Wildlife watching trips in Slovenia

Photo: Arndt Bruening/Taglicht Media

Our most popular 1-day trips

Choose between three exciting one-day trips to enjoy the very best of Slovenian wildlife

1. Lake Cerknica & Dinaric forests                                                             
    (Southern Slovenia)                                                                             When: all year round
This is certainly the most popular one-day wildlife watching trip to Slovenia. Lake Cerknica in the Notranjska region offers some of the best all-year-round birding opportunities in Slovenia. In spring and summer there's also a vast variety of interesting plants, butterflies and mammals to enjoy. In the forests surrounding the lake it is possible to see Ural Owl as well as the Brown Bear with a bit of luck. A good diversity of habitats, including wet meadows, lakes, rivers, forests and farmland ensures a rich, biodiversity-filled day, especially in spring.
 The wildlife we'll go looking for during this trip:
Early spring (March-April)
  • Birds: Ural Owl, White-backed Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, White-tailed Eagle, Red-necked Grebe and several other wetland birds, including the first returning spring migrants.
  • Plants: Helleborus niger & other early spring plants in the forest (Galanthus nivalis, Hepatica nobilis)
 
Spring (late April-May)
  • Birds: Ural Owl, Three-toed Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, White-tailed Eagle, White & Black Stork, Short-toed Eagle, Red-footed Falcon, Montagu's Harrier, Bittern, Wryneck, Barred Warbler, Yellow Wagtail (up to 4 subspecies), Garganey, Ferruginous Duck, Red-necked Grebe.
  • Plants: a variety of spring species of the Dinaric forests, including Omphalodes verna, Hacquetia epipactis, Scopolia carniolica, Primula carniolica, Daphne laureola and many others.
 
Late spring (late May-June)
  • Birds: Ural Owl, Three-toed Woodpecker, White-tailed Eagle, White & Black Stork, Short-toed Eagle, Red-footed Falcon, Corncrake, Barred Warbler, Common Rosefinch.
  • Butterflies: large variety of species in June, including Scarce Fritillary, Clouded Apollo, Poplar Admiral, Purple Emperor and many others.
  • Plants: vast array of species on wet and dry meadows, including Lilium carniolicum, Iris sibirica, Gladiolus illyricus, Anacamptis palustris as well as many other orchids of different habitats.
Summer (late June-August)
  • A mix of wildflowers, butterflies and some birds. 
Early autumn (August-September):
  • A mix of wildflowers, some butterflies and birds, including Ural Owl, as well as migrants at the lake.
Autumn (late September-early November):
  • Birds: Ural Owl, Pygmy Owl, Three-toed Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Wallcreeper (in early November), White-tailed Eagle, Common Crane (late October-November)
Winter (November-February):
  • Birds: Ural Owl, White-tailed Eagle, Wallcreeper, Smew & Goldeneye (cold months), Hen Harrier, Great Grey Shrike, Merlin.
 
 
See the habitats in detailDinaric forests, Wet meadows, Continental wetlands.
Info & booking: info@wild-slovenia.com
2. Karst meadows & cliffs                                                     
    (Western Slovenia)                                                                When: spring, summer & winter
This trip will take you to the famous Karst landscape of western Slovenia, more precisely on the "Classical Karst" - a limestone plateau extending from the west of the country into NE Italy and NW Croatia. The area is known for its dry stony grasslands, rich with biodiversity, especially butterflies, plants and birds. The scenic limestone cliffs host a range of Mediterranean bird species, while in the deciduous woodlands one can observe up to 6 species of woodpeckers in spring. In late spring and summer, the mountain meadows on the higher parts of the Karst come alive with butterflies and wildflowers.
 The wildlife we'll go looking for during this trip:
Early spring (March-April)
  • Birds: Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Wallcreeper, Eagle Owl, Peregrine, Alpine Swift, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting, Rock Dove, Crag Martin, Hoopoe, Wryneck, Cirl Bunting, Short-toed Eagle, Woodlark. 
  • Plants: Pulsatilla montana, Potentilla tommasiniana, Moehringia tommasinii, Gentiana tergestina, Primula auricula, Erythronium dens-canis, Hacquetia epipactis, Lathraea squamaria, Scilla bifolia and a wide range of other early spring woodland flowers.
  • Butterflies: Southern Festoon (in April)
 
Spring (late April-May)
  • Birds: Peregrine, Alpine Swift, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting, Rock Dove, Crag Martin, Hoopoe, Tawny Pipit, Cirl Bunting, Short-toed Eagle, Black Woodpecker, Woodlark, Red-backed Shrike.
  • Plants: a wide variety of plants on dry meadows as well as forest, including Fritillaria orientalis, Iris illyrica, Narcissus poeticus, Paeonia officinalis, Orchis purpurea, Anacamptis morio, Neotinea tridentata and many other species of orchids.
  • Butterflies: Southern Festoon as well as many other species by the end of May.
 
Late spring (late May-June)
  • Birds: Rock Thrush, Golden Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Honey Buzzard, Peregrine, Alpine Swift, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting, Rock Dove, Crag Martin, Hoopoe, Tawny Pipit, Cirl Bunting, Short-toed Eagle, Woodlark, Red-backed Shrike, Golden Oriole.
  • Butterflies: large variety of species in June, including most species of fritillaries, Marsh Fritillary, Clouded Apollo, but also other invertebrates like Owlfly and Eastern Stone Grasshopper.
  • Plants: enormous variety of species on dry mountain meadows, including many orchids, Lilium carniolicum, Dictamnus albus, Astragalus carniolicus, Centaurea rupestris, Jurinea mollis, Stipa eriocaulis and many others.
Summer (June-August)
  • A mix of butterflies, wildflowers and some birds, on the mountain meadows of the "High Karst". Eryngium amethystinum  and Campanula pyramidalis will be in fine bloom at the end of July and in August.
Winter (November-March):
  • Birds: Wallcreeper, Eagle Owl, Rock Dove, Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Great Grey Shrike.
 
See the habitats in detail: Dry grasslandsRocky cliffsThermophilous forests. 
Info & booking: info@wild-slovenia.com
3. Flowers & butterflies of the Julian Alps                                                          
    (Northwestern Slovenia)                                                                            When: summer
The Triglav National Park, in the heart of the Julian Alps, offers fantastic wildlife watching opportunities as well as breathtaking mountain sceneries. This trip is aimed at those who wish to take one day off from the usual summer tourist activities around lake Bohinj and Bled and want to discover wildlife in the surrounding mountains. Given the time of the year, we'll be mostly looking for wildflowers and butterflies on alpine meadows. With a bit of luck we might see some interesting birds too.
 The wildlife we'll go looking for during this trip (June-August):
  • Plants: a mix of common and rare alpine species in different habitats including alpine meadows, rocky cliffs and forest.
  • Butterflies: wide variety of common species (see Butterflies of Slovenia), including many ringlets and fritillaries.
  • Birds: common forest birds, plus the possibility to see Dipper, Western Bonelli's Warbler, Three-toed Woodpecker, Ural Owl, Crested Tit, Golden Eagle and Alpine Chough.
See the habitat in detail: Mountains - Alps 
Info & booking: info@wild-slovenia.com

Custom tours also available on request.

Contact us: info@wild-slovenia.com

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