Tuesday 1 December 2015

Three-toed Woodpecker - male!

On Sunday I found myself roving in the forests around Cerkniško jezero (Javorniki mountains precisely) with a couple of friends. We had a nice walk in the snow and in a stand of dead conifers found a stunning male Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus, intensively feeding and allowing great views as usual (above; last photo by S. Cernich). Two short videos can be found here and here (watch at 720p). Being a male and set in a nice snow-covered forest with a warm sunshine, this was, with no doubt my best ever Three-toed Woodpecker!
Conifer forest on Javorniki with the season's first layer of snow (10-20 cm).
Javorniki mountains from Cerkniško jezero. The highest point, Veliki Javornik is 1268 metres high.
By the Cerknica lake (Cerkniško jezero), in a small woodland, we unexpectedly came across this nice Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius, which I've seen only once before in the area. In addition we also had Grey-headed Picus canus and Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius.
Fieldfares Turdus pilaris were common in the villages around Cerkniško jezero. The lake itself was partly dry and didn't produce many birds. Just a few ducks in the form of Wigeon Anas penelope, Gadwall A. strepera and Tufted Duck A. fuligula.
In the forest we also came across these tracks which could possibly be of Grey Wolf Canis lupus. The linearity of the tracks over several hundred metres of path, the paw size and the absence of human tracks nearby (all excluding domestic dog) suggest our hypothesis.