Butterfly
Dragonfly Macrophotography
Hungarian dragonfly-safari
In Quest of the „Flying Flowers" (Hungarian butterfly trip)"
Slovenia-Croatia butterfly special with 4 Large Blues pre-extension
Butterflies of Montenegro
Butterflies of Serbia with False Comma
Sri Lanka: Butterflies, Leopards, Blue Whales
Nepal: Butterflying at the Foothills of the Himalaya
Ethiopian Butterfly & Wildlife adventure with Tribal extension
Ghana butterfly adventure
Butterflies, Chimps, Gorillas (Uganda)
Eastern-European
B
irdwatching
Day-birdwatching trips (Hungary)
Bears, Great Bustards… vampires!
( Hungary+Romania)!
The late summer birding trip (Hungary)
Crane weekend of Hungary
Wallcreepers, Ptarmigans, Rock Partridges (Slovenia-Croatia birding circle)
Birding in Serbia
Egypt/Horn/Africa
Birdwatching
"Birds & Pharaos", birding in Egypt
Southern Red Sea birding & diving adventure
Ethiopian birding adventure
Mammals
Hungarian Bat Safari
Big game photosafaris
Hiking, Trekking, Multicultural - Outdoor
Ecoholidays in Hungary
Multicultural Highlights of Dracula country
Castles, Vampires and Counts of the Carpathians
The hidden face of Transylvania and Bucovina
Mediterranean Odyssey (Slovenia, Croatia)
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Calendar of tours
Travellers' baglist

Nutcracker, common bird of the pine forests
There aremany birch forest in the area. Good birds, fantastic atmosphere!
Tree-toed Woodpecker, speciality of the old pine forests
The Alpine Accentorn breeds at the high rocky slopes and meadows.
iThe "salinas" at the seacoast are excellent for waders and seabirds
Sombre Tit, another mega
Dipper with Salamander

 

Adriatic birding circle. Wallcreepers, Rock Partridges, Griffon Vultures...

Summary and recommendation: A 7+3 day birdwatching trip to the best birding spots in Slovenia and Croatia, with special attention on butterflies, dragonflies and other wildlife from the original ecotourism' pioneer of Slovenia and Croatia. Wallcreepers, Rock Partridge and vultures are all guaranteed!

"...On the last day of Creation, God desired to crown His work, and thus created the Kornati islands out of tears, stars and breath..." (George Bernard Shaw, after viewing the dazzling archipelago that lies off the Croatian coast)



 
 
 

Destination countries: Slovenia, Croatia. Arrive and depart Ljubljana.

Next schedule:
- 14-23, June 2022 (FULL)


Duration: 7 + 3 days.

Price: 1190 GBP + 120 GBP single supplement. (1590 GBP + 120 GBP single supplement with extensions). Price includes: accommodations and meals (lunch is typically picnic!), drinking water, vehicle hire with fuel and driver guide, park entrance fees and ranger guides. The price exclude: bank transfer loss, international flight, visa, tips, drinks, personal travel insurance and any other activities of personal request e.g. laundry, toalet fees, phone calls, etc.

Accommodation: Three-star hotels with all rooms en suite.

Numbers: Min. 3, max. 6 person.

Transport: Ford Transit minivan.

Description: "...Slovenia is a nation with wonderful scenery and rich wildlife, and still relatively unknown and undiscovered. We start our journey amongst the soaring crags of the Julian Alps, where we explore its lakes, forests and high mountain pastures. We then move on to the karst limestone region, with some amazing geological features including a seasonal lake - that turns into an arable farm in the summer! - and vast caves, into which we descend. In one, we hope to encounter the Olm - a mysterious pink aquatic salamander, restricted virtually entirely to this region. We continue to the Adriatic coast, and cross into Croatia, for an excellent range of Mediterranean birds and wildlife, including a visit to one of the islands..."

