Birdwatching Locations in Moscow

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Moscow Birdwatching Locations.

Russia is one of those places that is so huge that I wonder how long it would take to go birding there. To get the ball rolling, I have created this article on the popular birdwatching locations in Moscow for anyone heading there.

The information provided here is relatively basic, and you can do birding in Moscow on your own at most of these places. But again, engaging a bird guide in Moscow is much better as it will be faster and easier.

Birdwatching Locations in Moscow

The list below shares some popular places for birding in the Russian capital city area. You can use Google Maps to locate them. Otherwise, I recommend getting a reputable bird guide to take you to these places without getting lost.

Elk Island Birdwatching Losiny Ostrov National Park
Elk Island, also known as Losiny Ostrov National Park.

Losiny Ostrov National Park (Elk Island)

Losiny Island is the largest forest area near Moscow. It is a specially protected area of 11,000 hectares and has been a national park since 1983. Bird counts have revealed that the Losiny Ostrov National Park is home to over 170 species of birds, among which there are several from the Red Book – for example, the grey shrike, the white-tailed eagle, and the blue tit. Experts advise entering the park from the village of Torfopredpriyatie (Korolev) or the city of Mytishchi. Special bird trips are held in the park, and one is dedicated to waterfowl and shorebirds. A birdwatching tower is also found on the Chugunny Bridge.

Losiny Ostrov National Park (Национальный парк Лосиный остров)
Address: Korolev, Tsentralnaya Street, building 12 (Ecological Centre of the Losiny Ostrov Park)
Birds to See: Owl, woodpecker, cuckoo, oriole, jay, warbler, flycatcher, fieldfare, goldfinch, thrush, tit, nuthatch, red-footed falcon, hobby falcon, goshawk, kestrel, common buzzard, honey buzzard. Etc.

Crane Homeland Nature Reserve (Zhuravlinaya Rodina or Журавлиная родина)

The Crane Homeland Nature Reserve in Taldom (Zhuravlinaya Rodina) is ideal for beginner or novice birdwatchers and is home to over 215 species of birds. Birders come here to watch the grey cranes, which gather in flocks before flying away for the winter. The Homeland of the Crane is also the largest of the 12 state wetland preserves that contain fens in floodplains, bogs and dwarf pine forests. Take note that it is not easy to get into the reserve – only as part of an organised excursion, for which you need to sign up in advance or engage a bird guide who can arrange everything for you. This means you cannot visit this place on your own.

Crane Homeland Nature Reserve (Журавлиная родина)
Address: Taldom Urban District, Dmitrovka village
What you can see: Grey crane, white stork, osprey, steppe harrier, lesser spotted eagle, murrelet, great snipe, great godwit, tawny owl, owl, European bee-eater, European bunting, greater spotted eagle, azure tits, European curlew, pigeon hawk and Ural owl geese.

Nara Fish Farm Ponds (Нарские Пруды)

The Nara Fish Farm Ponds is home to several ponds where many local birders come to see grey herons, as the colony is located in the coastal forest. They say that even a great cormorant and a great white heron were seen here, which is uncommon and possibly a rare visitor. This birding location is about an hour’s drive from Moscow city.

Nara Ponds
Address: Kubinka Fishing Park, Asakovo, Moscow Oblast
What you can see: Grey heron, owl, oriole, bunting, jay, woodpecker, black-necked grebe, grebes and others.

Sokolniki Park

The Sokolniki Park has the only Ornithological Veterinary Rehabilitation Center in Russia, and they have a special ornitarium that is open all year round, from Tuesday to Sunday and is located at the intersection of Mitkovsky Proezd with the First Luchevoy Clearing. This park dates back to the 18th century and holds a lot of history. There is an entrance ticket that costs 300 roubles per person. It is a massive park; therefore, you will find most of the common Moscow garden birds around here. Not forgetting it gets crowded on weekends.

Sokolniki Park
Address: Ulitsa Sokol’nicheskiy Val, 1, стр. 1, Moscow
Birds to see: Kestrel owl, tawny owl, long-eared owl.

