria. Two good species that circumstances meant we dipped out on. We did however, have our first half decent views of Golden Oriole. We also had plenty of other good sightings such as River Warbler and there was an abundance of Red-backed Shrikes and nesting White Storks. Several Black Storks were also seen. A Turtle Dove sat out in the open and gave great views. The weather was much better than forecast and it was a very pleasant long walk with lots of interest besides the birds. There were some good flowers and butterflies and interesting military instalments dating back to the Cold War.
We had our picnic lunch at a pond by another large and rather beautiful folly... More importantly it had a cafe and toilets too! Night Heron and Kingfisher were at the pond and Nightingales were singing nearby. Later in the afternoon we drove back towards our hotel stopping at a couple of sites. The first was some pine woodland with clearings where we managed to see Hoopoe which is quite a scarce bird in the Czech Republic. One of the target birds here was Woodlark and we had fantastic views of it on the ground and hovering almost at eye-level in front of us, whilst singing.
We then drove on to another woodland patch where there was an incredible monumental arch known as the Rendezvous-Vous. It is another Lichtenstein folly. We tried for Middle-spotted Woodpecker and Short-toed Treecreeper here and though we heard both neither were really cooperating. We then headed back for an early finish with the weather still holding good despite a dire forecast of thunderstorms. In the evening we visited a local wine cellar for a wine-tasting session and our evening meal. It was delightfully un-commercial and the wines were excellent. The Roe Deer goulash was also very good.
Thursday 21st May - return to Prague and Pruhonice gardens.
The grounds of the Border Chateau are a fantastic place for birding. Just as an example, whilst we were having breakfast a male Marsh Harrier was going back and forth carrying nesting material into the reedbed in front of the restaurant. Three species of woodpecker were seen before breakfast and on return to the rooms I got my best view ever of a pair of Hawfinches in the garden.
We departed at around 8:30 for Pruhonice, in the suburbs of Prague. Despite stopping for coffee and toilets on the way we were there by twelve, a little ahead of schedule. We had been so lucky on the trip for weather it would have been churlish to complain about the rather overcast conditions, threatening rain. We took a look at the gardens from the viewpoint of the castle balustrade. A Japanese party were having their wedding photographs done and insisted we joined them for a few shots! We then walked to the Hotel Magnolia where we had a very pleasant lunch. By two we were in the Pruhonice gardens proper. They are truly magnificent and very extensive. The first part is fairly formal with flower beds but as you explore deeper into the gardens the landscape becomes more natural and the other tourists quickly dissipate. We had our first proper rain shower of the tour but it did not last long and also got rid of the crowds. Soon we pretty much had the 250 hectares to ourselves!
If it had been the first day of the trip we might have been impressed with the birds we saw but many of them we had been seen well elsewhere. Black, Middle Spotted and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were all seen and a Golden Oriole was calling. A gardener told us he had seen Tawny and Eagle Owl but his directions were so vague as to be useless and Eagle Owl seemed hardly credible there. We returned to the bus by four and were at our very central hotel (Hotel Central!) before five. At around 7:30 we walked down to the river to catch our boat, Taurus, for an evening cruise and meal. I was a little concerned as to what the clientele would be like, as a rather noisy and boisterous group of adolescent schoolchildren got off our boat. We need not have worried. It was a much more civilised bunch of tourists and we had a pleasant buffet meal as the buildings and bridges of Prague were pointed out to us. We were back in our hotel soon after ten and said our goodbyes to Schub and Myra who were leaving in the middle of the night to go to the airport, to catch a series of planes back to Springfield, USA.
Friday 22nd May - depart for the airport
We had a seven o'clock breakfast before our minibus turned up at 7:50 to take us to the airport, for three different flights. The Manchester contingent were the first ones away despite a slight delay. I trust everybody else got home safely.
