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 )
July 2007. Fledglings, butterflies and odonata.
Written by Jos   


Black Redstart

Despite the soggy start to the month, the odd sunny spot in amongst the showers, downpours and blustery squalls, did get the month off to a fine start. Leading the action, a Hobby near daily at the feeders, a pair of Nutcrackers and lots of young birds on the wing,  including both Black Redstarts and Red-backed Shrikes in the garden. In addition, when the sun was shining, about 30 species of butterfly were seen in the first week, both in Ropejos Miskas and at Labanoras, plus several new species of dragonfly for the year, including Brown Hawkers and a Green-eyed Hawktail. As the month continued, the butterfly diversity remained high, including a Camberwell Beauty, but also the birding got generally better - a Red Kite featuring amonst the many raptors on show. By the month's end, with the flavour of the season being youngsters, the Rollers joined the action, successfully fledging three.


Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 August 2007 )
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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