Calming down in Neusiedlersee, ’cause I like birds

Even though I’m in middle of packing my 4,5 moths Vienna life together, taking care of paper work etc. I made a really spontaneous decision and travelled to Neusiedlersee on Wednesday to watch birds. I visited the lake already in March during our road trip, but this time I took National Park Neusiedler See – Seewinkel as a destination. Most of the lake is surrounded by reeds which serve as a habitat for wildlife, making the lake an important resting place especially for migratory birds. These include Alpine, Pannonian, Asian, Mediterranean and northern European species. The whole area consists also a mosaic of different environments like wetlands, meadows and sand steppes. So a great opportunity to see some cool species!

Once I was finished with my paper work in magistrate, I travelled to Illmitz, which is located on the eastern shore of Neusiedlersee. Even though the route to Illmitz was not too demanding at all, I still managed to screw up somehow by hopping a wrong train. Welcome again to adventures of Terhi… If I hadn’t listen to my instinct that something was not right, I would have ended to Bratislava. However, after some panic text-messages and googling I finally arrived to Illmitz!

Thinking the next move somewhere in countryside…

After quick visit to National Park’s info, center I decided to walk Zicklacken-Runde path (8,6 km), because I didn’t have a bicycle or time for longer ones. Anyhow, when other cyclists passed by I felt really eager also to ride my bike again! Day was really hot, but pretty strong wind made the weather more bearable. The lasting long and hot dry season was also really visible in the park. Many of the small ponds didn’t have water and also grass areas were really dry.

Despite of this I still saw many cool species and even wading birds. Especially pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) was an awesome observation, because in Estonia I missed the opportunity to see it by sleeping… Other great species were for instance western yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava), crested lark (Galerida cristata), black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) and I also saw many red-backed shrikes (Lanius collurio), which I really like a lot!

After 7 hours in the field I returned to Illmitz and started a journey back to Vienna. I felt quite tired, but at the same time much more relaxed than before leaving. I’m really glad that I made a decision to have one last day trip, because I thing during these last days my feeling have been again in a roller coaster. Walking in the natural park really calmed me down in a way and also kept my thoughts somewhere else. Even though I really like living in the city, I still need my regular dose of nature from time to time.

Until the next time!

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