Finding Birds in E Austria update

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August 1998. Black Woodpeckers are rare at site 1 but have wintered in the area below the zoo. The 'good wooded area' is best for Great Spotted and Middle Spotted Woodpecker; the 'best wooded area' is the best bet for Green and Grey-headed Woodpecker. Site 2 isn't as good as it looks but site 3 is a really good area for 'all the expected woodpeckers', abundant Collared Flycatchers and the highest density of Red-breasted Flycatchers in the country. (Graham Tebb)

10th May 2014 Walked around woodland at Schloss Schonbrunn. Unfortunately it was a Sunday so there were a lot of people about. Saw numerous Nuthatch and Great-Spotted Woodpecker. In the 'best wooded area' we saw Middle-Spotted Woodpecker which flew onto the path. No sign of any Flycatchers. We wondered if we were perhaps too early? Another time, we would go during the week when it might be quieter. (Pat Harrison)


August 1998.  This is also the best place in Austria for Red Kite. Also, just off the map from site 2 is a big memorial. Scan from here for the best chance of Saker Falcon ( Graham Tebb)

14th May 2014 We were a little disappointed that we didn't see as many birds as we had expected. The weather could have been a factor, as it was rather wet and windy. We did see a Middle-spotted Woodpecker and lots of Great-Spotted Woodpeckers, including a nest with the adults busy feeding chicks. We also found a Black Woodpecker's nest with one chick yet to fledge. With patience, were lucky enough to see it fledge. We saw Black Stork, Purple Heron. Also Green Woodpecker. No sign of any flycatchers or warblers which is what we were hoping for. Too early?  The White Stork colony was worth a visit. (Pat Harrison)


August 1998. I'm not the only one who hasn't seen the Citril Finches that are supposed to be here. Graham Tebb says the nearest Citril Finches are in Vorarlberg at the other end of the country. 

Hohe Wand

As of 1998 Wallcreeper hadn't been seen at the Hohe Wand for at least 10 years and Rock Bunting had become rare here (Graham Tebb)

29 Dec 2012 Wallcreeper on rock face above lower car park (below the sky walk structure)  Also one in Bad Voslau quarry. (Andy Bunten)


August 1998. This area can now be accessed via the new Vienna-Budapest autobahn. One exit is signposted to the Seewinkel. The Bee-eaters haven't been put off by the hide at site 5 which provides fantastic views of the birds from mid-May to at least mid-August. Although Ruffs are often to be seen at site 6 they don't actually breed. Site 6 is the best site in Austria for Montagu's Harrier - it shouldn't be difficult to see one of the 5 breeding pairs - and it's also good for Red-backed Shrike, Penduline Tit and Purple Heron. The driveable track is now closed to vehicles but can still be walked or approached by car from the southern end. Site 7 is also the most likely site in Austria for passage Red-footed Falcons which are regularly present in summer. (Graham Tebb)

September 1998 Re the sites on page 15: The flooded meadows at site 1 are often good for migrating stints including Temminck's. Site 2 is a good spot for Hoopoe and Golden Oriole too. At site 4 there is now another hide at the south end of Zicklacke and another good viewpoint can be reached by driving to the end of Angergasse (a road from the centre of Illmitz - look for the first sign to the Seebad and take the road before that).At site 5, Graham recommends the small copse by the Biological Station as being better than Illmitz wood. It has regular Hoopoes and Wryneck, roosting Long-eared Owl and nesting Penduline Tit. Red-breasted Flycatcher sometimes occurs on passage. Lesser Grey Shrikes haven't been seen at site 6, or the other one near Oberstinkersee, for several years but a pair were reported at site 8. Expansion of the yacht club and cutting of the reeds has made site 7 less productive now. Currently the best reedbeds are at Page 10 site 3, and Page 12 sites 7 and 8 (Graham Tebb).

August 1999. Although the track at site 7, page 12 is officially closed to the public, birdwatchers seem to be tolerated. I had a River Warbler there (Paul Suter).

