|White-backed and Three-toed Woodpecker habitat on a steep rocky slope on the Snežnik plateau.|
|On Friday I came across this Horn-nosed Viper Vipera ammodytes on a karstic meadow near Sežana. Sept-Oct looks like a good period to see vipers, before they start hibernating.|
I've spent the last couple of days on the Snežnik plateau and nearby areas. As mentioned above, yesterday I had a BROWN BEAR Ursus arctos and a White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos. On Saturday me and three other friends were taking part in a bird-race organised by DOPPS (BirdLife Slovenia), where different teams tried to score the greatest number of species seen/heard in a single morning around the town of Ilirska Bistrica (SW Slovenia) and nearby areas (including the Snežnik forests). Our team scored 59 species, while the winning team had 75. Our best bird was a Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria on some small roadside cliffs in the middle of the Snežnik forests. It's interesting to notice that last year I had one almost in the same area and in the same period. October seems like a good time for migrating Wallcreepers stopping at unusual sites. Most of the other birds recorded during the race were common species, except for a migrant Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus we had on a field near Ilirska Bistrica. We also had up to 6-7 Great Grey Shrikes Lanius excubitor, a few Dippers Cinclus cinclus along the river Reka and a few late summer-migrants.
To round up this post, I recommend watching this short video produced by the team from the newly-opened Karst Museum in Postojna. It shows amazing footage of Slovenian caves, cave-dwelling animals, as well as other animals, plants and landscapes of the Notranjska region (including mount Snežnik and its forests at the beginning of the video). Well worth a watch!