Lyubertsy Filtration Fields at Nekrasovka

This place is a massive filtration field and a biological treatment system for Moscow wastewater. The overall area consists of mud flats fenced off by dams. Not much is known about this area, but birders say it is one of the best places to see all kinds of birds. It is best to go with a bird guide, as they would know the exact places. From Moscow, it takes about 50 minutes to drive here.

Lyubertsy Filtration Fields
Address: Lyubertsy, Nekrasovka
What you can see: Black-headed and glaucous gulls, lapwing, bunting, kestrel, marsh harrier, warblers, wagtail and others.

Biserovo Fish Farm, Pearly Lake.
An aerial view of Pearly Lake.

Pearly Lake or Biserovo Fish Farm (Рыбхоз Бисерово)

Biserovo is a massive lake area with over ten lakes. Some of them are fish farms, while others are natural lakes, and the Biserovskoye Highway runs between some of them. Russian birders claim that this place is excellent for watching wetland birds. From Moscow, it takes about one hour to drive here.

Pearly Lake
Address: Bogorodsky, Biserovskoye Highway
What you can see: Black-headed, glaucous, and herring gulls, coots, red-headed ducks, lapwings, mallards, grebes, and others.

Park Pokrovskoe-Streshnevo

The Pokrovskoe-Streshnevo Park is home to about 200 species of birds, many of which are not difficult to spot during regular walks. You can go birding on your own or take a birdwatching tour, during which you can not only look at the birds but also learn about their diversity and nesting characteristics and distinguish bird calls.

Park Pokrovskoe-Streshnevo
Address: Pokrovskoye-Streshnevo District, Moscow
Birds to see: Tit, blackbird, blue tit, woodpecker and thrush.

Alyoshkinsky Forest (Aleshkinskiy Lesopark)

The Alyoshkinsky forest, or Aleshkinskiy Lesopark, is home to wild animals and many birds. Apparently, bird feeders hang in the forest, where seeds, dried berries, oats, pearl barley, and unsalted lard can be placed to watch birds or photograph them.

Alyoshkinsky Forest
Address: Kurkino District, Moscow
Birds to see: Tit, nuthatch, blue tit, pika, goshawk, a sparrowhawk, a kestrel, and owls.

Sparrow Hill (Vorobyovy Gory)

Close to Moscow, about 100 species of birds are found near Sparrow Hills, 37 of which are listed in the Russian Red Book (for example, the grey owl or the goshawk). Tap dancers, bullfinches, and waxwings arrive in winter, and nightingales organise concerts in the spring. You can practice birdwatching during a regular walk through the reserve or by walking along an eco-trail with a themed excursion dedicated to birds.

Sparrow Hill
Address: Ramenki District, Moscow
Birds to see: Woodpeckers, fieldfare thrushes, nuthatches and pikas all year around.

Lake Biserovo (Ozero Biserovo)

Lake Biserovoe is about an hour’s drive from Moscow on the city’s eastern side. The lake and ponds of the nearby fish farm are home to many shorebirds. You can get to the lake by train from Kursky station to Kupavna station. If you explore the forest on the lake’s shore, you may spot the blackhead, green mockingbird, or willow warbler.

Biserovo Lake
Address: Vishnyakovskiye Dachi, Moscow Oblast
Birds to see: Waterfowl, ducks, herons, grebes, waders, and gulls.

Gzhelka Fish Farm (Гжелка)

The Gzhelka fish farms are located in the Ramensky district and consist of 20 ponds, with a total area of ​​236.5 hectares in a pine forest. Besides birdwatching here, you can fish and rent a gazebo or camping spot for outdoor activities. For birding, you will find dozens of bird species nesting in the ponds and along the banks here. Security guards may cause trouble with visitors; therefore, it is recommended to go with a local or bird guide. From Moscow, it is a two-hour drive here.

Gzhelka Fish Farm
Address: Ramensky, Gzhelka, Moscow Oblast
What you can see at the ponds – Great grebes, grey herons, mallards, wigeons, tufted ducks, red-headed pochards, marsh harriers, etc.
Along the banks, you can see Cuckoos, woodpeckers, magpies, garden warblers, black-headed warblers, warblers, robins, thrushes, siskins, etc.

