Situated in the southwest of the country the Sumava mountains extend along the borders of Germany and Austria and include a national park, protected landscape area and several nature reserves.
The area consists of spruce forest on the higher mountainsides, much of it ancient and undisturbed with commercial plantations in some parts.
In lower areas there are beech and fir forests and also extensive peatbogs. In the valleys are numerous marshes and damp meadows.
Breeding birds of the forest include various grouse, several owls including Eurasian Eagle Owl, Eurasian Pygmy Owl and Tengmalm's Owl and woodpeckers such as White-backed Woodpecker and Three-toed Woodpecker. Ural Owl bred in 1998 after a long absence through a successful reintroduction scheme.
A wide variety of passerines breed including Bluethroat, Red-breasted Flycatcher and Common Rosefinch, Spotted Nutcracker and Crested Tit. In excess of 140 bird species have been recorded breeding in the area.
Birds you can see here include:
Black Stork, White Stork, European Honey Buzzard, Hen Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Hazel Grouse, Black Grouse, Western Capercaillie, Corn Crake, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Eurasian Pygmy Owl, Ural Owl, Tengmalm's Owl, Common Kingfisher, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Wood Lark, White-spotted Bluethroat, Ring Ouzel, Fieldfare, Redwing, Goldcrest, Common Firecrest, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Crested Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Great Grey Shrike, Spotted Nutcracker, Brambling, Northern Redpoll, Common Rosefinch
Spring is the best time to visit, although the weather may be wet there is more chance of locating the more elusive birds when they are displaying.
Areas of Interest
In the centre of the park is Mt Boubin, one of the best areas for forest birds. Some areas are restricted but most of the birds can be seen in the areas of open access.
Access and Facilities
From Prague take the N4 southwards for 130km to Vimperk and permits and advice are available from the information centre there.
Administration of the Šumava National Park and Reserve Ing. František Urban, Manager of the Public Services Office 1. máje 260 385 01 Vimperk
Content and images originally posted by Steve