Top birds: Cory's Shearwater, Mediterranean Shearwater, Storm-petrel, Shag, Pygmy Cormorant, Bittern, Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Ferruginous Duck, Goosander, Griffon Vulture, Golden Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Eleonora's Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Lanner Falcon, Ptarmigan, Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Hazel Hen, Rock Partridge, Quail, Purple Swamphen, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Stone Curlew, Kentish Plover, Slender-billed Gull, Audouin's Gull, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Eagle Owl, Ural Owl, Tengmalm's Owl, Pygmy Owl, Little Owl, Scops Owl, Nightjar, Alpine Swift, Pallid Swift, Hoopoe, Kingfisher, Bee-eater, Roller, 10 woodpecker species, Short-toed Lark, Calandra Lark, Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Dipper, Alpine Accentor, Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Thrush, Fieldfare, Ring Ouzel, Orphean Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Moustached Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Cetti's Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Olive-tree Warbler, Olivaceous Warbler, Bonelli's Warbler, Firecrest, Goldcrest, Sombre Tit, Rock Nuthatch, Wallcreeper, Woodchat Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Great Grey Shrike, Nutcracker, Alpine Chough, Golden Oriole, Spanish Sparrow, Snowfinch, Brambling, Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, Serin, Bullfinch, Hawfinch, Crossbill, Ortolan Bunting, Cirl Bunting, Black-headed Bunting and Rock Bunting.

Other good stuff: Poplar Admiral, Alpine Blue, several Ringlets (Erebia spp.), Horvath's Rock Lizard. Up to 90 species of butterflies and some very rare alpine dragonflies. The are having a very rich amphibian and reptile fauna.

Habitats: Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Julian Alps, Vipava Valley, Mt. Nanos, Secovlje Saltpans, Cres Island, Mt. Velebit, Paklenica National Park, Lake Vrna.

Recommended link:
- I wrote more useful birding information about Croatia for independent travellers, in co-operation with Fatbirder.


Trip outline

Day 1: We fly from London to Lubljana, arriving late afternoon, and drive for about two hours to our hotel, in a stunning location next to Lake Bohinj, among the craggy peaks of the Julian Alps.

Day 2: We spend the whole day around Mt. Mangart searching for Ptarmigan, Wallcreeper, Snowfinch, Alpine Accentor, Rock Thrush, Golden Eagle, Grey-headed and Three-toed Woodpeckers, Nutcracker and Red-breasted Flycatcher. We also look for Marmots, Chamois and Alpine Ibexes. Overnight in Bovec.

Day 3 : This morning we drive to the glacial Lake Bohinj. Just next to the hotel, Dippers dive in the translucent source of the Bohinjska Sava River, and Grey Wagtails flit among the off-shore rocks. Walking on the shore of the lake we might encounter singing Bonelli's Warblers and if we are lucky we might see Golden Eagle, Chamois and Alpine Ibex on the rocky cliffs above. Later we visit the nearby spectacular Slavica waterfall where we will look for Grey-headed Woodpecker and Red-breasted Flycatcher in the surrounding beech forest. A cable car takes us up Mt. Vogel where we will enjoy spectacular views over the snowcapped Julian Alps, among them Triglav, the highest peak in Slovenia (2,864 meters) and Lake Bohinj below. We get acquainted with the legend of the Triglav and Zlatorog (a Chamois), and hope to see Raven, Ring Ouzel, Crossbill and with a bit of luck Alpine Chough. Overnight Lake Bohinj.

