• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Birding in 2020, Coronavirus et al, an East European View (1 Viewer)

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
25-29 October. Expotential Rise in Covid Cases, Latest Ever Butterfly.

In short succession, daily Covid cases rising fast – 400, 600, 770, 950. Blatantly clear Lithuania isn't dodging the bullet this time round, the cases per hundred thousand already on a par with Germany and further rapid growth expected in coming days. Vilnius has returned to quarantine, though restrictions still pretty mild.

On the wildlife side of things, an extraordinarily mild autumn continues, temperatures up to 14 C, though sun fairly rare. Fortunately the sun did pop out for a few very pleasant hours on the 25th ...just long enough to produce my latest butterflies ever in Lithuania - two Queen of Spain Fritillaries and one Small Tortoiseshell. Also unusually late, one Tree Pipit at Labanoras ...and still several ticks, got six crawling up my jeans on one day!

That said though, the mild weather is not highly conducive to good birding at present – my Labanoras feeding station is far quieter than it should be and bar plenty of Great Tits and good numbers of Jays, not much is visiting at all. Have begun my winter ringing however, and was mighty pleased to catch a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker on the 28th, as well as a Middle Spotted Woodpecker that is spending its fifth winter at my feeders. Nearby White-backed Woodpecker and Grey-headed Woodpecker eye the feeders, roll on some colder weather. Pygmy Owl and Nutcracker still present.
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
Couple of the October highlights, both taken on my mobile phone:
 

Attachments

  • Brown Hairstreak lt 1.jpg
    Brown Hairstreak lt 1.jpg
    87.2 KB · Views: 23
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker lt 1.jpg
    Lesser Spotted Woodpecker lt 1.jpg
    96.1 KB · Views: 24

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
National Quarantine, Bird Exodus.

November, most birds long since migrated out, the weather generally grey, damp and drab, always of month of gloom in Lithuania - lovely! Add the imposition of a national quarantine to curb the spiralling Covid cases and all the ingredients are there for a pretty gloomy month...but that said it did start in style with a very impressive Ural Owl in Vilnius city centre!


2 November. Hello Owl.

A rare visit to the city, sitting minding my business in my flat, and so the phone rings 'Are you in Vilnius?'. Well, yes I was, and then the very fortuitous news was relayed...a mere four-minute from my abode there was a Ural Owl sitting in a tree! Well, that was pretty staggering, Ural Owls are not very common in Lithuania, indeed I have only ever seen two before in the country.

Pretty sharpish I relocated myself and what a glorious bird, perched high in a birch in a courtyard, tucked up against a building above a car park, one stunning Ural Owl casually peering around as Hooded Crows gave it some grief. A mass twitch by Lithuanian standards, soon eight people or so were amassed to admire this bird. And then some kind gent invited us into the adjacent building where we were able to view the bird from a roof window...classic bird!



3-5 November. Labanoras Blues.

Cool, wet and windy, Labanoras was not looking its best! Birding was also not helped by the relatively mild weather keeping my feeders quite quiet. Persuaded myself to wander around, White-backed Woodpecker and Grey-headed Woodpeckers offered promise that my feeding stations might soon pick up, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Middle Spotted Woodpecker already visiting. Woodland overall quiet, late Wrens scoulding here and there, roving flocks of Marsh Tits adding a touch of life.

News at a country level not very good - Covid cases were sitting at 1000 a day, a rate per hundred thousand higher than, for example, Germany Now, on one day, they have jumped to 1650 ...UK levels! After doing nothing for three weeks in the run up to a national election, the now outgoing government announced a National Quarantine to come into force from the 7th ..bars, restaurants, leasure facilities to close, group size restrictions, etc. No prohibition on domestic travel, international travel more restrictive ...gulp!
 

Attachments

  • Ural Owl vn 1.jpg
    Ural Owl vn 1.jpg
    103 KB · Views: 22
  • Ural Owl vn 2.jpg
    Ural Owl vn 2.jpg
    158.1 KB · Views: 25
  • Ural Owl vn 3.jpg
    Ural Owl vn 3.jpg
    149.8 KB · Views: 22
Last edited:

rosbifs

Well-known tool
France
Good work Jos

As I said in another thread Grey Headed way up there on my hit list! Ural again and White backed as well...

My lockdown list fast approaches 7 species this time round.....
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
Sorry to hear you are so ill, Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Sid
Many thanks, I am basically 100% back to normal now.

I was a fairly lengthy climb back from the encephalitis, lingering aches and pains for quite a while after the partial paralysis and weakness of my limbs had subsided. Today just occasional minor shoulder or neck ache if tired and that's about it.

As a postscript to this thread though, Lithuania is currently the 3rd worst Corona affected country in the world, 2nd in Europe. And it's getting worst. Faced with this, I left the country and am currently in Namibia ...I started a thread about this trip, will be here for some months.
 

sidpost

Well-known member
United States
Many thanks, I am basically 100% back to normal now.

I was a fairly lengthy climb back from the encephalitis, lingering aches and pains for quite a while after the partial paralysis and weakness of my limbs had subsided. Today just occasional minor shoulder or neck ache if tired and that's about it.

As a postscript to this thread though, Lithuania is currently the 3rd worst Corona affected country in the world, 2nd in Europe. And it's getting worst. Faced with this, I left the country and am currently in Namibia ...I started a thread about this trip, will be here for some months.
I was hoping to visit Namibia but, that isn't happening now with financial impacts due to COVID and travel restrictions. The Dallas Safari Convention booth from Namibia tourism really opened my eyes to what that part of Africa had to offer. A real hidden gem for many people.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top