|Rhododendron hirsutum in its full glory - widely distributed along the rocky slopes of Čaven, but only 5 or 6 flowering bushes found yesterday.|
|Hladnikia pastinacifolia (Apiaceae family) a true endemic of Trnovski gozd, found only here and nowhere else in the world! Discovered in 1819 by Franc Hladnik. Note the distinctive leaves (second pic).|
|Genista holopetala - another specialty of the area, in Slovenia growing only on the southern edge of Trnovski gozd. It has a Balkanic distribution, found mainly on the Velebit mountain range in Croatia.|
|Scabiosa graminifolia - pretty abundant here.|
|Lilium carniolicum - found on open grassy slopes. About 10-15 of these yesterday.|
|Lilium martagon - preferring more shady places than the other two lilies. Common in beech woodland on the margins of roads.|
|Lilium bulbiferum - the third species of lily seen yesterday.|
|Gentiana lutea - one single plant already in flower (first pic); others still in development, but looking really good anyway!|
|Iris sibirica ssp. erirrhiza - an endemic subspecies in Slovenia. In contrast with the nominate ssp. growing on wet grounds, this one prefers dry grasslands.|
|Two views from Čaven (southern edge of Trnovski gozd) looking towards the Vipava valley. Mt. Nanos is visible in the distance to the left (highest top).|
|Grassy-rocky slopes of Čaven, looking towards the Vipava valley and the Karst. The Adriatic sea (Gulf of Trieste) is visible far in the background to the right.|
|View towards the Trnovo forest|
My third ever true botanical visit to Trnovski gozd (Trnovo forest). More precisely the southern edge of the forest (Čaven and Mala Gora - 1034 to 1242 m), which is dominated by open grasslands, steep rocky slopes, cliffs and screes. An area of mix between different floras (Alpine, Balkanic, Submediterranean...) resulting in a large variety of interesting taxa, including several endemics and extremely localised species. No wonder I didn't see any birds... my look was constantly concentrated on the ground. At the end of the day I gathered a pretty long list of species, including several "dreamed of" lifers.
The only true interesting birds were 4 Lesser Grey Shrikes
seen in the Vipava valley at the end of the trip.