Tuesday 19 December 2017

Snowy Karst

In the past two weeks or so, we haven't been much in the field, except for a few walks on the snow-covered Karst. In fact the weather has been mostly unfavourable with rain, snow and strong winds. Forests in some areas of central, southern and northern Slovenia have suffered greatly from wind storms combined with heavy snow. Large amounts of trees have been severely affected and the damage to Slovenian forests is comparable to that of the ice storm in 2014. Nevertheless the situation in western Slovenia was calmer and one snowfall after the other made the countryside look truly wintry. Here is some of the wildlife we encountered recently with a few photos of the snowy countryside:
Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius - 2 different birds observed near Postojna.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor - male.

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major, using an "anvil" to hammer a spruce cone and feed on the seeds.

Marsh Tit Poecile palustris
 Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus
Yellow-berried Mistletoe Loranthus europaeus - parasite on oak trees, with beautiful yellow berries that ripe in winter and adorn the grey canopies of broadleaved woodlands.

Track of Badger Meles meles, close to a sett.

Tracks of Red Deer Cervus elaphus
Up to 10-15 cm of snow have fallen in the inner part of the Karst. The strong winds on mount Nanos (last pic) usually sweep away most of the snow.