Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The essence of Cerkniško jezero

Last weekend we were once again on lake Cerknica (Cerkniško jezero), both for work and leisure. After a successful day's guiding, during which we also met a young Brown Bear Ursus arctos, we took a few hour's canoe ride on the lake and enjoyed in the wetland wildlife. Not many birds around at this time of year (apart from this), but an excellent selection of amphibious flora. The weekend was livened up by a few more interesting sightings, including a daytime Pine Marten Martes martes in the forests of Javorniki, a Rose-coloured Starling Pastor roseus in the farmlands of Dolenje Jezero (part of this year's large influx of the species), several Common Rosefinches Carpodacus erythrinus, a Black Stork Ciconia nigra, a Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius and a booming Bittern Botaurus stellaris. Among the many butterflies, the most interesting was the large and beautiful Purple Emperor Apatura iris on our way back home.
Brown Bear Ursus arctos, Javorniki mountains (photos by Simone Grossule). We encountered this young "teddy bear" whilst driving on a forest road, not far from lake Cerknica, in the Javorniki mountains.

Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus, Javorniki mountains.

Yellow Water-lily Nuphar lutea, Stržen stream (Cerknica lake).

Amphibious Bistort Polygonum amphibium (Persicaria amphibia), Cerknica lake.

Mare's-tail Hippuris vulgaris, Cerknica lake.

Scannning the reeds in the middle of Cerknica lake.

At the entrance of the Suhadolca cave at the north-western edge of the lake.

Purple Emperor Apatura iris, Rakov Škocjan. A large, impressive and rather rare butterfly inhabiting mountain forests. Note the electric-blue reflection on the upperwings. Most easily observed along forest roads, sucking minerals from animal's droppings or at puddles.

Sara & the Emperor.

 Woodland Brown Lopinga achine, Javorniki mountains.
Very common species along forest roads.

Lesser Marbled Fritillary Brenthis ino, Cerkniško jezero.

False Heath Fritillary Melitaea diamina, Cerkniško jezero.

Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus, Cerkniško jezero.