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June 2007. Stunning days, Belarus and Lithuania both!
Written by Jos   

Great Grey Owl

If ever a month got off to an amazing start, it was this month! With two days in Belarus notching up no less than six Great Grey Owls in the forests of Vygonoshchanski and a pair of Azure Tits nesting in a toilet in the Pripyat Valley, I didn't think this could be upstaged. However, for reasons completely different, the events in Lithuania on 4th June will long be remembered too - the massacre of the White Stork chicks in my garden by another stork. Dramatic days in Belarus, traumatic days in Lithuania ...and the month has barely started!

As the month progressed, it was really a story of breeding birds - at Labanoras, Rollers and Wrynecks hatched their young,  good numbers of both Quail and Corncrake called from the meadows and raptors appeared in abundance. Even as the breeding season continued, however, the first hints of autumn appeared in the air - Coot numbers began to climb at Batoji Voke and the first six Great White Egrets appeared, the beginning of their traditional autumn influxes.

For all the bird interest though, it was dragonflies that occupied much of my time. A relative novice in this area, I set myself the goal to log all the species on my land - many surprises and headaches later, the tally had risen to 30 by the month's end, including such impressive beasties as Emperor and Lesser Emperor, Norfolk Hawker and a multitude of damselflies, many of which are in Lithuania's Red Data Book. 

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 August 2007 )
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White Storks, murder in the community
Written by Jos   

White Stork, newly hatched

 

 

It is a stressful life having White Storks upon your home! From the season's outset to its sudden premature end, 2007 was a one event after another, beginning with the late arrivals of both the male and female and then, a little over six weeks later, culminating in a dramatic and totally unexpected attack by another stork, a frenzied affair that left me with an empty nest, four bloodied chicks in my hands and a season at a failure.

 

 

 

Two chicks died from their wounds, the remaining two struggle on ...despite head and serious neck injuries, they made it through the first critical 48 hours. After much care, they began to feed well and ultimately made it back to the wild in time for autumn migration. A small silver lining in an otherwise rather dark affair.

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 May 2017 )
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The Labanoras Project, origins and background
Written by Jos   

Roller

 

 

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 )
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