Saturday, 19 January 2008

Destinations: Sumava - Czech Republic

Sumava is an upland area, much of it a National Park, in the south-west of the Czech Republic. It borders Germany (Bavaria) and Austria. There are extensive peat-bogs, meadows and vast mixed forests, mostly conifer (pine) and some mixed old-growth stands. There are two fine forests with large spruces, firs and beeches on mounts Bobin and Bobik. The peaty River Vltava which passes through Prague rises here. Birds include Black Stork, Black Grouse leks, Hazel Grouse, Corncrake, 7 species of woodpecker, Nutcracker, Pygmy, Tengmalm's, and Ural Owls (though the latter is rare), Ring Ouzel, Crested Tit, Firecrest and Common Rosefinch, the latter increasing. The best time to visit for the grouse, owls and most woodpeckers is spring, but be aware that there can be snow here into April and the forest birds do not give themselves up lightly. Sumava lies about 130 km south-west of Prague by road. Alternatively approach from Bavaria.

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