Thursday, May 16, 2019

πŸ“– BIRDING CROATIA 2019 πŸ‡­πŸ‡· ~ DAY 10/11

⛅️20C Wednesday 15th May 2019 ~ Thankfully the Bura wind had finally dissipated to produce a reasonably calm and mostly sunny day. A shorter morning walk than normal and a few additions to the local sightings with Common Whitethroat, Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff and Olivaceous Warbler, which I thought I'd heard the other day but never managed to connect with.

Red-backed Shrike ~ Such wonderful birds to see each morning.
After breakfast, we headed off to Paklenica National Park, known for the dramatic canyons of Velika and Mala Paklenica, plus karst rock formations and black-pine forests. The park is also home to bears but I think its highly unlikely we'll see any today!

Stunning scenery at Paklenica

It was a tough day which included a gruelling 10-mile hike and frankly for little reward on the birding front! The scenery was incredibly stunning as you would imagine but this is a real tourist attraction and the largest rock climbing centre in Croatia, so disruption is unavoidable. We did manage a few highlights which included Black Redstart, Rock Thrush and a flyby Mountain Apollo Butterfly but it was surprisingly devoid of Raptors and Woodpeckers in the huge forested areas. I suspect we would have had to walk many more miles to achieve our target birds today.

Elusive Eastern Orphean Warbler
☀️22C Thursday 16th April 2019 ~ An enjoyable but frustrating morning walk today! An Eastern Orphean Warbler was singing well but kept on the move and would not offer itself up for a decent photo! I also had some good scoped views of a Collared Flycatcher from the house but when I walked back to investigate I couldn't locate it again. However, this may well have been the result of a Red-Footed Falcon, which seemed very active this morning!

Vransko Lake boardwalk
It was our 10th wedding anniversary today and Dazza chose another visit to Vransko Lake to celebrate, which we visited on day one of our stay, but unlike then it wasn't blowing a hoolie. In fact, It was a glorious day, the best thus far with a pleasant breeze and comfortable 22C.

White-Winged Tern ~ From the boardwalk.
We began at the Crkvina Information Centre which has a wooden walkway looking out to the lake with 4 observation areas. As before there were a number of Pygmy Cormorant, which breeds here and plenty on the wing with White-Winged Tern, Whiskered Tern and Common Tern.

Great Reed Warbler occasionally making an appearance
The Reedbed was overwhelmed with the grating call of Great Reed Warbler but Reed Warbler, Cetti's Warbler and Marsh Warbler could be heard over the din. Other species of note during our stay included Great EgretLittle Egret, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron and Little Bittern.

This Little Bittern gave us a surprise around one corner! 
From here we spent the remainder of the day offroad driving the many tracks, stopping occasionally for a walk. It was a memorable day and I've listed the notables below, along with a few more photographs.

Photos of the Day...

Pygmy Cormorant

Little Bittern

Montagu's Harrier

Blue Rock Thrush

Species of Note Today...

Rock Partridge, Grey Partridge, Pygmy Cormorant, Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Great Egret, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Short-toed Eagle, Black Kite, Montagu's Harrier, Common Buzzard, Honey Buzzard, Goshawk, Kestrel, Red-Footed Falcon, Eleonora's Falcon, Grey Plover, Yellow-Legged Gull, Common Tern, White-Winged Tern, Whiskered Tern, Rock Dove, Turtle Dove, Cuckoo, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Bee-Eater, Roller, Hoopoe, Wryneck, Crested Lark, Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-Rumped Swallow, House Martin, Tawny Pipit, White Wagtail, Nightingale, Black Redstart, Whinchat, Blue Rock Thrush, Black-eared Wheatear, Zitting Cisticola, Blackcap, Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Cetti's Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Olivaceous Warbler, Chiffchaff, Spotted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Lesser Grey Shrike, Red-backed Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Raven, Hooded Crow, Golden Oriole, Spanish Sparrow, Serin, Linnet, Ortolan Bunting, Black-Headed Bunting, Corn Bunting