|The edge of a forest reserve, marked with a double blue line.|
|White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos, female.|
|Ural Owl Strix uralensis|
|Brambling Fringilla montifringilla, male (above) & female (below).|
Other forest animals are also still active, especially in the conifers, such as the several Red Squirrels Sciurus vulgaris we observed gathering food on the woodland floor or the noisy herd of Wild Boars Sus scrofa that we surprised rustling in the leaf litter. Red Deer Cervus elaphus are basically everywhere although their presence can be noticed only by their signs. Brown Bears Ursus arctos are also still active, as the numerous droppings and feeding signs testify, although some of them might have already moved to their winter dens.
|A Brown Bear Ursus arctos has been digging hard and turning stones.|
|A probable bear's den, under a rocky block, with signs of turned stones and dug up earth.|
|Brown Bear's claw signs on a trunk crossing a wildlife "corridor".|
|A wildlife "corridor" where deer, boars and bears have "consumed" a fallen trunk by passing over it (and through it) repeatedly.|
Meanwhile lower down in the Karst around Sežana we've been visiting our usual circuits within short reach from home. Given the fine and sunny autumn weather with northeasterly winds we expected to see some good migration of Common Cranes Grus grus. However the migration of this species over western Slovenia has been very weak so far. Nevertheless on the 8th of November we saw a flock of 4 individuals arriving from the Razdrto area and migrating above the Divača-Sežana area. Next, on the 17th we saw 3 small flocks, all from the top of a small panoramic hill behind our house: 6 passed low above our head, 16 flew above Lipica and about 20 were seen very distantly, somewhere above Dutovlje-Komen. All flocks were heading westwards as typical for this season. Hopefully more larger flocks will follow in the coming weeks.
As lately we've been spending so much time indoors in front of the pc (smart working ect.), we've also been out on walks around home more often than usual. The discovering of hidden wild places that we initiated during the spring lockdown therefore continues. After our fantastic encounter with the Golden Jackal Canis aureus (see previous posts) we had several more sightings of this species. One day as we were setting a camera trap in the vicinity of the site where we saw this, a Jackal appeared out of nowhere and approached us, down to 10 metres, before realising our presence and fleeing. The camera trap results have been of course very productive. Another Jackal was seen some days earlier, while we were scanning a scrubby hill, where we also spotted two male Red Deer Cervus elaphus - another increasingly common mammal in the Karst, but more typical of montane forests. Among birds there were the usual multiple encounters with Middle Spotted Woodpeckers Dendrocopos medius as well as all the other commoner woodpeckers and Common Treecreeper Certhia familiaris (always an interesting find in the Karst). During a short vis migging session we also had the first Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus of the season (a nice male), migrating over the Karst.
A couple of days ago we also made an afternoon walk on the hill called Veliki Medvedjak (473 m), very close to Sežana and right on the border with Italy, where we enjoyed a superb view over most of the Karst, the western part of Slovenia and north-east Italy. Walking back in the evening, a hooting Eagle Owl Bubo bubo rounded up our walk perfectly. We certainly can't complain about our local patch!
|Common Crane Grus grus|
|Golden Jackal Canis aureus in the field (above) and on camera trap (below).|
|Red Deer Cervus elaphus - young male; above together with a stag (in the right corner).|
|Thermophilous woodland with limestone screes - habitat of Golden Jackal and Red Deer in the Karst.|
|Beech Fagus sylvatica|
|Basket Stinkhorn Clathrus ruber|
|Cool deciduous woodland on flysch in the Karst - from the outside...|
|View over the town of Sežana from Veliki Medvedjak (473 m), looking east.|
|Mt. Snežnik with its plateau is visible in the background.|
|Snežnik's summit (1796 m) sticking from behind the Sedovnik hill (575 m) above Sežana.|
|The "Sežana plain" with the villages of Orlek (far right) and Lipica (far left). The large hill in the centre is Kokoš (670 m), while the mountain in the distance is Slavnik (1028 m).|
|View east from Veliki Medvedjak hill.|
|A look towards Primorska's main landmark - Mt. Nanos (1262 m) with the village of Štorje in the foreground.|
|The iconic village of Štanjel on the edge of the Karst and the mountains on the Trnovo plateau: Mt. Čaven-Mala Gora (1032 m) and the Golaki Mts. (1495 m).|
|Another look north, behind the Trnovo plateau with the imposing mount Krn (2244 m) in the Julian Alps.|
|Mt. Triglav (2864 m) - Slovenia's "father", this time seen from Strunjan on the Adriatic coast.|
|Sunset from Medvedjak, over the Trieste Karst and towards the Adriatic sea.|