Yet another bird-watching platform sees the light of the day
The system of ponds in question – Lower and Upper, on maps also sometimes referred to as "Svitavský" and "Rosnička" – is located on the north-western edge of the town of Svitavy within its recreational district. "Today, the Svitavy ponds are among the most relevant elements of nature within the greater Svitavy region, and it is here that we find a host of interesting and rare species, particularly those whose lives are tied to a watery or wetland environment," says Jiří Mach from the local 'Rybák Svitavy' chapter of the Czech Union for Nature Conservation (ČSOP). "The fact that 224 different bird species have been recorded in the area of these fish ponds and their immediate surroundings since 1954, about half of which are aquatic and marsh birds, was a strong impetus for local conservationists to build an ornithological observation platform," adds Mach. For instance, the western marsh harrier, water rail, Eurasian reed warbler, Savi's warbler, common reed bunting and penduline tit all build their nests here. During times of migration or transit, even very rare species can be spotted here, among them, e.g. the purple heron, Eurasian bittern, little bittern and common crane, as well as various birds of prey, such as the sea eagle, red kite and osprey.
So you should really grab your binoculars and camera and set out. Coming from the town centre, you will find the observation perch following the blue hiking trail, which soon merges with the popular "K pramenům Svitavy" (To the source of the Svitava River) educational trail. After about 500 meters along the pond, you will come to a signpost pointing to the water, from where a wooden walkway takes you straight to the bird-watching perch. An info panel showing typical examples of endemic birds allows you to check what species you've just encountered.
This bird-watching platform was built by the local 'Rybák Svitavy' chapter of the ČSOP within the framework of the NET4GAS Closer to Nature programme – a programme to which we owe eleven years of projects that unlock precious sites of nature to the public, this latest addition already being the 81st on the list. Other spots of interest to hobby ornithologists on that list include, e.g. the Třemešské rybníky bird-watching spot near Šumperk, the Blahutovice observation post near Nový Jičín, the Heřmanice Pond bird-watching spot in Ostrava, and the Litovice Pond bird-watching spot not far from Prague. To find out more, visit www.closertonature.cz.