Tour At A Glance

Cost:

1375.00

Deposit:

350.00

Single Room Supplement:

125.00

Tour Code:

Relaxed pace, but quite long hours in the field

Group Size:

Eight plus Leaders

Black-headed Wagtail Rock Partridge Black-eared Wheatear Collared Flycatcher

Croatia - Birding the Dalmatian Coast

Date: Tour not currently operating
Leaders: Gerard Gorman & Neil Donaghy

Itinerary

 

DAY ONE 
Fly UK/Zagreb and drive for around one hour to our first base southwest of Zagreb. We should see White Storks as we go and we will make roadside stops for other birds. After checking in, if flight arrival times permit, we will look for Eurasian Wryneck, Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Common Nightingale and other birds locally.
Overnight Jastrebarsko.
 
DAYS TWO & THREE
We have two days to explore the fish-pond systems and woodlands of the area. There are carp-ponds of all sizes, reed beds, meadows, parkland and mature oak and beech woods. We will explore the area on several easy walks and in the middle of the day have a picnic in a pleasant, birdy spot. Likely birds include Pygmy Cormorant, Northern Goshawk, White-tailed Eagle, Marsh and Montagu's Harriers, Eurasian Hobby, Black Stork, Black-crowned Night Heron, Little and Great White Egrets, Ferruginous Duck, Garganey, Gadwall, Eurasian Wryneck, Green, Grey-headed, Middle Spotted, Lesser Spotted and Black Woodpeckers, Golden Oriole, Marsh and Willow Tits, Collared Flycatcher, Great Reed and Savi's Warblers, Short-toed Treecreeper and Hawfinch. There should also be some marsh tern and wader passage with Black-winged Stilt, Wood Sandpiper, Ruff and Spotted Redshank likely.
Overnights Jastrebarsko.
 
DAY FOUR
Today we head south through varied landscapes, including the Velebit Mountains, to the Dalmatian coast and the Paklenica National Park. We will stop as the birds demand. Paklenica is an impressive landscape of karstic limestone slopes, cliffs, dry macchia scrub, meadows and broadleaved forests.  There are some impressive gorges and a rich flora and fauna and the views of the Adriatic Coast are often stunning. After arrival and checking -in we can take a walk on the wooded sea-front to look  for Eurasian Scops Owl, Blue Rock Thrush, Eurasian Serin, Spanish Sparrow and Corn and Cirl Buntings, all of which can be seen around our hotel.
Overnight Starigrad Paklenica.
 
DAYS FIVE – SEVEN
Paklenica is dominated by two gorges, Mala Paklenica and Velika Paklenica, but no climbing gear will be needed, Gerard knows the area very well and we will work the area on the easier trails! Birds we should see here include Black-eared Wheatear, Rock Nuthatch, Black Redstart, Blue and Rufous-tailed Rock Thrushes, Sombre Tit, Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Alpine Swift, Alpine Chough and Cirl Bunting. Scrubby hillsides are home to Subalpine and Eastern Orphean Warblers. Rock Partridges are fairly common, though not always easy to pin-down, and the Rock Doves are genuinely wild. Short-toed and Golden Eagles are possible, too. This arid landscape is ideal for reptiles and we may come across the endemic Dalmatian Algyroides, Hermann's Tortoise, Balkan Green Lizard and Italian and Dalmatian Wall-Lizards. The sea by Paklenica often hosts passage birds such as Slavonian and Black-necked Grebes, Black-throated Diver and Red-breasted Merganser. The most common larid is Yellow-legged Gull. From our base at Paklenica we will also make excursions to other habitats. Cetti's Warblers and Zitting Cisticola are in damper areas. An hour away, Lake Vrana and Pag Island offer sharp contrasts to Paklenica. Vrana is the largest natural lake in Croatia and an international important wetland for migrating and breeding birds. The lake lies by the Adriatic and is a migration stop-over in both April. There will be gulls, terns, herons, wildfowl, waders, warblers and Penduline and Bearded Tit. Pag Island, reached via a road bridge, lies in the Dalmatian archipelago and is the fifth largest island on the Croatian coast, and the one with the longest coastline. Most of the interior is stony terrain though there are also macchia scrub, vineyards, olive-groves and bush-dotted, grassy-sage grazing land, crossed by dry-stone walls. Typical birds are Stone Curlew, Kentish Plover, Greater Short-toed and Crested Larks, Tawny Pipit, Common Hoopoe and Woodchat Shrike. Rock Partridges are here, too. At the heart of the island a freshwater wetland hosts Squacco and Purple Herons, and Black-headed Wagtail. Salt-pans host passage ducks and waders with Curlew Sandpiper and Kentish Plover possible.
Overnights Starigrad Paklenica.
 
DAY EIGHT
If time permits, we will do some birding for any species we may have missed or maybe time to relax depending on how we have fared, before we head for Zagreb Airport and the onward flight home.
 

 

Additional Information

 

WHATS INCLUDED
Return flights UK/Zagreb, seven nights en suite accommodation, meals from dinner on day one to lunch on final day, transport in Croatia, local taxes, service of leaders and reserve entrance fees.
 
NOT INCLUDED
Transport to/from UK airport and any overnight stay that might be involved, travel insurance, drinks and any personal items.

 

 

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