Good Reasons to Visit Croatia
Blue Rock Thrush
Ten Reptile Reasons To Visit Croatia
Dalmatian Wall Lizard
European Glass Lizard
Balkan Whip Snake
Croatia is a remarkable and beautiful country with diverse habitats and a
varied birdlife. In the north there are high mountains blanketed in forests at
Risnjak, wetlands along the Danube and Sava rivers, bird-rich fish-pond systems
and the famous Kopacki Rit reserve. To the south in Dalmatia habitats include
limestone karst fields and gorges just inland from the clear blue waters of the
Adriatic Sea and many offshore islands of all shapes and sizes. Eleonora's Falcons
breed on some of these.
The Krka National Park is a scenic karst area through which the rushing River
Krka flows. Krka is a fine area for raptors and perhaps not surprisingly its rocky
gorges are home to Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Nuthatch & Rock Bunting. The scenic
waterfalls Skradinski Buk provide photographic opportunities.
The Paklenica National Park is part of the Velebit Mountain range. Two gorges
here, Mala Paklenica & Velika Paklenica, are spectacular. Paklenica is a good area
to look for Rock Partridge though this species is in fact fairly common throughout
Dalmatia. A rich range of butterflies occurs, too and the dry limestone landscapes
are ideal for reptiles such as Hermann's Tortoise, Dalmatian Algyroides, Balkan
Green Lizard, Dalmatian Wall Lizard, Balkan Whip Snake and others.
Lake Vrana is the largest natural lake in Croatia and an internationally
important wetland for migrating and breeding birds. The lake lies by the Adriatic
Sea and is arguably the most important coastal passage stop-over in the country,
in both spring and autumn. Breeding species here include Pygmy Cormorant, Purple
Heron and Black-winged Stilt.
The enchanting Plitvice Lakes National Park (Plitvicka jezera) was founded in
1949. Plitvice, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a picturesque forested
karst lake-land fed by the River Korana and other karst waters and dotted with
meadows and pastures. The forests here are mostly beech and fir with some oak,
hornbeam, birch, spruce, pine and juniper. The centre-piece of the national park
is a series of turquoise-coloured lakes stepped one above the other and separated
by travertines over which waterfalls cascade. The forests are home to woodpeckers,
flycatchers and warblers. In summer dragonflies and damselflies are numerous and
butterflies include Southern Festoon, Scarce and Common Swallowtails, Common
Glider, Camberwell Beauty and Great Banded Grayling.
But what really sets Croatia apart are its islands and the sea that surrounds them. There are
1185 islands of all shapes and sizes, only 66 are inhabited and of these only 20 are large and
heavily touristed. Some are tiny islets, others like Krk, Pag and Cres, are large enough to have
sea-cliffs and interior landscapes of rough grazing land and olive-groves. Much of the wildlife
that occurs on the mainland also occurs on these larger islands. So perhaps not surprisingly
Croatia is once again becoming a popular holiday destination and this includes for birders and
nature-lovers. Croatia is easy to get to with scheduled and charter flights arriving into Zagreb,
Split, Pula, Dubrovnik and Zadar.