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Slovenia Floating Hide Bird Photography Tour - 5 Days

Slovenia Floating Hide Bird Photography Tour
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Floating Photo Hide & Birdwatching Tour in Slovenia

A 5-day Slovenia Photography Tour using floating hides to focus on birding.  Slovenia which is a European country with a geographical position in the far north of the Mediterranean and in the far south of Central Europe. It borders on 4 countries, in the west with Italy, in the north with Austria, in the northeast with Hungary, and in the east and the south with Croatia. It lies at the junction of the Alpine, Mediterranean, Pannonian, and Dinaric worlds. The area of 20,273 km2 is classified as a medium-sized European country.

Slovenia is a European country and provides many new interesting photo footprints. In the lens, we can capture a diverse landscape, a varied animal selection and many natural features. According to the international criteria of Green Destinations, Slovenia is the first country to become the green destination of the world. As mentioned earlier, it lies at the junction of the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Karst and the Pannonian world. In one day, we can take a photo of the sunrise on the top of Slovenia's highest mountain - Triglav and the sunset at the sea. We can also be a tourist for half a day in Ljubljana, while the other half is spent waiting for the best bird photo. Despite its small size, Slovenia is characterized by a large variety of animal species, which depends on the diversity of the environment and vegetation and the geological past. Only a small proportion of species are known to live on our territory.

According to estimates from 2000, around 19,000 species of animals are to be found on the continent, marine animals are poorly researched. Subterranean animals are interesting because of the way of life and not so much variety, only a few species are known. Styria is the largest Slovenian region, divided into Upper Styria and Lower Styria. The central vein of Upper Styria is the Drava river flowing between Kozjak in the north and Pohorje on the south side. The Lower Styria is the area around the Savinja river. Pohorje is more than 1,500-meter-high natural oasis with forests, waterfalls and precious peat bogs. Styria is also known for its Drava and Ptuj lowlands and wine-growing hills.

One of the important complexes of the compact lowland mixed forest and standing waters on the outskirts of the Drava lowland is the Rački ribnik - Požega landscape park in the surroundings of the Rače municipality. The park is a living space for rare and endangered plant and animal species - which is not meant only in the regional and Slovenian scale. There are over 210 species of birds, 50 species of dragonflies and 12 species of amphibians present there if only the most noticeable and the loudest are mentioned. Therefore, you can capture more than 200 of bird species in your lens, a third of which will also be nesting in this park.

Slovenia is a single word for local, authentic, unique, experiential, boutique, sustainable green. Floating hide tours is a unique experience which will make you experience the country in your own way. Floating hide was invented by bird photographers. It brings you unique chance to get very close to some of the very shy waterbird species. Getting on the eye level of the bird is a dream of every photographer and with this kind of photography, this is possible.

Shallow lakes of Northeastern Slovenia are full of interesting water birds present all year round. From spring to autumn it is possible to float with our hides. You will be guided to some of the best birding areas in the country and try to get some shots of very elusive species. It is not the easiest way of photography but shots, in the end, are definitely worth all effort. Sometimes you just enter the water and birds just wait there for you but also sometimes you have to have a lot of patience. With stable MrJan Gear hides and gimbal heads mounted your equipment is going to be safe. Providing neoprene fishing boots will do its job to keep you warm on colder days.

Top Reasons to Visit:

  • Slovenia is one of the smallest countries in Europe but it is one of the richest with its biodiversity. No matter the size of the country we have a lot of different habitats with forests being present in the greatest amount. This is the reason we have a very long list of birds. Many of them are very endangered.
  •  Pohorje plateau is stretching close to city of Maribor. The highest peak is around 1500 above sea level. Capercaillie & Black Grouse are two rare species that inhabit these forests. Pygmy Owl & Tengmalm's Owl are two of the rarer owl species but can often be seen very close to each other here. Some woodpeckers are present there. The most interesting and quite common is the Three-toed Woodpecker. Other common bird species are for example Black Woodpecker and Nutcracker.
    • The small size and heavily diversified landscapes of Slovenia make this country an excellent place for birding. Forests cover more than half of the country’s surface and are home to some of Slovenia’s most sought-after species.
    • We have possibilities for a variety of different birding tours all year round. You can choose for how many days you want to come, you can make your own species list and let us now to make out the best possible tour and you can also combine birding tour with some bird or brown bear photography.
    • Using a Floating Hide or a Hidrohide is one of the best ways to watch, observe and take pictures of birds living on or next to the water.
Alternative Tour Name: Summer Birding Tour with floating hides
Day 1
Day 1- Maribor & Medvedce Reservoir

