The Labanoras Project, origins and background PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   



Way back in the summer of 2004, up and down the country I travelled, a summer and a half looking for the perfect spot ...then finally my search was over, I stumbled across a small plot that seemed just the job. Up for sale, 35 hectares of forest and meadowland. I thought it over, it looked the perfect place to create my dream, a reserve to preserve a little corner of Lithuania and a selection of its birds. 


Then, as I pondered the debts I would incur, over flew a Roller, a bird in decline and nigh on extinct in Lithuania ...that just about clinched it, off to the bank manager I went and the rest is history. On the 1st of September that year, my reserve was born!

Last Updated ( Saturday, 24 October 2020 )
Labanoras Bird List. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   



With a mix of habitats, from flood forest to flower meadows, coupled with a location between major lake systems, my 35 hectares have proved exceptionally productive in the years since autumn 2004, surprises turning up season after season.


Amongst the highlights, Rollers, Cranes, both storks, Pygmy Owl, Quail and Corncrake, plus eight species of woodpecker and 19 species of raptors, including White-tailed and Lesser Spotted Eagles. In addition, quite a number of birds rare in Lithuania have been recorded - as much a testimony to the amount of time spent at the site as to the locality itself. These include Short-toed Eagle, Pallid Harrier, Red-footed Falcon, Bee-eater, Yellow-browed Warbler, Arctic Redpoll and a Pine Bunting.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 September 2021 )
Labanoras Mammal List PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

 Bank Vole

In the forests, meadows and damp habitats on my land, a total of 31 species of mammal have been recorded so far, including such species as Moose, Wild Boar, Raccoon Dog and Beaver, as well as the rarer Lynx and Wolf (tracks only).

An ongoing task, more investigations are needed on the small mammal communities. To date, the species recorded do not reflect the true status of small mammals, as surely more rodents occur. Bat species are also little investigated.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 01 May 2018 )
Rollers in Labanoras PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

RollerAt a national level, Rollers were still fairly widespread in Lithuania in the mid-1990s, occurring in their best numbers in southern and eastern parts of the country, most notably in Dzukija and Aukstaitija. In those days, two to three pairs bred at Baltoji Voke, another near Marcinkonys and it was a bird I would see with some regularity. Then came the decline, the national population slumped, the birds at Baltoji Voke disappeared and the species became locally extinct across many parts of the country. The decline, possibly due to changes on the wintering grounds, left Rollers in Lithuania in a precarious situation, a mere scattering of pairs in pockets across the former range.

In the current day, even in former strongholds of the Labanoras and Aukstaitija areas, the sighting of a Roller is a rare event. The population is quite probably down into the tens, almost certainly not much higher.


Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 January 2013 )
Dragonflies and Damselflies at Labanoras PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

Scarce ChaserAn ongoing project, the aim is to photograph and identify all the species of Odonata that occur on my Labanoras land. Four broad areas across the land are particularly attractive to both dragonflies and damselflies - the pools excavated in 2004; a small marshy area in a hollow near the woodland; the woodland fringe itself; and the flood forest interiors, a mosaic of shallow waters and deeper areas of standing water.

Over 60 species of Odonata have been recorded in Lithuania and there is every reason to suppose a significant number of these might occur on my land ...the only challenge being to identify them, I freely admit to being a novice in this field and all notes presented on status are preliminary, based on the 2007 season and limited observations from previous years. So far, the results of my first serious season engaged in this interest, 31 species have been noted.


Last Updated ( Monday, 13 August 2007 )