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 )
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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