|Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus, hunting over Škocjanski zatok NR.|
A regular summer guest to the reserve.
|Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus (fledgling), Škocjanski zatok NR.|
|Beach Flax Linum maritimum, Škocjanski zatok NR. |
A very rare and endangered species in Slovenia, found only at two sites along the coast.
|Salt Sandspurry Spergularia marina, Landscape Park Strunjan.|
Another localised species of the Slovenian flora, found on saline soils along the coast.
|Breeding habitat of Black Stork Ciconia nigra in SW Slovenia.|
|Black Stork Ciconia nigra - recently we observed an adult near its nesting site in the Brkini region.|
The species is a very rare breeding bird in SW Slovenia.
|House Martin Delichon urbicum, Brkini hills.|
|Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus, Brkini hills.|
|Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio on Ferulago campestris, Karst near Sežana.|
|The dry meadows in the Karst near Sežana.|
|Round-headed Leek Allium sphaerocephalon, Karst near Divača.|
|Grecian Foxglove Digitalis laevigata, Karst near Divača.|
This Balkan species is very localised in Slovenia and mostly found in the Karst.
|Amethyst Eryngo Eryngium amethystinum, Karst near Divača.|
|Stag Beetle Lucanus cervus in the garden, Karst near Sežana.|
|Great Capricorn Beetle Cerambyx cerdo in the garden, Karst near Sežana.|
|Stenopterus rufus - a Longhorn Beetle (Cerambycidae), in the garden, Karst near Sežana.|
|Stenurella bifasciata - a Longhorn Beetle (Cerambycidae), in the garden, Karst near Sežana.|
|Spotted Longhorn Rutpela maculata (Cerambycidae), Karst near Sežana.|
|Strangalia attenuata - a Longhorn Beetle (Cerambycidae), Brkini hills.|
|Large Chequered Skipper Heteropterus morpheus in the garden, Karst near Sežana.|
|Aspen Lappet Phyllodesma tremulifolia in the garden (moth trap), Karst near Sežana.|
|Leopard Moth Zeuzera pyrina in the garden (moth trap), Karst near Sežana.|
|Bombus haematurus - a SE European species of bumblebee, recorded for the first time|
in Slovenia in 2007 (read here). We see it in our garden on a daily basis. Thanks to Andrej Gogala for the ID.
|Red-tailed Bumblebee Bombus lapidarius in the garden, Karst near Sežana.|
|Buff-tailed Bumblebee Bombus terrestris (probably) in the garden, Karst near Sežana.|
|Common Carder Bee Bombus pascuorum in the garden, Karst near Sežana.|
|Brown-banded Carder Bee Bombus humilis in the garden, Karst near Sežana.|
|Common Cuttlefish Sepia officinalis, Gulf of Trieste.|
It's been a rather slow and typically summerish couple of weeks. Bird monitorings proceed as usual at Škocjanski zatok, while other field activities are quite reduced (except during the weekends). The most interesting observation so far was a Black Stork Ciconia nigra near its nesting site in the Brkini region, where we've been regularly observing the species for the last 10 years or so. This spring an active nest was found, thus confirming the species' breeding in the area. Black Stork is a very rare breeding bird in SW Slovenia, where perhaps only 2 or 3 pairs nest, while it is somewhat commoner in the lowland and hilly eastern part of the country.
Otherwise we've been focusing more on butterflies and other invertebrates, especially the bumblebees & moths in our garden. The garden highlight, like every year in this season, was watching Stag Beetles Lucanus cervus flying around at dusk, while on one occasion even a Great Capricorn Beetle Cerambyx cerdo came to say hello. We also had several moth trapping sessions, but the nights have been quite cold lately. We are still waiting for some more usual summer weather to make the most out of butterflies & moths. Last week we also went snorkeling and were excited by a close encounter with a nice Cuttlefish Sepia officinalis. The above photo was taken in the moment when it turned dark, right before releasing the ink and propelling itself away at light speed. Hopefully more to report from the underwater world in the coming posts.