Friday 14 February 2014

Golden Eagles in the sun

Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos, incl. 3 birds together (2nd pic)
View from the Nanos plateau, looking N. On the left side to the back is the Trnovo forest, while in the far back, the snow-covered Julian Alps are visible.
The view from the Nanos edge down into the Vipava valley and Karst
A splendid sunny day, perfectly clear and unusually warm for being February. The best possible idea for today was to go on Mt. Nanos (Slovenia) and enjoy some Golden Eagles while basking in the sun. And so I did. As soon as I arrived on the grassy plateau, first 2 and then 3 GOLDEN EAGLES performed very well while soaring above the Vipava valley. I identified them as 2 subadults and one adult. After the initial show, the birds disappeared very high in the sky. Then, for the rest of the morning, only one bird (an adult) made quite regular appearances above my head and kept me entertained...until about midday, when two birds were seen again together. Almost at the same time I noticed another massive raptor gliding SE above the Nanos ridge: it was a Griffon Vulture. Other raptors included a Sparrowhawk and a few Buzzards, but not much else. Smaller birds of note included Rock Bunting, Siskin, Crossbill and Woodlark (singing). A pair of Ravens was constructing its nest on a cliff ledge on the rocky slope.
Later in the day I made a brief visit to the river Hubelj, not far from the town centre of Ajdovščina, where a pair of DIPPERS was building a nest in a concrete bank.
Later on I also added Great Grey Shrike to the day list (seen perched on a bush) while I was driving back home. Perfect way to round up a pleasant day.