Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Break in Croatia

I'm just back from a short non-birding holiday to central Dalmatia (Croatia). Visited areas included the Krka National Park near Šibenik, Murter island and the Kornati National Park (archipelago of 140 islands). The quite hot weather was a limiting factor for birdwatching, but I managed to see a couple of good species. Krka NP held: Short-toed Eagle (quite common), Red-backed Shrike, 3 Whiskered Tern (2 juvs and 1 ad), 8 Pygmy Cormorants, Alpine Swift, Water Rail, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Turtle Dove, Yellow Wagtail, Great Reed Warbler, 3 Golden Orioles, 1 Nightjar (at night), 1 RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (in flight) and 1 black-throated male BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR.

2 Eagle Owls on Murter island were the most interesting sight: a juvenile and an adult sitting on a stony wall at dusk (in very good light). The juvenile was being fed by the adult and was calling loudly (Jay-like call). Then the adult flew away and landed on a distant pine-tree, showing well, with the juvenile remaining on the stony wall among olive-trees.

Also of interest on the island: Turtle Dove (the commonest bird - very tame), 3-4 Common Terns, Sardinian Warbler (common), 1 female Black-eared Wheatear, 1 Cirl Bunting, 1 Nightjar, 1 Melodious Warbler (singing) and several European Green Toads (in the evening). In the town of Murter also several PALLID SWIFTS and 2 juvenile Crested Larks.

Boat trip to the Kornati archipelago held very few interesting birds: 5 Great Crested Grebes, 1 male Blue Rock Thrush, Sardinian Warbler, 1 Red-backed Shrike, 1 Kestrel and 220-300 Shags in tight flock. Also 2 BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS were spotted.

Above: some shots of the trip