Krkonoše National Park

September 2018

Sometimes it needs somebody else to make things happen, even if you think about
it for a long time.
As a child, my family went several times to the Giant Mountains in the Czech Republic
(ČSSR at the time) on vacation. But the only thing I remember from that time is dead
. It must have been the peak of the 80’s tree dieback and I remember vividly how
this made me afraid of an upcoming eco-collapse and this should become the start
of my engagement in environmental groups.

Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus alpestris, adult male, song

Common Rosefinch Erythrina e. erythrina, 2CY male, song

Finally at the end of May, probably 30 years later, I gave way to the wish of my partner
and we went to the Krkonoše National Park as it is called now. Right on the first day
I realised that this is going to be a great week full of hiking, listening and sound
recording within a stunning landscape.

Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis, River Labe (Elbe),

Common Chaffinch Fringilla c. coelebs, adult male song

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus t. trochilos, male, song (‘the sad Chaffinch’)

Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides viridanus, male, song

Common Redstart Phoenicurus p. phoenicurus, adult male, song

To my surprise the area was full of Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra family parties
and the birds weren’t too shy. Beside them, there were plenty of other birds too,
but not too many different species. Therefore a perfect opportunity to focus on just
a few species, there vocalisations and general behaviour instead of ruining the few
days with spending much time searching for the rarer ones like Eurasian Three-toed
Woodpeckers Picoides tridactylus or Alpine Accentors Prunella collaris.

Firecrest Regulus i. ignicapilla, male, song

Due to the general lack of traffic and man-made noise I focussed on long duration
recordings of those few species.
I’m pretty sure this won’t be the last visit this year, as the semi-alpine plateaus should
be very good for bird migration observations too.

cable car towards the famous Sněžka