Monday 29 October 2018

Forest & sea

Beech Fagus sylvatica, Mt. Nanos.
A timid Ural Owl Strix uralensis in the forests of mount Nanos.
"Fir Coral Tooth Fungus" Hericium alpestre - a rare fungus, growing on dead or decaying trunks of Silver Fir Abies alba in mountain forests. Found several in the forests of mount Nanos.
Club Coral Calvariadelphus truncatus, Mt. Nanos.
Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris (dark morph), Mt. Nanos.
Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius (male and female) going to roost in a beech-oak woodland in the Karst. The male occupied the same cavity used for nesting in spring.
Green Woodpecker Picus viridis also preparing to roost, very close to its black cousins.
Turkey Oaks Quercus cerris sport surprisingly big acorns this autumn (left-side acorn in the higher pic belongs to a Sessile Oak Q. petraea - for size comparison). Both pics from a woodland in the Karst.
Yelkouan Shearwaters Puffinus yelkouan in the Gulf of Trieste.

It's been relatively quiet recently, so here's another short post with some autumn wildlife from the karstic woodlands & Dinaric forests of western Slovenia plus a "marine addition". We haven't been far from home in the past week or so, just a short visit to the mountain forests of the Nanos plateau and a few visits to woodlands close to home. For a change, we also descended to the sea coast near Trieste, trying  to do some seawatching, during a spell of bad weather and strong SE winds blowing from the sea (on the 28th of October precisely). We were successful in seeing several small flocks of Yelkouan Shearwaters Puffinus yelkouan playing with the wind in the Gulf. These birds are regularly seen both on the Slovenian and Italian side of the Gulf of Trieste, especially during spells of bad weather. Basically, the same birds that visit the Italian side are those that visit the short stretch of Slovenian sea. Nevertheless, it's always quite exciting to watch these seabirds from the coast as we aren't quite used to their presence in our small and shallow sea. Here an old pic from October 2012, involving a flock of Yelkouans with the church of Piran (on the Slovenian coast) as a backdrop.