The Birth of a Pool PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

It was summer 2021. Ever since excavating two pools 17 years earler, I had gazed down upon them and admired their visitors - White Storks and Great White Egrets plodding the margins to hunt frogs and small fry, Goldeneyes pretty regularly, a Kingfisher on a couple of occasions, Green Sandpipers and Snipe now and then.

Old Pool

But always I had had that niggling thought 'how I would like the pools to be bigger'. In reality, measuring in at about 25 metres long and 15 metres long, I couldn't really say they were that small, but finally I had reached the conclusion that it was time to act - a floodpool a few hundred metres away had attracted a pair of Little Grebes to breed. And that was a dangerous place to breed, they had attempted there one time before and failed when it dried up prematurely. In summer 2021, they fledged the young with a whisker of time to go before it dried, but still the seed was now firmly planted ...I wanted a pool large enough to potentially attract them to breed.

Last Updated ( Friday, 05 November 2021 )
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 ( Sunday, 21 July 2024 )
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 33 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 ( Thursday, 21 September 2023 )
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 )