Tuesday 4 August 2020

Summer on the coast

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus, Landscape Park Strunjan.
A numerous summer guest to this coastal reserve; up to 400 birds are regularly observed in the evenings. An otherwise scarce bird in Slovenia, confined to the coast and some rivers in the north-east, where small numbers also breed.
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus, Landscape Park Strunjan.
Up to 7 individuals were observed in the saltpans from late spring to mid summer, although this rare species didn't breed in the area.
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus, Landscape Park Strunjan.
Two pairs have raised chicks in the Strunjan saltpans this year.
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus, Landscape Park Strunjan.
Bee-eater Merops apiaster, Landscape Park Strunjan.
Two pairs were discovered breeding in an olive grove within the park this year.
Melodious Warbler Hippolais polyglotta, Landscape Park Strunjan.
Stag Beetle Lucanus cervus, Landscape Park Strunjan.
Mallow Skipper Charcarodus alceae, Landscape Park Strunjan.
Common Myrtle Myrtus communis, Landscape Park Strunjan.
A Mediterranean plant with its only native (wild) location in Slovenia on the
thermophilous sea cliffs in Strunjan.
Sea Lavender Limonium angustifolium, Landscape Park Strunjan.
The thermophilous flysch (sandstone) cliffs of Strunjan form the longest stretch of
"wild" sea coast of the entire Gulf of Trieste.
Strunjan - the Slovenian Galapagos.
Mediterranean Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis ssp. desmarestii, Landscape Park Strunjan.
Good numbers of this endemic Mediterranean bird gather at Strunjan in the evening to roost on mussel-farm buoys.
Compass Jellyfish Chrysaora hyoscella, Landscape Park Strunjan.
Hope's Elysia Thuridilla hopei, Landscape Park Strunjan.
A 1 cm-long sacoglossan sea slug, common in the Slovenian sea, especially around Piran.
Cuttlefish Sepia officinalis, Landscape Park Strunjan.
Can you actually see it?
Warty Crab Eriphia verrucosa, Landscape Park Strunjan.
Black Goby Gobius niger, Landscape Park Strunjan.
Caneva's Blenny Lipophrys canevai (Microlipophrys canevae), Landscape Park Strunjan.
Mystery Blenny Parablennius incognitus, Landscape Park Strunjan.
Sand Steenbrass Lithognathus mormyrus, Landscape Park Strunjan.
Note the parasitic isopod attached to the rear end of the back.
Nest of Common Tern Sterna hirundo in the brackish lagoon of Škocjanski zatok.
Common Tern Sterna hirundo, Škocjanski zatok.
This chick was one of the very few to hatch this year. Most of the +80 nests were probably predated by Yellow-legged Gulls Larus michahellis, therefore the tern's breeding success was very low this year.
Muddy islands in the brackish lagoon at Škocjanski zatok with Sea Rush Juncus maritimus, a very rare plant in Slovenia, confined to the coast.
Cinnabar Moth Tyria jacobaeae, Škocjanski zatok.
Apparently a large population of this scarce and localised species thrives in this nature reserve. Around one thousand caterpillars were counted this season, feeding on their foodplant - Water Ragwort Senecio barbareifolius. A few adults were also observed nearby.
Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus, Škocjanski zatok.
Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio, Škocjanski zatok.
The first passerine migrant of the autumn season.

Hornets Vespa crabro on the nest (filmed through a window), Škocjanski zatok.

This time a short post concentrating on the wildlife of our "working routine" on the Slovenian coast, featuring Sara's pics from Landscape Park Strunjan and Domen's from Škocjanski zatok. Here and there we also take a dip into the Adriatic sea (mostly at Strunjan) and enjoy some marine wildlife too. The snorkeling highlight so far was the gorgeous and tiny sea slug Hope's Elysia Thuridilla hopei.
The first signs of late summer-autumn migration are evident at Škocjanski zatok in the form of Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea, tens of Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos, but also Red-backed Shrikes Lanius collurio. The breeding season is now definitely over with Common Terns Sterna hirundo mostly gone (although the breeding success was very low) and Little Terns Sternula albifrons "dispatching" the last fledglings.

P.S. we switched to the new Blogger dashboard that apparently allows us to display larger images, wow!