Friday, 7 November 2008

Destinations: Tatrzanski National Park - Poland

The Tatrzanski National Park lies in southern Poland on the border with Slovakia and is the highest mountain range in the country. The highest peak is Rysy at 2499 m. Forests reach up to around 1800 m and above that is dwarf pine and pastures and rugged boulder and scree country. The gateway to the high-tops is the city of Zakopane (a major winter sport centre) which is about 110 km southwards from Krakow by road. Key birds at the higher elevations are Alpine Accentor, Water Pipit, Lesser Redpoll and Wallcreeper. Alpine Marmots and Chamois are also here. Elsewhere there is Golden Eagle, Willow and Crested Tits, Nutcracker and indeed most of the typical Alpine-forest songbirds one would expect. In suitable old forests there are also Ural, Pygmy and Tengmalm's Owls, Hazel Grouse and White-backed and Three-toed Woodpeckers. A convenient cable-car runs up into the high peaks from Kuznice near Zakopane.

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