We had been very lucky with the weather which seemed to be better than the daily forecast and on a daily basis! We had missed one or two key birds for reasons beyond our control but there were actually very few gaps in the checklist and we had many good ‘write-ins’, such as Crane, Ferruginous Duck, Little Bittern and White-winged Tern. I think everybody had been impressed with the beauty of the Czech countryside, the old towns, the quality of the accommodation and the abundance of birds like Red-backed Shrikes, Golden Orioles, woodpeckers, Hawfinches etc.
Andy Woodall – tour leader
Jenda Havlicek – local guide in Sumava and Trebon
Josef Chytil – local guide in southern Moravia
Jaroslav (Jarda) Smrcka – driver
The List of SPECIES
The details about the more interesting findings are documented in the daily diary, leaving the species list for documentation of dates and numbers. Other records not covered in the diary are dealt with more fully here.
List of BIRDS
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Small numbers were seen daily from 16th to 21st.
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
These were very common and seen in double figures daily from 16th to 21st. Several were seen at nests or doing courtship displays.
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
More than ten gave great views at Ceske Budejovice on 16th. A couple more were seen at Hlohovec Lake on 18th.
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Double figure were seen daily from 17th onwards. They are on the increase in the Czech Republic and are causing some problems where they are joining colonies of herons. The Cormorant guano is quite toxic to trees and traditional heronries are being threatened by the dying of the host trees.
Bittern Botaurus stellaris
One boomed very close to us at the stilt pond on 19th.
Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus
One was glimpsed by some on the morning of 19th from the bridge where we stopped on the way to Lednice. Another was seen by all in the afternoon at the Penduline Tit site.
Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Single figures were seen daily from 16th to 21st. A few were nesting with Grey Herons, White Storks and Cormorants at Lednice Palace gardens.
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
One at the stilt pond was another good bird for this itinerary.
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Small numbers were seen almost daily. As would be expected, very few were in Sumava but we had more than thirty on 19th in Moravia.
Great White Egret Casmerodius albus
Singles were seen on 19th, 20th and 21st at Hlohovec. The last record was of one in full breeding plumage.
Black Stork Ciconia nigra
Singletons were seen on 16th and 17th. We had six on 18th and several more over the next two days. It was a regular at the Border Chateau. This scarce bird actually seems to be on the increase in southern Moravia.
White Stork Ciconia ciconia
Single figures were seen most days and a couple of dozen and several nests were seen in Soutok on 20th.
Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
Three on 16th was a good record and a large percentage of the Czech population!
Mute Swan Cygnus olor
These were seen daily apart from 15th in Sumava. There were double figure records on most days.
Greylag Goose Anser anser
A few were seen daily from 16th to 20th.
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
Small numbers were seen daily from 17th to 21st. A pair had eight tiny ducklings on 21st at Hlohovec.
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
One was seen on 20th by Roger at the Border Chateau lake.
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
These were ubiquitous and seen daily, often in large numbers.
Gadwall Anas strepera
Good numbers were seen daily from 16th to 21st.
Teal Anas crecca
A pair was seen on the lake at the Border Chateau on 19th and 20th.
Garganey Anas querquedula
A male was seen on 17th and five on the afternoon of 19th at the 'stilt site'.
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
These are fairly scarce and just one. Male was seen on 18th and again on 19th at Hlohovec.
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina
Good numbers of this attractive duck were seen daily from 16th to 21st.
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca
This was a great find at the stilt pond. There were two females and a male.
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
These were commonly seen from 16th to 21st.
Common Pochard Aythya ferina
Many were seen from 16th to 21st.
Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
A pair was seen on 16th and then about twenty were noted the next day. Just one female on 18th was the last record. This species has declined a little since many of the nest boxes were taken down. The reason being that they were being targeted by martens.
Goosander Mergus merganser
A Goosander seen by Sheila on 17th was another surprise find.
Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus
One was seen briefly on the morning of 16th. We had good views of several on 19th and 20th.
Black Kite Milvus migrans
Single figures were seen over four dates.
Red Kite Milvus milvus
Single figures were noted daily, mostly just one or two birds, from 16th to 20th.
White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla
One was seen on 16th followed by great views of at least six on the ground the next day. Two full adults gave great flight views on 19th.