Good Reasons to Visit Serbia
Eastern Imperial Eagle
Serbia is a country of amazingly diverse landscapes and wildlife habitats. There are inland sand-dunes, grasslands, rivers lined with riparian woods, salt-lakes, marshes, fish-ponds, impressive gorges, rolling hills, high Alpine-like mountains and miles of mature mixed forests. Serbia is land-locked but nevertheless has good birds and birding all year round, yet as with most other European countries spring is ultimately the best. From March onwards woodpeckers (all ten European species) and owls are still calling and by May all the migrant breeders have returned. Breeding raptors include Saker, Long-legged Buzzard, Booted, Lesser Spotted and Eastern Imperial Eagles and there are important colonies of Griffon Vulture. In the very south-east there are some pairs of Lanner Falcon and Levant Sparrowhawk, too. In winter lowland wetlands in the north see influxes of White-tailed Eagles and what are probably the world largest roosts of Long-eared Owl in the Banat region. Many roosts here are composed of over 200 of these owls and some have a staggering 500!
Serbia's great bird areas include the scenic Fruska Gora National Park in the north which is excellent for raptors, woodpeckers, warblers and buntings, Slano Kopovo is a saline wetland reserve on the Pannonian Plain with large reedbeds and adjacent dry steppe. This is great place to observe passage wildfowl, waders and masses of Common Cranes in the autumn. Stari Begej - Carska Bara is another wetland reserve which lies along the lower reaches of the River Begej. It is a mosaic of fishponds, marshes, woodlands and meadows crossed by rivers, canals and lined with dykes. Zasavica is a riverine wetland surrounded by a myriad of ecosystems including flooded oak, ash, poplar and willow forests. Deliblato Sands (Deliblatska Pescara) comprises 33,000 hectares of grasslands, farmlands and mixed forest on a large sandy region. It is bordered by the Danube, Tamis and Karas rivers and is home to a rich flora and fauna. The Uvac Gorge is home to colonies of Griffon Vulture and Booted Eagle, Rock Partridge and real wild Rock Pigeons.
Serbia has some stunning mountain ranges. The Djerdap National Park is in the east along the Romanian border. The Djerdap Gorge, the so-called Iron Gates, is particularly impressive. Birds here include Black Stork, Golden Eagle, Eagle Owl and Rock Partridge. Other wild uplands include the Tara and Kopaonik National Parks and the Golija and Maljen ranges. Some of the old forests in these mountains are refuges for Wolf and Brown Bear and birds include Ural, Tengmalm's and Pygmy Owls, White-backed Woodpecker, Hazel Grouse, Sombre and Crested Tits and Nutcracker. At the highest elevations there are Alpine-like habitats with Alpine Accentor, Common and Alpine Choughs and Shore Lark.