Day 4: We spend the morning in the Julian Alps walking in the spectacular spruce forests of the Pokljuka region looking for Firecrest, Crested Tit and Common Crosbill. Three-toed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker and Nutcracker both occur in the area, and we may be lucky with them as well. We will discover beautiful alpine pastures and meadows home to colourful flowers and many interesting butterflies including Clouded Apollo, Purple-edged and Purple-shot Coppers, Assman's and Nickerl's Fritillaries. Later in the day we drive to our next accommodation in a beautiful setting deep in the Dinara mountain range. Rakov National Park is a famous nature reserve, showing many typical karst features. Most of the park is a limestone plateau with trees and with seasonally vanishing waters. In this plateau, several deep river valleys can be found ('Poljes' in Slovenian, a word adopted by geologists worldwide for this kind of karst feature). Overnight Rakov Skocjan

Day 5: During the morning we visit Lake Cerknica, a seasonal lake in Inner Carniola, a region of Slovenia and a world-ranking attraction. When full, for about half the year, it is the biggest lake in the country. It starts to disappear in spring and leaves behind a field where farmers cut hay through the summer. There are huge expanses of reed, sedge and wet grasslands, and some remnants of raised peatbogs on the east shore. The birdlife is very dependent on the water level, but we hope to see White Stork, Curlew, Black Tern, Red-backed Shrike, Marsh and Barred Warblers. Hopefully we will have a chance for Red-necked Grebe, Corncrake, Savi's and River Warblers and Common Rosefinch as well. After lunch we explore the magnificent Mt. Nanos, a huge island-rock, which stands like a secret garden above the surrounding plain, full of amazing flowers. The mountain has a very interesting flora and fauna, and holds many rare butterflies, including Poplar Admiral, Assmann's Fritillary (endemic ssp. mitchiellii), Marsh Fritillary, Alpine Mountain Argus, Scarce Large Blue, Alcon Blue, Amanda's Blue, Great Sooty Satyr, Large Grizzled and Large Chequered Skipper. Lots of interesting reptiles live here including the enigmatic Nose-horned Viper, and Nanos is home to Golden Eagle and Chamois. On the high plateau of the hill we will look for Chamois, Golden Eagle, Rock Thrush and Rock Bunting. Overnight Rakov Skocjan

Day 6 : This morning we visit Skocjan Cave and the surrounding habitat. The visit to the cave is optional. Those who choose to visit the cave on a guided tour will walk 90 meters high above a giant underground river, and finish the trip on the bottom of a huge, hundred metre deep gorge, from where a cablecar returns to the starting point. Those who decide to explore the karst forest around the cave take an hour's birding walk around the enormous sinkhole above the cave. Peregrine breeds in the walls, and Alpine Swifts are abundant. Rock Bunting is widespread here and we might see Short-toed Treecreeper and Crested Tit, too. Leaving the Skocjan Cave we start to descend to a different area, the Mediterranean Adriatic region, with very different flora and fauna. Our lunch spot will be among the bushy scrub of the Slovenian karst. Here we hope to see our first Mediterranean birds, including Short-toed Eagle and Blue Rock Thrush. After lunch we visit the old saltpans ('salinas') of Secovlje, which were established during Roman times to extract salt from sea-water, and which is now one of the most important birdwatching areas of the country. Amongst the throng we hope to see Shag, Kentish Plover, Black-winged Stilt, Little Tern, Zitting Cisticola and Cetti's Warbler. After our birding in the saltpans we cross the border into Croatia and head to our hotel for the night in the lovely seaside town of Lovran. Our hotel is situated just next to the shore, and is a wonderful spot for strolling and listening to the waves of the Adriatic. The city, together with the more bustling and noisy Opatija were the favourite holiday resort of the Habsburg monarchy, including the Emperor Franz Joseph. Overnight Lovran

Day 7 : In the morning, we catch a ferry to the second largest of the Adriatic islands, Cres. We travel to one of the oldest settlements, the picturesque seaside town of Beli, where we visit the centre for monitoring and protecting Griffon Vultures. The most important long-term activity of this Eco-Centre is the programme for rescuing young Griffons from the sea, and caring for sick or wounded birds. We take a walk on the eco-trails of the centre, in the old, broadleaved woodland, known for its ancient oak and horse-chestnut trees. The hillsides are full of warblers, while Honey Buzzards and Short-toed Eagles soar alongside the Griffon Vultures, and lizards, dragonflies and butterflies abound. We return back on a late afternoon ferry to the mainland. Overnight Lovran, or depart to Ljubljana.


