Thursday 22 September 2011

Planina & Cerkniško jezero (with special DIPPER)

I spent an enjoyable day in Slovenia and "tasted" a bit of fresh continental weather. On the way to the Cerknica lake I couldn't skip the usual stop at Planina (near Postojna). To delight me was a handsome WHITE-THROATED DIPPER, sitting on floating vegetation in the the local stream. It allowded a quite close approach, so I could take some photos (see above) - video here. It wasn't particularly worried, not even by the anglers, fishing nearby. Two metres away from it, was a nice Snipe (perching on the riverbank). I watched the Dipper for about 10-15 minutes, then suddendly heard the call of a Grey-headed Woodpecker. Another bird answered and soon I was watching two indivuduals on the same tree. They seemed to be female/juvs (see pics below).

The quite rich birdlife in the area (although common species) gave additional attraction: 4 Little Grebes in the stream, Tree Pipits overhead, tons of Hawfinches, Long-tailed, Blue, Great, Marsh and Coal Tits, Short-toed Treecreeper, Blackcap, 3 Whinchats (nearby fields), Chiffchaff, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chaffinch, Blackbird, White Wagtail and few House Martins overhead. All these birds more or less at the same time.
At mid-morning I arrived on the Cerkniško lake. The most abundant bird was the Common Buzzard. All the fields were literally full of them... I think I got about +50 different Buzzards in the whole day. Along with them were many Kestrels.
Species of higher note included: Tree Pipit, 3 Stonechats (2 m and 1 f), 1 Yellowhammer, several Linnets, +5 Yellow Wagtails, some Skylarks, 3 juvenile Marsh Harriers (in different parts of the lake), 9 Great Egrets (at Dolenje Jezero), Mistle and Song Thrush, Hawfinch, Goldcrest, 1 Garden Warbler (near Otok), 2 GOSHAWKS (1 calling in the forest and 1 juvenile perching on a pole just out of Martinjak!), about 30 Crossbills (flocks near Otok), 1 Spotted Flycatcher, Crested and Coal Tits in the forest, 1 Black Woodpecker (forest), 2 Serins, 2 Willow Warblers, 6 Whinchats, 1 Northern Wheatear (1st winter near Martinjak) and 3 Honey Buzzards soaring at midday over Martinjak.