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Observation of birds (Cognitive routes)

It has been known for ages that above the Curonian Spit one of the most significant routes of the birds migrating from Northern Europe to the south and back called White – Baltic Seas Migration Path is spread.

As the interest in mysterious birds travel and clarifying the sites of their hibernation and breeding increased, in 1901, in Rasyte (present days Rybacis) there was a birds observation station established, which is still operating. Its activity is oriented toward birds’ ringing and gathering of biometric data.

Observation of birds is a very popular activity all over the Western world among amateurs, who spend large amounts of time outdoors and have interest in nature’s phenomena.

One of the areas of observation of birds is the recognition of the migrating feathered and estimation of their number. It requires good ability to recognize birds from their appearance and sounds they make. Most of the flying birds can be recognized only from their voices. One needs to have good optical appliances: spyglasses, telescopes, digital cameras, as well as modern reference book on birds.

Site of migration observation

It is most convenient to observe migration from high hills or dunes, from birds’ observation turrets or in the open space, for instance, on the seacoast or in the wide fields. In order to make it possible to hear even the weakest voices of small birds flying by, there should be no noise and other disturbances.

However, the most important thing is for the location of observation to be on the path of birds’ migration. The Curonian Spit meets all the requirements made for observation of birds.

Lately, the highest Dune of Parnidis whumping near Nida, called Solar Clock Dune by foreign ornithologists, is becoming especially popular for this goal. In spring, the first migrating birds reach Lithuania already at the beginning of March, and the last migrants fly by their breeding places only at the end of May. One can observe even more birds than in spring during autumn migration from August until November. At that point, hatched nestlings join the flocks flying to wintering places. There are only a few places in Northern and Central Europe, where one can observe such a plenitude of migrating birds as in the Curonian Spit.

The narrow Spit masses the feathered for their flight above this strip of land and allows the observers to see all plenitude of them. Here, there is a big variety of species of birds, part of which rush to breed even to Far North or hibernate to Africa. The other significant advantage of birds’ observation in Nida is accommodation and catering services rendered for attractive off-season prices. This convenience is increased by the possibility to reach the observation places on the Dune of Parnidis and seacoast by car, since one has to transport heavy and friable observation equipment. Upon the change of weather conditions, observers also can quickly find a lee. Variety of migrating birds During active autumn migration, in the daytime, one can observe up to half of a million birds migrating to the south. In the process of migration, one has a chance to observe tens thousand of various tits, finches, pipits, starlings, larks, siskins, swallows, thrushes and pigeons ringdoves.

Every day, one can also count up to a thousand birds of prey, flocks of goose, ducks and swans migrating. In the early spring, typical daytime migrants are cranes, lapwings, curlews, buzzards and small warblers. Rare species always bring joy to observers of birds.

The Curonian Spit is the place, where you can observe even such rare birds as a peregrine falcon, a red-legged falcon, a brown kite or a pink starling.

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