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2008 Diary
December 2008. Rain in Lithuania, sun in Oman. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

What disgusting weather in Lithuania to start the month off, rain, rain and more rain!

Crab PloverIn the first days, I did see a wet and bedraggled flock of 40 Waxwings in the city centre and manage a quick visit to Baltoji Voke, but the rain and low temperatures did little to encourage further outings. Come the weekend of the 6th and 7th, however, I decided it was time to venture out again - not only would this be my last weekend in Lithuania of the year, but I had inklings that a good bird or two might be lurking on Dusia Lake in the far south. Velvet Scoters, both Red-throated and Black-throated Divers, large numbers of Waxwings, the trip was impressive.

With no change in the weather though, fortunately I left Lithuania on the 11th for sunny Oman - a very nice trip indeed. Perfect weather, brilliant birds and splendid desert backdrops. With Socotra CormorantYemen Serin and Great Knot as the primary targets of the trip, with Crab Plover, Grey Hypocolius and Eversmann's Redstart as much desired too, I criss-crossed this fantastic corner of Arabia for 17 days, seeing birds in abundance at every turn. Wonderful days from start to finish.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 28 March 2009 )
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November 2008. Waxwings, Ural Owl and chums. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

Ural Owl

An excellent month, beginning with a record-breaking flock of 64 Black-throated Divers, a Black-necked Grebe and a White-backed Woodpecker all at Lake Dusia, then progressing with impressive numbers of Waxwings arriving in ever greater numbers, more than a 1400 seen in Vilnius alone. Later  in the month, other highlights included two Arctic Redpolls, the return of my Grey-headed Woodpeckers to the feeders and an absolutely stunning Ural Owl in north Lithuania. Had Europe's first ever Slaty-backed Gull, found near Klaipeda, stayed around an additional couple of days, then the month really would have been staggering!

 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 06 December 2008 )
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October 2008. Migration, migration! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

Marsh Harrier

 

As autumn approached this northern land, the annual exodus of birds began. Flocks of birds, thousands strong, provided some of the year's most exciting birding. Early in the month, from the odd Black Redstart in the city to tens of thousands of birds on the coast, passerines, raptors, waterbirds were all on the move.

Later, a quick trip to Britain offered chance to catch up with these fleeing birds, along with a nostalgic amble throught the marshes of North Norfolk, a backdrop of geese, waders, Spoonbills and Snow Buntings.

 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 October 2008 )
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August 2008. Flying high. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

White Stork chicks

 

 

An excellent start to the month, the Rollers fledging in Labanoras, plus the garden White Storks near ready to fly. On top of that, still butterflies in abundance, including such delights as Swallowtails and Camberwell Beauties, a Large Grizzled Skipper, nine species of fritillary and three new species for me -  a Lesser Marbled Fritillary at Labanoras and both Little and Turquoise Blues near my Vilnius home.

 

 

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 September 2008 )
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July 2008. Butterflies galore, Lithuania, Poland and Britain. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

Reverdin's Blue

July means butterflies, the peak of the action. As the month began, Lepidoptera did indeed steal the limelight, a couple of Reverdin's Blues leading the march. Not to be outdone, however, birding was also good, with breeding Rollers in Labanoras and, all in Poland, a fine assortment including Bee-eaters, Ortolans, Collared Flycatchers and more, plus Elk and Pine Martin. By the second week, the butterfly action had really moved up a gear - 38 species recorded over a single weekend, including Moorland Clouded Yellows and Cranberry Blue, both new species for me. A week later, things went through the roof - five more new species, including Large Blue, Spotted Fritillary and Rock Grayling! And as a finale to the month, a super weekend of butterflies in Britain -the tops being Lulworth and Silver-spotted Skippers.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 September 2008 )
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