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Year-round this is an excellent birding locality with exciting breeding species, a wide range of passage visitors and wintering waterfowl with always the chance of rarities.
Autumn can be particularly good when the fishponds are drained. In addition to the main group of more than twenty fishponds there is a reed-fringed pond just to the north which is a reserve.
Surrounding the ponds are wet grasslands, canals and drainage dykes.
Breeding birds include both bitterns, Black-crowned Night Heron and Purple Heron, Great White Egret and Slovakia's only breeding Eurasian Spoonbill. The reedbeds and wet grasslands have Spotted Crake and Little Crake, Corn Crake, Ruff and Black-tailed Godwit.
In addition there are Black-winged Stilt, Black Tern and Whiskered Tern and ducks including Gadwall, Garganey, Common Pochard and Ferruginous Duck. There is a Great Cormorant colony and Pygmy Cormorant has also nested here in recent years, White Stork breed in local villages and forage in the fields around the ponds.
Aquatic Warbler is an irregular breeder here but Savi's Warbler and Marsh Warbler are common and the surrounding farmland has Tawny Pipit, Red-backed Shrike and Lesser Grey Shrike, European Roller and Syrian Woodpecker.
Migration times bring added variety and the area forms an important stop-over point for large numbers of birds.
Both storks occur on passage as well as Common Crane and a selection of waders that can include Marsh Sandpiper, Broad-billed Sandpiper and Red-necked Phalarope. Greater White-fronted Goose and Bean Goose are regular, Lesser White-fronted Goose possible and various grebes occur on passage
Birds you can see here include:
Red-throated Diver, Black-throated Diver, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Pygmy Cormorant, Great Bittern, Little Bittern, Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Black Stork, White Stork, Eurasian Spoonbill, Mute Swan, Tundra Bean Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Tufted Duck, Black Kite, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Northern Hobby, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Little Crake, Corn Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Crane, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Northern Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Little Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian Tern, Black Tern, White-winged Tern, Whiskered Tern, Feral Pigeon, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Short-eared Owl, Common Kingfisher, European Roller, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Syrian Woodpecker, Eurasian Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, Bluethroat, Thrush Nightingale, Common Nightingale, Black Redstart, Whinchat, Eurasian Blackbird, Song Thrush, Savi's Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Aquatic Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Common Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Penduline Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Common Magpie, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Access and Facilities
The Senne Fishponds lie in the extreme south-east of Slovakia about 15km south-east of Michalovce but they can be difficult to find and the access tracks are often waterlogged.
From Michalovce head for the village of Inacovce, turning south at the western end of the village towards the fishfarm buildings.
Ask permission before exploring the fishponds and reserve.
An alternative is to continue towards the village of Blatne Remety and explore from there on foot.
Content and images originally posted by Steve