Dinosaur of the week: European Robin

robinThis Erithacus rubecula had made its home somewhere on the west coast of Scotland. The robins I’ve encountered in Scotland and England were a lot less shy than the ones in continental Europe.

The species is hunted around the Med, but generally the numbers seem to be on the rise.

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.

Dinosaur of the week: Pond Heron

pond-heron

We are entering the murky waters of Khao Lak in Thailand and the even murkier ones of heron taxonomy. This is a member of the Ardeola species, but apparently it is almost impossible to distuguish Ardeola speciosa (Javan pond heron) from Ardeola bacchus (Chinese pond heron) outside the breeding season. Their non-breeding ranges overlap, so take your pick.