Dinosaur of the week: Common Blackbird

blackbird

I think Turdus merula is quite often under-appreciated. They sing so marvellously it’s just always a joy and I’m happy that we’ve got a resident pair around. Overall, the species is doing fine apart from Britain, where agricultural intensification is playing a part in its decline.

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Dinosaur of the week: Long-tailed Tit

long-tailed tit

Aegithalos caudatus is one of my favourite species. They’re quite social birds and also, as you can see in this photo which I took in Slovakia, pretty acrobatic.

The species is not threatened at the moment. Having said that, habitat fragmentation and replacing old forests with monocultures have a negative impact (https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/103871923/874710819).

Dinosaur of the week: Eurasian Nuthatch

nuthatch

Sitta europaea is lovely to look at. The species is doing alright, but since they live in old forests local populations are under threat from logging, e.g. in Poland.

This one was on a bird feeder in Slovakia. Remember to feed birds seeds and nuts. Feeding bread is a really bad idea as it damages the birds’ digestive system.

Dinosaur of the week: Eurasian Kingfisher

common kingfisherI’ve seen Alcedo atthis in Austria, Slovakia and Germany. The species is widespread, and fortunately it is labelled as ‘Least concern’. However, if you look at the entry in the Red List, that is because a lot of data is unknown (http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22683027/0).

Swansong to a floodplain

Yeah, I’m feeling a wee bit sentimental. We’ve left our home of three years in Bratislava, said good-bye to many a good friend (who we hope to meet again in the future), and also said bye to our favourite twitching places along the river Morava / March. And because spring had already mightily started to spring, we had some lovely sightings in the floodplain near Devinska Nova Ves like a yawning stork, circling white-tailed eagle or a hare:

We also went to the WWF nature reserve -just over the border in Austria- in Marchegg, to see more storks and other birds:

I was particularly happy to have seen the breeding herons again. On top of that, I had never knowingly seen gadwalls before, so that was a rather welcome sight too.

Of course, there was some non-avian activity. The frogs and toads were mating, and snakes were around to hunt the mating amphibians.

Yep, it’s sad to leave such places, but there’s also the fact that we take some¬†wonderful memories with us. Plus, there’s the chance to explore something new.