Tuesday 23 June 2015

Nanos plateau

Lilium carniolicum in its full beauty (despite the cloudy weather). This is a quite frequent flower on the high-Karstic dry grasslands like those on Nanos, but also in the Alps. It shares its habitat with the similar L. bulbiferum (see below). Also Trifolium montanum in the second photo.
Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis (male).
Alpine Chamois Rupicapra rupicapra (young).
Iris sibirica ssp. erirrhiza - a subspecies endemic to Slovenia, found on dry limestone grasslands on the high-Karst plateaus like Nanos, Snežnik, Trnovski gozd, Čičarija ect. Has its locus typicus on mount Kojnik in Čičarija (SW Slovenia).
Lilium bulbiferum (note Gladiolus illyricus in the back).
Libelloides macaronius. Not a moth, neither a dragonfly, but a colorful insect from the order Neuroptera.
Astragalus carniolicus
Saxifraga crustata & Astragalus carniolicus
Iris graminea in the beech woodland.
Allium victorialis - scarcer than the conspecific A. ursinum. Growing more or less in the same places where A. ursinum bloomed half a month ago. In Slovenia it is found in the Alpine region and Dinaric mountains.
Laserpitium siler & Rosa pendulina in the background.
Drypis spinosa ssp. jacquiniana - a typical plant of rocky limestone screes exposed to the south.
Nanos is the kingdom of Rock Bunting Emberiza cia!
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus with one of the several paragliders present yesterday.
Nanos' grassy plateau.
Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus with food for the brood, in a hedge on the Karst.
Young Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes
A quick visit to the grassy plateau of Nanos yesterday produced a nice variety of wildlife. The most interesting were a Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis (video here) and Lilium carniolicum in flower across the dry grasslands. Supporting cast included a Chamois Rupicapra rupicapra and about 10 Griffon Vultures Gyps fulvus on passage. Lots of Rock Buntings Emberiza cia, Tree Pipits Anthus trivialis, Stonechats Saxicola torquatus and Skylarks Alauda arvensis. All in all a typical Nanos scene (only missed the Golden Eagle).

During the past two weeks there was a nice movement of Yelkouan Shearwaters Puffinus yelkouan on the sea in front of my house. I saw flocks of 20 and up to 100 birds passing quite close to shore several times. June is the top month for the species and my local patch is perhaps one of the best places to see it.
Part of a flock of +100 Yelkouan Shearwaters Puffinus yelkouan.