Thursday, 30 April 2009

Special Birds: "Eastern" Greylag Goose

The eastern race of Greylag Goose Anser anser rubirostris is a quite common breeder on freshwater wetlands in C and E Europe. It is indeed the only breeding goose over most of the region. Eastern birds differ from western birds by having a pink bill (though this varies: note the bills of the birds in this photo) and much paler upperparts and particuarly forewings. Photo by Mike Crutch taken at Nove Mlyny, South Moravia, Czech Republic, in March 2009. 

Monday, 27 April 2009

Destinations: Roski Slap, Krka NP, Croatia

Roski Slap is a scenic area with a waterfall and cliffs on the Krka River in the Krka National Park in Central Dalmatia, Croatia. Birds here include Yellow-legged Gull, Scops Owl, Cetti's and Subalpine Warblers, Black-eared Wheatear, Blue and Rufous-tailed Rock Thrushes, Western Rock Nuthatch, Alpine Swift, Crag Martin, Grey Wagtail and Cirl Bunting. Raptors include Peregrine, Short-toed and Golden Eagles. The area lies just inland from Sibenik, an hour and a litle north of Split. In summer this is also a great place for butterflies and dragonflies.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Special Birds: Paddyfield Warbler

Paddyfield Warbler Acrocephalus agricola is one of Europe's rarest and most sought after birds. It is a real Eastern European speciality breeding by coastal wetlands in eastern Romania and Bulgaria.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Destinations: Betliar Manor - Slovakia

The grounds of Betliar Manor cover over 80 acres and host several species of woodpecker, Crested Tit and Hawfinch all year round. In spring they are joined by a range of migrants such as Wryneck. In winter there are often flocks of thrushes, finches and Waxwings. The manor is a popular tourist site at weekends and on public holidays so it might be best to visit mid-week. Betliar lies by the village of the same name about 5km north of Roznava. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Destinations: Volovske vrchy - Slovakia

These mountains are on average lower than the more well know Low and High Tatras, though they are often blanketed in snow from November to March. They lie in south-east Slovakia to the west of the city of Kosice.  The Slovensky kras NP is just to the south of the Volovske. They are covered in some fine, old mixed conifer-deciduous stands. Key birds are Three-toed, White-backed, Grey-headed and Black-Woodpeckers, Hazel Grouse, Nutcracker and Ural, Pygmy and Tengmalm's Owls. This is an area where some walking is sometimes needed to get to these forest species.