Grasslands and large part of agro fields became wetlands

I have been invited by the national park ranger, a very good local birder to check the current conditions of the grasslands in the western part of our county. Due to the extreme rainy May many of the traditionally dry grasslands became vast wetlands. In fact the birdlife is still at its minimal level and found only a few wetlands related birds on those temporary habitats but life is changing on those sites.

A part of the grasslands mosaic are already on their way to become wetlands as those get high amount of water level annually, especially in late winter and in spring. On some of the areas which formerly used as agricultural lands now have extensive reedbeds with a lots of Great Reed Warblers, Eurasian Reed Warbler and Savi’s Warbler. On the edging wattle woods nice number of Eurasian Golden Orioles, Eurasian Hoopoes and a few Red-backed Shrike were seen or heard.


We have a little bit underestimated the conditions as on one field we got stuck deep into the mud which was not really visible as the surface was dry. Luckily we got some powerful support and the Ranger was released.


My target was to find breeding shorebirds on those sites but we found only one place where Northern Lapwings had precocial chicks. 6 pairs was proven to be nesting and 14 other birds were seen. No sign of Common Redshank have been detected on those sites. I think the extreme weather destroyed many of the early ground breeders nesting attempt and those habitats have been abandoned.


Finally I added three new species to the year list. By the finding some European Turtle Doves, singing Marsh Warblers and a Common Grasshopper Warbler my list was moving to 177. I am way behind of the most productive birders but sadly May and June is not my months due to the serious pollen allergy reactions. I had to treat myself with big dose of Calcium after spending just a few hours in grassland habitat.