January is a good month for following animal's tracks in the snow. Recently I made two snow-tracking visits that proved very productive. I went looking for tracks both close to home, on the Slovenian Karst and further afield in the Snežnik forests. Moreover I've also been to lake Cerknica (Cerkniško jezero) and a few other places, trying to see some live animals as well. Here and there a few woodpeckers and owls materialised in front of me, as it frequently happens. I leave you to the pics with some comments below.
|Footprints of Eurasian Lynx Lynx lynx in the snow, Snežnik forests, 23rd January 2017. Note the funny-looking ice cream shape of the footprints, made when the animal walks in the deep snow and leaves behind signs of the furry legs too.|
|Tracking animals in the Snežnik forests, 23rd January 2017.|
|Footprints of Wolf Canis lupus, Slovenian Karst, 14th January 2017. Although nearly impossible to ID for sure, due to the similarity with domestic dogs, these tracks belong most certainly to a Wolf. The most characteristic traits, typical of Wolf noticed were: the overall straight walk (for about 2 km on a forest road), the absence of any human footprints nearby, the footprint size and shape and... the opinion of an expert. Moreover Wolves are know to be present in the area where the tracks were found. In the whole of Slovenia there are about 11 packs of Wolves, concentrated mostly in the central and western part of the country, where they inhabit the Dinaric mountains. The new, updated report of the Wolf monitoring in Slovenia is available here (with summary and maps in English).|
|Lobaria pulmonaria, Snežnik forests, 23rd January 2017. This rare and endangered lichen, indicator of unpolluted air, is actually very common in the forests of Snežnik. It is typically found on the rough bark of old sycamores Acer pseudoplatanus.|
|Neottia nidus-avis, Cerkniško jezero, 21st January 2017. The remains of a dry orchid from last summer, sprouting out of the snow.|
|Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus, Rakov Škocjan, 21st January 2017.|