White Stork by Steve Fletcher.
Pygmy Cormorant, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Saker Falcon, Great Bustard, (Northern) Nutcracker and Alpine Chough, as well as Ferruginous Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Great White Egret, Purple Heron, (Eurasian) Spoonbill, White and Black Storks, (Western) Marsh-harrier, Kentish Plover, (Pied) Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Black-tailed Godwit, passage migrant shorebirds such as Spotted Redshank, Ruff and Temminck’s Stint, Little and Mediterranean Gulls, Black and Whiskered Terns, (European) Bee-eater, (Eurasian) Hoopoe, all ten European woodpeckers including (Eurasian) Wryneck, Red-backed Shrike, (Eurasian) Golden Oriole, Reedling, (Eurasian) Penduline-tit, Firecrest, Barred, (Western) Bonelli’s, Great Reed, Moustached, River and Savi’s Warblers, Collared Flycatcher, (White-spotted cyanecula race) Bluethroat, (Common) Nightingale and Hawfinch. Also a chance of White-tailed Eagle, Red-footed Falcon, (Eurasian) Dotterel, White-winged (Black) Tern, (Eurasian) Crag Martin and Rock Bunting. For all the latest news on birds and other wildlife see Club 300 (in Austrian).
European Souslik, (Alpine) Chamois and Red Squirrel.
In spring the spectacular alpine flowers include many gentians and primulas. In late June/July in the Tyrol Alps flowering orchids include Dark Vanilla, Globe and the rare Dwarf Alpine.
The largest accessible ice caves in the world, near Salzburg in central Austria, where, via boardwalks and stairs, it is possible to see some amazing ice chambers and sculptures.
In spring the peak time is mid-May to mid-June when resident birds are very active, many more are on their way through, and the mountains are in flower, although late June/July is arguably the best time for orchids. In autumn the peak time is early September when passage migrant birds are moving through.
Collins Bird Guide by L Svensson et al. Collins, 2010 (Second Edition).
Birds of Europe by L Jonsson. Helm, 1999.
Mammals of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East by S Aulagnier et al. Helm, 2009.
Mammals of Britain and Europe by D McDonald and P Barrett. Collins, 2005.
Collins Butterfly Guide by T Tolman and R Lewington. Collins, 2009.
Butterflies of Britain and Europe: A Photographic Guide by H Aarnio et al. A & C Black Publishers, 2009.
Collins Bird Guide.
Where to watch birds in Europe & Russia by N Wheatley. Helm, 2000.
Don’t know which country/countries/regions to visit in Europe? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them in the region, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.
Many trip reports, some for Austria, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Austria. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Austria' below.
The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.
There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.
While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and they are popular with people with partners with different interests. Individuals, partners and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more for a custom tour than an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.
Tour companies who run organized tours to Austria include the following. Many of these also offer custom tours.