Tour At A Glance

Cost:

999.00

Deposit:

250.00

Single Room Supplement:

75.00

Tour Code:

Not strenuous but some steeper paths in the mountains

Group Size:

Seven plus Leaders

Alpine Accentor Alpine Chough Bluethroat Spotted Nutcracker

Austria - Early Summer in the High Alps

Date: Tour not currently operating
Leaders: Martin Hrouzek and Oriole Birding Leader

Itinerary

 

DAY ONE
Fly UK/Vienna and transfer to the northeastern Alps. The journey will take about two and half an hours with birding stops en route if flight time permits.
All overnights at Moassa Almgasthof.
 
DAYS TWO & THREE
RAXALPE and SCHNEEBERG 
Raxalpe is a mountain range reaching 2000 meters and is found a few miles south of Schneeberg. We will be privileged to stay two  nights in a mountain pension at an elevation of 1550 meters near the terminal station of a skilift.The Hotel is set at the edge of the Rax plateau. Spruce stands are found to the south and as we will move to an elevation of 1700 metres they will slowly vanish and will be replaced by carpets of Dwarf Pine. Should the weather be in our favour, the vistas are magnificent and we will reach plateau edges in three directions during the full day there. These places where rocks go steeply down to the valley should be the best to look for Alpine Accentor, Alpine Chough and perhaps White-winged Snowfinch and Wallcreeper too. Water Pipits should be returning to breeding grounds, and the first forest passerines should also be present. Chamois is rather regular on the plateau and Common Raven, Peregrine and Golden Eagle patrol at times along the cliffs. We will head for Schneeberg rack-and-pinion railway going to 1800 metrestheother day here. Schneeberg, reaching 2000 meters in height, marks the northeasternmost limits of the high Alps. The journey will take us through the beautiful and charming scenery of the Austrian landscape with deep woods and rocks winding its way through a landscape of alpine meadows and conifers. We will be searching for the birds above the tree line. We can expect to see Alpine Chough, Common Redpoll, Water Pipit and Alpine Accentor, with luck also a few Chamoix or a Golden Eagle. The regions scarcer birds are sometimes found. They commonly inhabit larger mountains to the south but every now and then there is a surprise for us to find like White-winged Snowfinch or Rock Ptarmigan. 
 
DAY FOUR
RAXE FOOTHILLS
The location of our hotel at 1200 meters is convenient for forest birdwatching and being so high we can expect a nice array of birds. Since we have access to a few nestboxes in the area, we may be lucky to find a late-breeding Tengmalm´s Owl popping out of the hole. Another great bird of the old spruce stands is Three-toed Woodpecker. It is widespread in the Alps and we shall have a good chance of finding one as it is the the latest breeding woodpecker. Common species here include  Dipper and  Grey Wagtail along the streams or marsh, and Willow and Coal Tit in the forest. We should spend much time under the shelter of dark canopies and will also try to find a hard-to-see denizen of the forest, the Hazel Grouse . It is never easy to spot one and we need to be lucky. Other birds occuring withing walking distace of the hotel are Eurasian Woodcock, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Ring Ouzel, Nutcracker, Crested Tit, Firecrest and diminutive Eurasian Pygmy Owl that is often not easy to find in the Alps.
 
DAY FIVE
HOHE WAND & DEPARTURE
There will be a chance to do some early morning birding near the hotel before breakfast. Before we head towards Vienna, stopping at Hohe Wand for our last birding in Austria. We will take a stroll along the forested limestone outcrop known as Hohe Wand. Meaning High Wall, the Hohe Wand is a rocky plateau which rises from the adjacent plains and is covered with spruce and pine trees. Amongst the birds possible to see along the outcrop and in the forests are Black Stork, Peregrine Falcon, Black Woodpecker, Spotted Nutcracker, Firecrest, Crested and Willow Tits, Bullfinch, Wood Lark, Ring Ouzel, Common Crossbill and Crag Martin and we will try to locate a Western Bonelli's Warbler singing from the trees before we continue onwards to Vienna for the flight home. The tour will conclude upon arrival back in the UK
 

 

Additional Information

 

GROUP SIZE
Seven plus Leaders

TOUR CODE
Intermediate with some early starts

 

WHATS INCLUDED
Return flights UK/Vienna, four nights en suite accommodation, all meals  from dinner on day one to breakfast on day five, ground transport in Austria including rack and pinion railways and ski lifts, water on the minibus, services of leaders, local taxes and reserve entrance fees.
 
NOT INCLUDED
Transport to/from UK airport and any overnight stay that might be involved, travel insurance, drinks other than those stated and any items of a purely personal nature.
 

 

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