|Mt.Slavnik - 1028 m (photo by Neža Gregorič)|
I'll start with the "big day" spent at Cerkniško jezero (Cerknica lake) where we saw an adult WHITE-TAILED EAGLE, along with several other raptors like Peregrine (2), Hobby, a female Hen Harrier (first of the season), Marsh Harrier, and commoner ones. The water bodies held a mixed flock of 6 Wigeons, 11 Pintails, Teals and Mallards. In the evening we listened to 3 singing URAL OWLS in the forests above the lake and glimpsed one in flight too. Somewhere down by the lake a Tawny Owl was also singing and several rutting Red Deers were also heard. An overflying Night Heron (calling) above the forest was a bit unusual to hear.
A must-stop along the river Unica on Planinsko polje produced the hoped-for DIPPER - actually 3 handsome birds performing well on the fast flowing stream. Here's a short video of a bird feeding underwater. In the same area also 2 Kingfishers and several Grey Wagtails were also seen.
|Dippers on the river Unica|
|Lesser Spotted Woodpecker male (by Neža Gregorič)|
A day was spent walking the grassy hillsides above Rakitovec and enjoying the sun, as well as some raptors. The main target here was Rock Partridge, which we missed, but we managed to see a GOLDEN EAGLE and the season's first Meadow Pipits flying overhead.
And of course no trip is complete without a visit to wetlands. On one day we worked the Slovene coast from Škocjanski zatok NR to the Sečovlje saltpans. Škocjanski zatok produced Hobby, a migrant White Stork, Marsh Harrier, 2 Common Terns and an eclipse plumaged Red-breasted Merganser in the lagoon, plus other commoner waterbirds. On the Sečovlje saltpans we were successful in finding at least 5 Kentish Plovers, a real speciality of this area.
|White Stork following a tractor in the freshwater marsh|
|Hobby over Škocjanski zatok (by Neža Gregorič)|
|Whinchat in Škocjanski zatok (by Neža Gregorič)|
|Wheatear on Cerkniško jezero (by Neža Gregorič)|