Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Destinations: Slovensky kras - Slovakia

Slovensky kras (the Slovak Karst) is a hilly, limestone area with dry scrub grassland, meadows, stream valleys, limestone gorges and both deciduous and coniferous forest. It lies in the south-east of Slovakia along the border with Hungary. Breeding raptors include Honey Buzzard, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Goshawk and Saker, and there are both White and Black Storks. Eagle and Ural Owls are also here, but not that easy to find without local help. All ten European woodpeckers occur, though Three-toed is rare and indeed there are better places in Slovakia to search for this species. More common birds include, in spring and summer, Woodlark, Collared Flycatcher, Wood Warbler, Barred Warbler, Red-backed Shrike and Rock Bunting. The area is riddled with trails: a particularly pleasant, and easy, one runs through the limestone gorge of Zadielska Dolina. Overall spring is the best time to visit. Much of the area is a National Park and lies east of the city of Roznava just off the main road E571.

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