These Apus apus were seen and heard in Slovakia, a couple of years ago. We have them here in Algeria too, but the flocks are always mixed in with Pallid Swift. As long as there are any swifts in the sky, it’s a proper one. However, according to the IUCN the ‘species is negatively impacted by building renovation, re-roofing or demolition which leads to a loss of nest sites.’ On top of that, swifts feed on insects so plummeting insect populations are bound to have an impact on the birds.
These two Anas platyrhynchos had made their home in the little park around lake Kuchajda in the middle of Bratislava. I find mallards beautiful and totally underrated. The species is considered least concern and in some regions invasive.
I’m not quite sure that this is indeed Poecile palustris and not a Willow tit – let me know in the comments if I got it wrong. The species is facing many dangers: habitat loss and fragmentation, agricultural intensification and increased pressure from predators to name but a few.
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.
Motacilla alba can be found in many places on this planet and it appears to do OK as a species, but it is thought that climate change is going to affect its migration. This individual was foraging on the bank of the river Danube in Slovakia.
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.