Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Epic city stroll

Przemyslav - my guide
No sooner had my head hit the pillow the annoying unmusical rattle of the alarm on my Crackberry caused me to rise again, bleary eyed at 5.15am. The light outside was fantastic. Dawn was well and truly on its way. Przemyslav was waiting for me in the hotel lobby. 

Now I've been struggling with the pronunciation of this fella's name for weeks now (he originally contacted me via email a little while ago). But now I know. It's 'Chemink' as in Temminck.

A tract of forest in Krakow
We walked for the next 8 hours through city streets, forests and alongside the River Vistula that cuts through the city. The forest was most interesting for it was here that I discovered a couple of rarities that excited 'Chem'. The first was a male Middle Spotted Woodpecker which was my first ever and the second was a gorgeous male Collared Flycatcher that was calling in a tree over our heads. We also had singing Wood Warbler, tons of Hawfinch and a couple of Black Woodpeckers.

Outside the forest I had my first Redstart of the year; a male that flew across the road and I also found his first Swallow and Common Tern for the year. We walked through a riverside forest in the hope of finding the elusive Grey-headed Woodpecker, but no avail. We heard several (to my ear) Green Woodpeckers and found a couple lizards, grass snake, frogs and flushed 3 Roe Deer.

Chem invited me back to his home to meet the missus and his cute 4 year old, Thomas. We had lunch. The plan then was to go out in the field again, but I chickened out and got a cab back to the hotel for a well deserved siesta.


Alan Tilmouth said...

Aren't those Eastern european Hawfinch just so much more approachable and visible than ours.

The Urban Birder said...

It's incredible Alan.

But I guess it's only fair because our Robins and Song Thrush are fair more approachable than theirs!

Craig Glenn said...

Love your concept and am looking forward to following your blog. I grew up in the country then moved to Orlando Fl and am amazed how much wildlife I see everyday miles from the country.

Craig Glenn