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The Labanoras Project
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 ( Sunday, 17 March 2013 )
Labanoras Bird List. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

NutcrackerWith 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 17 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 ( Monday, 20 January 2020 )
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 )
Labanoras, woodpecker banquet PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

Though nine species of woodpecker breed in Lithuania, several have restricted ranges, occur in very low densities and are listed in the country's Red Data Book. For whatever the reason, in the course of an average year's birding, I would rarely see more than four or five species, perhaps six if I was lucky.

White-backed WoodpeckerWouldn't it be nice if that situation were to change! It had been my intention with the creation of a reserve to establish a feeding station that might attract in a few of these species, perhaps even one of the rarer ones! However, even in my wildest imagination, I could never have prepared myself for success that was to follow! The story begins back in the autumn of 2004 ...setting eyes upon the woodland at the heart of my soon-to-be reserve, the forest just screamed 'woodpecker'! I had found all the ingredients I was hoping for - a mix of mature deciduous trees, a lot of dead standing wood and a mosaic of habitats from dry woodland through to flood forest, the latter being alders and birches standing in a metre of water.

Step one was to establish the feeding station, a quiet spot on the divide between the dry and wet woodlands, step two was to wait. Soon the birds would arrive...



Last Updated ( Saturday, 04 March 2017 )
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 )