Saturday, May 18, 2019

πŸ“– BIRDING CROATIA 2019 πŸ‡­πŸ‡· ~ Last Days!

☀️⛈21C Friday 17th May 2019 ~ The morning walk was below cloudless skies, a rarity during this holiday but the birdsong today was glorious and at its peak. Corn Bunting, Black-Headed Bunting and Cirl Bunting were heard within yards of each other and it's also great to hear singing Shrikes with Lesser Grey, Woodchat and Red-Backed. Other species recorded included Cuckoo, Black-eared Wheatear, Tawny Pipit, Chiffchaff, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Eastern Subalpine Warbler and even a distant Quail got in on the act. One surprise was a trio of Black Storks which drifted overhead towards the west and both Short-Toed Eagle and Red-Footed Falcon were seen at distance.

Red-Backed Shrike

Black-Headed Bunting
Last week during the rain and wind we took a drive out to Lake Peruća and the surrounding meadows which looked like excellent habitat. Today we returned in the sunshine and were not disappointed. The area combines complex karst fields with large wet and dry meadows in between, these are covered with predominantly beech and to a lesser extent mixed with oak, hornbeam and thermophilic pubescent oak forests and shrub.

Three Toothed Orchid

Southern Festoon
One particular meadow we walked through produced a few nice finds including Three-Toothed Orchid and Southern Festoon Butterfly. The marsh areas produced Purple Heron, Corncrake, Great Reed Warbler, Water Rail and a possible Little Crake heard, although I'm not claiming it as the local frog population soon drowned it out. Both Stonechat and Whinchat were noted while here along with a flyby Montagu's Harrier.

Yet another Montagu's Harrier
Driving higher up into the Karst Meadows was a delight, literally stopping every few minutes to check out sightings and some spectacular lightning from nearby storms. There were double-figure Bee-Eaters, mainly around the watering holes and Wheaters were in abundance with many sightings of Northern and Black-Eared, plus RollerTawny Pipit and Stone Curlew. However, the highlight had to be a pair of displaying (Greater) Short-Toed Larks.

(Greater) Short-Toed Lark 

(Greater) Short-Toed Lark 
☀️🌧20C Saturday 18th May 2019 ~ Today was our final day and with rain forecast for the afternoon, we decided to stay pretty close to home. We're literally on the edge of the Krka National Park and the plan was to take in some areas of the northern edge we'd not yet visited.

Large Blue
Queen of Spain Fritillary

Queen of Spain Fritillary
It was a lovely walk to end our trip picking up a few more species to add to our holiday list including Barred Warbler, Dipper, Large Blue and Queen of Spain Fritillary Butterflies. I'll post a final list of species once I've trawled through the many photos back in the UK, lots I'm sure with ID queries. However, I must end by mentioning the guys back home who've already helped in ID issues: Fred Stokes, Jim Rushforth and Jim Timms, who are always willing to help and of course the brilliant Dazza my amazing wife who has unlimited patience 😍 Farewell Croatia....

A few more images of the day...


Silver Studded Blue

Great Reed Warbler