Balkan beat boys
The previous week five of us (Iwan, Frans, Pieter, Kurt, Karl; aka “Team obvious”) went on a trip to the Balkan mountain range.
We mainly looked for large carnivores, in Slovenia and Croatia. These trips usually are great fun, but are not that good (in fact they are bad) for taking decent pictures. Many nights were spent shining, leading to sleepy mornings, therefore missing out on good light conditions.
Needless to say I did not take that many pictures, but during nightly activities we managed to see two beautiful wolves. Frans also saw a bear. All of this in addition to many butterflies and the most venomous species in Europe: the Horned viper…
Much frustration got into the car when we spotlighted an animal that could have been our first Eurasian Lynx on the shining list. Five more seconds would have made the difference… Better luck next time, people said. Very frustrating, but providing goose bumps at the same time
The five boys with their new best friend.
Banded general Stratiomys potamida
We spent a day looking for the elusive Siberian bluet / Siberische waterjuffer / Coenagrion hylas. A damselfly that can only be found near a few lakes in Austria. But we assume they are late this year and weren’t flying yet.
Do you know the Secretary Bird?
Just insanse, the densities of edible dormice in the Balkan countries. Every tree had its own residents. We were not planning mouse photography during this trip but I brought some Sherman traps. After only one hour of trying I caught my first Glis glis. The only thing we could do was release it in our tent and try (without completely succeeding) to photograph it there.
Trying other than usual stuff. Feel free to comment
Huge grasshoppers present everywhere: Polysarcus denticauda
High Balkan hut with great view
I like how the current fullframe bodies let you go higher in the ISO ranges and still take decent pics:
Leisler’s bat (with minor wing damage) Nyctalus leisleri hunting insects.
Tawny owl Strix aluco sitting still. I liked the atmosphere here in this old quarry.
White wagtail feeding its young with big grasshoppers and crickets
Wolf scat (notice the wild boar hairs) attracting variety of “sucklings”
Crazy grasshopper without pigment, found near a cave. Specialists have been mailed about this and say that it is a Troglophilus species. Comments on ID welcome.
Nine-spotted moth / Phegeavlinder / Amata phegea
Cool details on the head of a ground beetle.
Kurt had assumed that Croatia lies above the arctic circle.
We first saw a common European viper (Vipera berus), but in these regions this species occurs in beech forests as well. Strange scenery…
But then we found what we had been looking for since a very long time. A horned viper (Vipera ammodytes). Epic snake species and the most venomous animal in Europe…