Monday, May 06, 2019

πŸ“– BIRDING CROATIA 2019 πŸ‡­πŸ‡· ~ DAY 1

Our latest journey takes us to Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, on the Adriatic Sea.

It borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro to the southeast, sharing a maritime border with Italy. It's our first visit here and for the next few weeks, we've chosen a comfortable house near the town of Razvode, around an hours drive from Split. Our vehicle for the duration of our stay is an SUV Dacia Duster 4WD.

Razvode to Lake Vrana ~ Routing through the hills and skirting the northern part of Krka National Park
Day 1 ⛅️πŸ’¨10C Monday 6th May 2019 ~ Around a two-hour drive taking the more scenic route to Lake Vrana in Dalmatia, the largest natural lake in Croatia. The lake is shallow, and therefore its entire bottom remains within reach of most waders which feed by diving. Hills to the east from the lake have areas covered with macchia and there are plenty of offroad tracks to explore.

Pygmy Cormorant ~ Battling the wind at Vranko Lake
This was a very challenging visit to the lake with a near gale blowing from the east. Scanning from the excellent boardwalk and viewing platforms was almost impossible and the disappointment of three viewing screens inexplicably closed was another burden. That said this is a stunning place and despite the challenge, a good selection of species were recorded.

Away from the lake, we drove offroad around the rocky hills to the east, which was only just passable in places but when finding sheltered areas birds were numerous.

Notable Species Seen...

Great Crested Grebe, Rock Partridge, Pygmy Cormorant, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Short-toed Eagle, Montagu's Harrier, Common Buzzard, Honey Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, White-winged Tern, Whiskered Tern, Rock Dove, Turtle Dove, Common Cuckoo, Common Swift, Bee-Eater, Sand Martin, House Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Nightingale, Black-eared Wheatear, Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Cetti's Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Hooded Crow, Golden Oriole, Linnet, Serin, Corn Bunting

Photos of the day...

Pygmy Cormorant ~ Vranko Lake

Turtle Dove

Rock Partridge

Short-toed (snake) Eagle ~ Several during the drive up to Vransko

Honey Buzzard with Hooded Crow in pursuit!

Red-footed Falcon ~ At least four birds hawking around 15 mins from the house. This one probably a 1st summer♂

Montagu's Harrier 

Montagu's Harrier

Squacco Heron

Purple Heron

White-winged Tern ~ At least 10 over the lake

Eastern Subalpine Warbler ~ Seems pretty common in the whole area!

Eastern Subalpine Warbler