Monday, 26 March 2012

Spring in the countryside

Had a nice couple of hours on the Slovenian Karst this morning. The orchards, vineyards and open countryside around Pliskovica were teeming with wildlife. Top bird of the morning was my first WRYNECK this year. Actually there were two or more calling each other. I managed to glimpse one on the top of a dead tree. The singing Cirl Buntings were especially cool to see, along with two Corn Buntings "jingling the keys". Two or three Swallows around the buildings were the first I see on the Karst this year.
Lots of other commoner birds were around, but the most interesting included: Hawfinch, Serin, 1 singing Woodlark, 1 Goshawk (heard calling repeatedly from the nearby woodland), 2 Buzzards, 1 Song Thrush.
A SOUTHERN FESTOON (Zerynthia polyxena) was the best butterfly find of the morning. In general there was a nice movement of butterflies: Nettle-tree Butterfly, Orange Tip, Large Tortoiseshell, Common and Scarce Swallowtail, Comma, Brimstone, Small White...
The small pond just out of Pliskovica held several Water Boatmen, lots of Common Newts, frogspawns (both of Toad and frog sp.) and a Great Diving Beetle. A Grass Snake was basking nearby.
Earlier in the morning a farmer also "flushed" a Brown Hare that crossed the path just meters in front of me.
Pics above (top to bottom): Cirl Bunting (first two), Southern Festoon and Hepatica nobilis.

Local patch:
yesterday in the late afternoon a flock of cca 60 Garganeys was on the sea along with 2 Black-necked Grebes (breeding plumage). Also 50 Cormorants flew NW at 18.50 in "V" formation.