12th May 2014 We had an evening  drive along the causeway (site 7). Stopped at site 4 where we saw Greylag, Ruff, Little-ringed Plover, Redshank, Avocet, Red-crested Pochard, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Black-Winged Stilt, Teal, Lapwing, Little Egret, Great White Egret, White Stork, Sedge and Great-Reed Warbler.  There is a new hide at the south end of Zicklacke.  (Pat Harrison)

16th May 2014 Drove to Sarrod, across the Hungarian border south of Pamhagen, to the canal in the Fertoujlak National Park. Weather atrocious. We tried a walk along the footpath to the observation platform (about 1km) but had to turn round after about 500m. This seems a good site (in better weather). Did a bit of birdwatching from the car at the pools further along the road. Picked up Garganey, Grey Plover and Purple Heron. (Pat Harrison)


September 1998 Site 1 is 'probably the best site for rarities in the whole of Austria, e.g. Slender-billed Gull, Black-winged Pratincole and Terek Sandpiper in 1998. All three marsh terns are usually present in the spring and Mediterranean Gulls probably breed in the Black-headed Gull colony (viewable from a new tower). In May 1998 a Little Crake could be seen and heard from this tower. Since 1996 Shelduck have bred at Wortenlacke (the first breeding records for Austria). Lange Lacke is also the best place to look for wintering geese, mostly White-fronts and Taiga Bean Geese but with some Tundra Bean Geese and occasional Red-breasted Geese. Several pairs of White-tailed Eagles also winter here. (Graham Tebb)

May 2014 We were told reports of Broad-Billed Sandpipers being present at site 1. We walked to the second tower. Met with other birders also looking for the B.B. Sandpipers, but we were all out of luck. Lots of Skylarks, Tree Sparrows, Corn Bunting, White Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail (flava). On the lake: Avocet, Shelduck, Little Stint, Temminck's Stint, Dunlin, Kentish Plover, Little-ringed Plover, Redshank, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Great White Egret, Mallard, Red-necked Phalarope, Wigeon. In the grassland there were numerous Greylag and chicks. Also Lapwing and chicks. Buzzard and Kestrel were the only birds of prey. Drove 1km further along the road and stopped by some woods on the left. Walked along the edge of the woods (both sides). We had Nightingale, Linnet, Spotted Flycatcher. Numerous Wood Pigeon and Pheasants. We returned several times to Lange Lacke during our week in Illmitz but the weather was rather wet and windy and made scoping impossible.

Hansag and the Einser Canal

September 1998 In 1998, Graham Tebb recommended that you take your passport with you on visits to this area as you may be asked for them near the Hungarian border, though of course things may now be more relaxed.

13th May 2014 We drove to site 2 via site 1. Birding was excellent. Marsh Harrier (mostly male) were abundant. Black Kite, Cuckoo, White Stork, Short-eared Owl, Black Redstart, Sedge Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Grey Partridge, Hooded Crow, Curlew, Yellow Wagtail, Stonechat with chick, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff. The highlight by far was an IMPERIAL EAGLE on the nest (line of trees on right-hand side).There is a sign (in German) about the nesting Eagles and you are not allowed to park beyond this sign until you have passed the site. But we had excellent views through the scope. As we came to the canal, the heavens opened. We carried on in the car past the tower to a flooded area (site 3) and immediately came across Spoonbill and a White-tailed Eagle perched in a nearby tree. A Bittern was booming. Along the lane back towards Andau we had Red-backed Shrike (site 4) and Quail. Lots of warbler song at the various reedbeds but by then it was raining heavily and we didn't hang around. As we came into the village of Andau we had a good view of a Syrian Woodpecker as it flew across in front of us and landed on a tree at the side of the road. (Pat Harrison)

Wienerberg Park

The most reliable place in Austria for Little Bittern and Penduline Tit. Also good for Acrocephalus warblers   (Graham Tebb).  To get there from the centre of Vienna, take the Triesterstrasse and park just after the highest point (opposite the Coca-Cola bottling plant).

New Illmitz wood

Good for woodland birds and migrants and was a regular roost site for Night Herons in 1998 (Graham Tebb). Just north of Illmitz (see map on page 16), by the entrance road to 'Fa. Steiner'.


Finding Birds in Eastern Austria

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