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10 Best Bird Watching Destinations in Europe

Where bird watchers should go in Europe.

Bird watching

Europe boasts an assortment of magnificent feathered ‘beasts’. Lovers of nature flock from every corner of the globe to soak in the diverse landscapes of the Old Continent, as well as the fierce and the gentle dwellers of the sky. And the diversity of landscapes is the secret here: it allowed for quite an eclectic biosphere all around the continent.

If you’ve never ventured on a bird-watching journey across Europe, you should find birding binoculars, as well as the harness to save your neck from incessant chronic pain and picturesque field guides for bird identification. A light selection of bird seeds might come in useful as well, but they are by no means a requirement.

Just immerse yourself into the wondrous natural landscape and check out these 10 best bird-watching destinations in Europe.

Bird

Photo by Patrick Hendry.

1. Alentejo, Portugal

Let us begin our journey on the western coast of the continent and work our way consistently eastward. With that in mind, you can start your journey by visiting an enchanting Alentejo Region, Portugal, east of Lisbon. It is a dream-come-true for bird watchers. It’s a staggeringly beautiful region anyway, and overall clear visibility is an undeniable advantage for bird watchers.

2. Extremadura Region, Spain

The western region of Spain that boasts historical marvels in Badajoz and Cáceres is also a bird watcher’s playground. The dry and airy region is far away from the coast, and there is a sense of tranquility of bliss in the air as you venture bird-chasing under the hot Iberian sun. Black Storks, the Golden Eagle, and the Peregrine Falcon are the highlights of the region.

Bird watching

Photo by Forest Simon.

3. Doñana National Park, Spain

However, if you are in the mood for a more coastal, lush Iberian experience, head southward from Extremadura and relish in the Doñana delights as you gawk at the herons as well as hundreds upon hundreds of waterfowl. It’s a bug-rich region, so it is only natural that it attracts a diverse assembly of birds that are ripe for watching.

4. North Yorkshire, the UK

If the Mediterranean climate is too hot for you, you can head to North Yorkshire in search of unique birds of a feather. The ‘main stars’ over here are the Purple Sandpiper, The Goldcrest, as well as the Great Gray Shrike and the Black-necked Grebe. The expansive landscapes are picture-perfect for a large-scale adventure of a lifetime.

5. Moulins, France

Smack in the middle of France is a bird-laden haven that spreads south of Moulins. Allier River ebbs and flows wildly, feeding the surrounding lands which have grown into an unbelievable assembly of flora and fauna. This region has, at the very least, 250 species of birds, so it’s as close as it gets to Christmas gift for avid bird-watchers.

6. Lower Saxony, Germany

You can kill two flies with one blow – by enjoying the invaluable cultural experience in the legendary cities of Hannover and Bremen, and relish in the bird-watching opportunities in the surrounding region of Lower Saxony.

7. Falsterbo Bird Observatory, Sweden

How about a more controlled, focused experience? Sweden’s famed Falsterbo Lighthouse is a gathering spot for the birdwatchers in the fall, especially if the weather is nice. This is because, within an opportune time window, you can observe thousands upon thousands of birds from the observatory during the migrating season.

Bird on wire

Photo by Boris Smokrovic.

8. Bialowieza Forest, Poland

Bialowieza forest is, by and large, an intact patchwork of greenery that looks as ancient as it appears mysterious. The ground is boggy, mossy and moist and the mist often rises between the long-forgotten trees that are older than you can imagine. Naturally, as a bird-watching backdrop, it can offer some truly unique and rare sights, but it is also a potent environment for true adventurers.

9. Lesbos, Greece

The Aegean Sea is a treasure trove of picturesque islands that stretch from ‘porous’ Greek coast and to Turkey, but Lesbos is probably the most famous one for its birds. The lovely Krüper’s Nuthatch is one of the highlights with its gentle blue and orange feathers, as well as the rare and beautiful Cinereous Bunting.

10. Srebarna Biosphere Reserve, Bulgaria

Srebarna Biosphere Reserve is located around the reverent Danube River, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is positively brimming with birdlife. 10% of the entire Dalmatian Pelican population breeds here, so it can be quite easy to spot them. You can easily go on an epic journey all along the Danube River, from Germany to Romania, and have a fulfilling bird-watching experience.

Conclusion

Bird watching is one of those underrated activities that many people tend to scoff at. If only they knew how flexible and meditative it can be – much akin to, for example, solo camping or mountaineering.

The assortment of destination on this list should give a pretty solid starting point for your European adventure, so pack your suitcases and embark on a magical journey as you follow the birds of a feather across the skies of the Old Continent.

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