Saturday 2 June 2018

Birthday on Nanos

Every year on the 31st of May, Domen decides to spend his birthday on the top of mount Nanos (1262 m). This year was no exception and so we made once again the traditional ascent to this amazing mountain in western Slovenia. We started early in the morning from Razdrto, taking the steep, but nevertheless scenic path to the top of the mountain. As usual at this time of year, we enjoyed an amazing array of wildlife, from wildflowers to birds and butterflies. Some very similar reports (from previous years) can be found here (2017) and here (2015); this time we will show you the photos in chronological order, from the starting point in the valley, to the summit.
Mt. Nanos from the start of the path near Razdrto.

Peregrine Falco peregrinus - one of 3 noisy birds (a family) flying around the cliffs under the summit.

"Beech Longhorn Beetle" Morimus funereus - on the path in the thermophilous oak woodland, right at the treeline, under the cliffs.

Daphne alpina - in full bloom on the limestone ridge.

Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius - a singing male on the cliffs just over the treeline, 
at around 1000 m a.s.l.

Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis - 4 singing birds observed, including the one above that was holding territory just 100 meters above the Blue Rock Thrush, on the same ridge. 

Genista sericea - in full bloom, this year earlier than usual.

Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus - this bird made a few passages above the summit.

Saw-tailed Bush-cricket Polysarcus denticauda

Mountain Kidney Vetch Anthyllis montana ssp. jacquinii (also pure-white colour variety).

Illyric Iris Iris illyrica

View over the Nanoščica river basin, from the top of Nanos (looking east).

Nanos' summit with grasslands on the southern and forests on the northern slopes.

Grassy slopes on the Nanos' plateau.

"Kojnik's Iris" Iris sibirica ssp. erirrhiza - an endemic subspecies of the Siberian Iris, found on dry mountain grasslands in western Slovenia and NW Croatia.

Clouded Apollo Parnassius mnemosyne - up to 5 of this interesting butterflies on the dry meadows.

Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia - the commonest butterfly on the dry grasslands on Nanos' plateau.

Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae on Erysimum sylvestre.

Grass-leaved Iris Iris graminea

Limestone screes on dry slopes are ideal places for the Horn-nosed Viper Vipera ammodytes - one of these beasts (about 60 cm long!) crossed our path while we were descending from the Nanos ridge. Surely the day's most thrilling encounter!

Carniolan Lily Lilium carniolicum - in bloom some 10 days earlier than usual, we found several plants in nice flower all over the grassy slopes. A south-east European speciality, found and described in Slovenia (carniolicum=from Carniola=today's Slovenia).

Laburnum sp. Laburnum anagyroides/alpinum - in flower in the thermophilous woodlands on Nanos' southern rocky slopes.