Pick up at airport and then 2 hour drive to Štajerska region close to Maribor. Maribor is the second largest city in Slovenia and the capital of the Štajerska region famed for its vineyards. The city lies between wine-producing hills and the forested slopes of the Pohorje. The symbiosis of the city and the vine is affirmed by the 400-year old vine of the local žametovka variety, which grows in the Lent Quarter of the city on the left bank of the River Drava. It is the oldest vine in the world.

You will be situated in a nice Guesthouse Iršič. Guesthouse Iršič coexist with nature on one of the most graded locations in the area of Slovenska Bistrica. Inspired by the harmonies of nature they provide unforgettable culinary adventures and served mostly local food. After quick welcome snack you will pack up and go for an evening photo session at Medvedce reservoir.

Reservoir Medvedce is the third largest water surface in the Pannonian part of Slovenia. It was built in 1990 for flood regulation and farmland irrigation purposes and is today used for fish farming. Due to its great importance for bird protection, the reservoir and the nearby flood forest gained the status of an important bird area (IBA Črete). Aquatic plant species dominate the surface of the reservoir, whereas rare flood meadows and forests can be found on some of its edges. The area is crisscrossed by several drainage ditches that get flooded in times of heavy rain and attract many waders, which feed in them. Many rare bird species nest in the bulrush and reed that cover the western part of the reservoir. The reservoir is emptied in autumn for the fish harvest, and the remaining water often freezes in winter time. The area of the reservoir is of exceptional importance for nesting and migrating birds. Several water birds that are rare elsewhere in the country, like the gadwall, garganey, ferruginous duck and the shoveler, regularly nest here. First day we will mainly target on Little Bittern, Little Crake, Night Heron, Little & Great-crested Grebe etc. Session ends with sunset and than drive to accomodation, If there will be enough energy we will organize sightseeing of Maribor.

Day 2
Days 2 & 3 – Floating Hide Experience

Day will start with early breakfast & caffe, which is done special for our guests 5:30 am. After breakfast a short drive, less than 15 minutes to the fishponds Rače ribniki/ponds. Rače ponds and Požeg nature park is located on the outskirts of the Drava plain. The park consists of lowland flood forests, meadows with hedges and stagnant water bodies (Rače ponds and reservoir Požeg). Rače ponds have been used for fish farming since 1870 – a time when they were owned by the counts of Rače. Today intensive carp cultivation (from spawning to breeding) takes place in six ponds (3 Rače and 3 Turn ponds) in the area. Despite being man-made in the 60s of the previous century, Reservoir Požeg nowadays represents a true natural gem.

A real hustle and bustle staged by birds can be experienced here throughout the whole year. Among aquatic species regularly nesting here are the little and great crested grebe, tufted duck, Eurasian coot and lately the endangered ferruginos duck. The Eurasian hobby, hunting dragon flies, can often be seen overflying the water surfaces. With some luck we can also spot the osprey here in time of migration. Throughout the whole year the kingfisher hunts from the branches by the water, whereas the grey heron hunts from the branches in the forest. The forest is also a resting place of the grey heron and the great egret. The black stork, which nests in the nearby forest, appears in the area regularly as well. Different waders can be observed when the water level is low.

Morning session depending on how long you want to stay in the water but usually will end between 09:00 and 10:00 o'clock. Daytime rest or use of other hides in area and than around 16:00 back to the desired fishpond and finish at sunset. Drive back to accomodation. Mainly we will work on two locations which will give us many chances. There are many different ponds with different species so you will choose where to go for which bird. In between the sessions you can also visit Drinking hide for forest birds or lake hide for Kingfisher and other water birds.

