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August 2007. On the move, storks and waders.
Written by Jos   

White Stork orphanA month of farewells, birds were on the move - in days that remained hot and sunny,  White Storks and Rollers lingered at Labanoras but it was all go at Baltoji Voke! As the first pools were drained, there were birds galore -  amongst 20 wader species recorded, no less than five Broad-billed Sandpipers, plus Temminck's Stints, Little Stints, Curlew Sandpipers and totals of over a hundred Wood Sandpipers. Also Caspian Terns, flocks of over a hundred Great White Egrets and Black Storks, including one particularly impressive group of 23.

However, for all the birding highlights, the most satisfying news came from Kaunas - my  White Stork orphans had successfully returned to the wild, both they and their companions were migrating.

 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 15 September 2007 )
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Rollers in Labanoras
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 )
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Dragonflies and Damselflies at Labanoras
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 )
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