Borisovskiye Prudy Park Moscow Bird Watching
Park Borisovskiye Prudy in the Summer.

Borisovskie Ponds (Park Borisovskiye Prudy)

In 2019, the first fauna reserve in the capital was created in Park Borisovskiye Prudy to preserve endangered and rare species of animals and birds. Here, 174 species of birds and 63 species of animals are listed in the Moscow Red Book. The good part is that you can find a unique diversity of birds here, considered very rare in the city.

Borisovskie Ponds
Address: Orekhovo-Borisovo Severnoye District, Moscow
Birds to see: Pochard, lapwing, partridge, tufted duck, teal, pintail, corncrake, shoveler, moorhen, black-headed gull.

Botanical Garden of Moscow State University

The Botanical Garden at the Faculty of Biology of Moscow State University can only be visited as part of an excursion group. Various bird trips are held here from April to October, including ones dedicated to songbirds.

Botanical Garden of Moscow State University
Address: Ramenki District, Moscow
Birds to see: Fieldfare thrushes, starlings, tits, wagtails, mallards, jays, and long-eared owls.

Lotoshinsky Ponds

Lotoshinsky ponds and adjacent tracts are some of the most interesting places for bird watching in the Moscow region. Birdwatchers and ornithologists come here to see the white-tailed eagle, a bird of prey listed in the Red Book of Russia. You may need the assistance of a local guide to locate this birding place.

Lotoshinsky Ponds
Address: Lotoshino urban district, Novorizhskoye highway
What you can see: White-tailed eagle, great bittern, great spotted eagle, white stork, swan, woodpecker, remez, warbler and others.

Senezh Lake

Lake Senezh in Solnechnogorsk is a popular vacation spot among locals of Moscow and the northwest of the Moscow region. But for birdwatching, you must explore some of the lake’s surrounding areas with large forest patches. The coast by the Leningradskoye Highway seems popular for walking around for birding, while the known area is along the Timonovskoe Highway that cuts through the lake.

Senezh Lake
Address: Solnechnogorsk District, Timonovskoe Highway
What you can see: Great Grebe, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Marsh Harrier, Coot, Common Gull, Common Tern, Black Tern, Reed Bunting and others.

Cherustinsky Forest

This is a large forest area in the urban district of Shatura. It is mainly pine and spruce pine and has several swamps attracting various birds. The place is vast, so you need some time to explore it. A local guide should know where the good spots are.

Cherustinsky Forest
Address: Shatura District, Cherusti Village
What you can see: Capercaillie, hazel grouse, grey crane, greater spotted eagle, grey shrike, buzzard, corncrake, snipe, woodpecker, wagtail, oriole, jay and others.

Birdwatching Markovsky Pond Moscow
Markovsky Pond in the summertime.

Markovsky Pond

Visitors to this pond will be happy to know that a large colony of black-headed gulls lives here—more than two thousand pairs. It is recommended that you observe the birds from the area in front of the plant in the northwestern part. The birds are accustomed to people and almost do not react to visitors. Seagulls and their nests are clearly visible—you can do without binoculars. You probably need a guide to bring you here as it is in a heavy industrial zone.

Markovsky Pond
Address: Mytishchi urban district, 81st km of the Moscow Ring Road, near the Mark platform
What you can see: Black-headed gull, red-headed pochard, nightingale, chaffinch, bluethroat and others.

Moscow Birdwatching
A bird photographer in action.

Conclusion

Some of the above locations are taken from Russian websites promoting birding in the greater Moscow area, while others are taken from various birding sites or birders who visited Moscow. The information here was created to provide a simple guide to birding around Moscow. Some of you may be headed here for business, a holiday, or even a special birding trip and may find this information useful.

I have yet to visit Moscoe, let alone Russia, for birding, but I have put this into my birdwatching bucket list of places to visit. I hope this list has come in handy for those wondering what the birdwatching locations in Moscow are. Thank you, and if you enjoyed my work, don’t forget to buy me a cup of coffee or donate to the team and me so we can continue doing more birding articles.

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