Day 3
Day 4 - Pohorje Birding Tour

Pohorje is a 1543 meters high natural oasis with wast forests, the Primeval forest Šumik, clearings and pastures, unspoiled Pohorje waters, waterfalls and moors with lakes, the largest butterfly in Europe and other precious animal species. The natural beauty of Pohorje impresses both nature lovers and experts. Pohorje's nature offers shelter to numerous animal species, his applies particularly to aquatic, waterside and marshland animals. Among others, there are approximately 90 species of birds and more than 700 species of butterflies. Your day will be mostly about birds. Our birding tour around the Pohorje plateau will bring you some great species, such as the Pygmy owl, Three-toed Woodpecker, Nutcracker, Crossbill, Ring Ouzel, Black Woodpecker and Grey-headed Woodpecker. Day four will be a combination of birding, landscape photography and culinary experience.

Day 4
Day 5 - Last Day

Last day will be the same as a day two and three. We will start early in the morning and do the morning photo session. We will try to catch our last best photos. Our guides will take care of you and will give you an option to pick up the spot which you love most. After the photo session, you will have lunch and after transport back to your departure airports.

Some of the wildlife expected to see on this trip are:

Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Osprey, Black Stork, Little Bittern, Great Bittern, Night Heron, Great White Egret, White-tailed Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Goshawk, Little Crake, Spotted Crake, Ferruginous Duck, Garganey, Pygmy Owl, Tengmalm’s Owl, Long-eared Owl, Savi’s Warbler, River Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Collared Flycatcher, Dipper, Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Wryneck, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Kingfisher, Ring Ouzel and more…

What is included?

  • All accommodation or lodgings based on double occupancy
  • Single occupancy available for an additional charge/cost
  • Professional [English or bi-lingual/tri-lingual] guide(s) and support staff, or
  • Specialist guide fees
  • Local transfers and all ground transport throughout the trip/tour/safari
  • Entrance fees to all National Parks, Nature Reserves and/or use of Hides where applicable
  • All meals
  • Snacks throughout the trip/tour/safari
  • Water throughout the trip/tour/safari, or
  • Selection of drinks (incl. water, soft drinks, local beer, house wine and spirits)
  • All activities as specified within the tour itinerary
  • Personalised checklists
  • All Applicable Taxes

What is not included?

  • All international or domestic airfares, or
  • All flights unless otherwise indicated
  • Visa Fees (if applicable)
  • Travel & medical insurance (incl. personal equipment and repatriation)
  • Airport departure taxes or visa fees
  • Items of personal nature or,
  • Items of personal nature (incl. binoculars and telescopes)
  • If providing binoculars and telescopes then add within above
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Laundry & telephone Charges
  • Optional trip/tour/safari extensions where applicable
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Any other drinks not mentioned above, or
  • Alcoholic beverages or bottled drinks
  • Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”

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Why should I book with Floating Hide Birding Photography Tour in Slovenia?

Slovenia is small but perfectly formed, encompassing different environments within its borders. In a relatively small area, you can find wildlife from the Alpine, Mediterranean, Karstic and Pannonian world, and photograph them. Pristine and preserved nature offers an abundance of animal species, including some that are rare and endangered. In a week you could have great Bear & Bird tour. Slovenia is still an undiscovered diamond for photography.

What sort of accommodation and vehicles do you supply?

We offer 3* + accommodations. We work with Skoda superb, VW Caravela & Dacia Duster. Include accommodation standard (e.g. 3 star, ecolodges, tented, etc). All our accommodations are right next to our hides, close to nature, forest. We do have high standards.

Do you ever change the tour leader or itinerary? If so, what sort of notice do you give?

Tour leader is always free if the group is more than 3 person. So 3 + guide/leader.

Do you offer a single supplement option? Can you accommodate a third person/family?

We do offer a single supplement. It is an additional cost.

Do you include meals?

Yes we do up to full board

You can send your enquiry via the form below.


5 Days

Price & Availability

From
EUR990 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Single Supplement EUR 50
This tour is operated by: Fotonatur Slovenia

Quick Enquiry Form

Tour Facts

  • Slovenia - Styria Region
  • On Request
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Birds
  • 1 to 5 pax
  • 5 Days
  • August
  • 18 +
  • Leisurely
  • No
  • English
  • Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport
  • Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport