Rainy bicycle trip in the Small Carpathians

Saturday, May 3, 2014

There were only two of us on the agreed place on Saturday morning. We assumed that it was due to the forecasted weather. According to the morning forecast the weather should be nice.

Although many people think that Bratislava has no pretty and well-preserved nature, the opposite is true. Among non-forest habitats we can find wetlands (especially around the Danube and Morava Rivers and Jurský šúr), meadows, reed beds, thermophilic habitats for Devínska Kobyla and of course forests. Besides spruce and mountain pine forests you can find virtually all vegetation levels in Bratislava, from floodplain forests, through the oak, hornbeam to the beech forests. During our bicycle tip we focused on the forests of the Small Carpathians.

We started with a lot of bird calls, since birds around sang, as it was early in the morning. We knew that thanks to the weather, today will be a perfect day for singing birds. Whenever we heard something interesting, we stopped and tried to find it. Gradually we caught the voice of Blackbird (Turdus merula), Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos), tits, Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) and Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis). We stopped at various types of forests, alder, but also hornbeam and beech . In beech forest, we eagerly awaited precious Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva).

On several conifers we heard Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus). We gradually moved to Kačín, where we managed to discover a cavity of Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) and Starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Slowly we got to the Malý Slavín, where it started to rain heavily. Rain did not stop, so we end our trip. On the way back we were lucky and heard Red-breasted Flycatcher. The voice of this species is unmistakable, echoing as if someone wanted to start the engine that runs, but subsequently dies. Into human speech, its call could be transcribed as: “Ty ty ty tidla tidla dla dla dla”. In the end we, despite the merciless weather, managed to record up to 26 species of birds.

List of observed bird species:

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia)
Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)
Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major / Picoides major)
Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)
Great Tit (Parus major)
Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus / Parus caeruleus)
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)
Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus)
Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)
Treecreeper (Certhia sp.)
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)
Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Thrush Nightingale (Luscinia luscinia)
Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis)
Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva)
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris / Chloris chloris)

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