Saturday 25 January 2014

Crocus power

Crocus reticulatus
Crocus weldenii
Today was sunny and quite chilly - actually the first day of real cold and sun in a while. Wallcreeper searching seemed a good idea, but at the end it didn't produced the hoped-for crimson butterfly-bird. This winter they are very difficult to see on the Karst and there has been just one single observation for the area as far as I know. The situation is a bit different in the Alps, where today 6 birds were seen by a single observer. Probably the lack of real cold until now has kept the birds up in the mountains.
Alpine Accentors instead are always present with small numbers. Today I saw two of them, feeding on the rocky slopes of the Glinščica/Val Rosandra valley. A pair of Ravens is now probably nesting in the area. A singing Mistle Thrush was also of note, along with 3 Rock Buntings on the ridge.
When there's a lack of birds, flowers are a real salvation on the Karst...even in winter. Today I found the year's first Crocus reticulatus (common species) and a nice carpet of Crocus weldenii (a rare Balkan endemism) - see last year's post.