Extension:

Day 8 : After breakfast we take a longer drive to the Paklenica National Park. En route we stop at the Gacka River near Otocac, where the wonderful classic landscape holds good numbers of Hoopoe, Bee-eater, Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike and other farmland-birds. Then we continue our journey to our next destination to arrive late afternoon to the Paklenica National Park. Overnight Starigrad

Day 9 : In 1978 the area of Paklenica NP was put under the protection of the United Nations programme 'Man and the biosphere' becoming a part of the international network of biosphere reserves, while its most attractive part, the Small and Big Paklenica Canyons with the surrounding forests, had been proclaimed a national park in 1949. Today 'Paklenica' is one of the most attractive natural tourist regions of the north-eastern Mediterranean, with its two monumental canyons, the second largest European preserve of Austrian fir, ancient beech forests and steep cliffs. The visitor to Paklenica is astonished by the surprising quality of the plant and animal world. A large number of endemics has been recorded here, (flora, cave fauna, reptiles), as well as rare and endangered species of birds and certain species of butterflies. In the morning we explore the inner plateaus of the Velebit, where we will see the shy Rock Partridge, Sombre Tit, Rock Nuthatch and Black-eared Wheatear amongst others. Orphean, Sardinian and Subalpine Warblers are common and we also have a chance for Eastern Olivaceous Warbler. The hillside meadows are full of butterflies, including Scarce and Common Swallowtails, Two-tailed Pasha, Southern White Admiral, Southern Comma, Balkan Marbled White, Tree Grayling, Cardinal, Cleopatra Brimstone, Eastern Dappled White, and many other Blues, Hairsteaks, Coppers and Whites. The park is a home of many endemic and relict flowers, including its symbol, the Degenia. Many reptiles live here as well including Hermann's Tortoise, the beautiful Leopard Snake and the enormous Balkan Green Lizard. In the afternoon we drive to the fresh-water lake of Vrana, being the biggest lake of Croatia, fringed with reedbeds and separated with only a 2km wide landstrip from the seacoast. It is also an important ornithological refuge, with several protected bird species. Here we will look for Montagu's Harrier, Bee-eater, Tawny Pipit, Golden Oriole, Woodchat Shrike, Spanish Sparrow and Black-headed Bunting. The lake is a breeding place for Pygmy Cormorant, Purple Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Whiskered Tern, Penduline and Bearded Tits. Overnight Starigrad

Day 10 : It is a five hour drive back to Ljubljana with en route birding for our late afternoon flight back to the UK.

Please note that we can arrange optional extensions to the trip in Ljubljana, for a chance to spend a bit more time in this delightful city. Please let us know at time of booking!

 
   



Upcoming trips & Expeditions

Slovenia butterflying (21 - 28 July, 2022)

Bears and Butterflies o Transylvania. With Danube Clouded Yellow and High Carpathian extension; 30 July - 06, Aug. , 2022)

Crane weekends of Hungary (October, 2022)

2023' dates are coming in late August

Full tour calendar


Rock Partridge, one of the best bird of the area... Guaranteed!
...its habitat....
...and the birders.
Dubrovnik, the fabled city
Tenglam's Owl
Audouin's Gull
Habitat of Bonelli's Warbler and Horned Vipers
.Chamois is a common game of the high alpine slopes
Cirl bunting, one of the commonest songbird in the country
The gorgeous "Mladica", king of all Trouts.
Edible Dormice. In every year people celebrate one official hunting day of this small mammal with a big feast.
Julian Alps, Queen of the all Alpine range
Ortolan Bunting
Slovenia is truly a reptile paradise. This is Lacerta horvathi, one of the rarest lizzard of the Adriatic area.
Alpine Ibex
Griffon Vulture. About 100 pairs still exist in Croatia.
Little Egret at the seacoast
Kolesarska wetland area
Rocks in the Krka River NP.
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