Monday, 29 March 2010

Destinations: Pakri neem - Estonia

The Pakri neem headland can be a wind-swept and desolate place, with its old lighthouse and crumbling Soviet army ruins. But at the right times, with favourable weather in spring and autumn it is an excellent passage watch-point. Drivers, wildfowl, gulls and raptors can be numerous and several Estonian rarities have been found here. This is also the best place in Estonia to see Black Guillemot. It is just north of Paldiski which is an hour west of Tallinn by the coastal road number 19.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Special Birds: Eagle Owl

Eurasian Eagle Owl Bubo bubo is Europe's largest owl, sometimes 4 kilos in weight. It is powerful predator of the night. Eagle Owls are widespread and live in a variety of habitats in the region, urban and wilderness, from sea-level to high mountains but usually in rocky places. This photo by Peter Ferrara was taken in eastern Bulgaria.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Destinations: Slovensky Raj - Slovakia

Slovensky Raj is known in English as the Slovak Paradise. It is indeed a scenic mountain area, a National Park with streams and waterfalls. There are extensive mixed forests of beech and conifer with most of the forest and sub-Alpine birds that one would expect in Central Europe. For example, Three-toed and Black Woodpeckers, Pygmy and Ural Owls, Hazel Grouse, Wallcreeper, Dipper, Crested and Willow Tits and Nutcracker etc. There are also Wolves, Lynx and Brown Bears here. This is not an easy place to bird, so some effort will be needed to get the rewards. The park has an extensive, marked system of hiking trails though some are tough, with ladders to climb and walkways to cross, so check contours on the good local maps before you set off. The gateway to the area is the town of Spisska Nova Ves.