Tuesday, 22 January 2008
Destinations: Lake Vrana - Croatia
Lake Vrana (Vransko jezero) lies on the Dalmatian coast 30km south of Zadar. It is the largest natural lake in Croatia and the best wetland in this part of the country for birds and birders. Besides the large expanse of open water there are reedbeds at the northern end of the lake where Pygmy Cormorant, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Marsh Harrier and various warblers breed. Getting down to the lakeside is not always easy: the best spot is usually by the ringing station at the northern end. Look for an observation tower which is visible from the road which runs inland from Pakostane. A few paths run down to the lake from the coast road, and there is a marked bike-route, too. The lake is at its best in spring (April & May) and in autumn (September & October) when passage terns, waders and songbirds stop off and join the residents. The surrounding farmland and dry scrub has the likes Woodchat and Lesser Grey Shrikes, Yellow Wagtail (black-headed feldegg race), Tawny Pipit and Cirl and Black-headed Buntings.