Friday 27 June 2014

Southern edge of Trnovski gozd - botanic trip

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 utriculosa
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.
Phyteuma scheuchzeri
Campanula trachelium
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.