TUB on a rocky outcrop in northern Serbia (Philly 'The Kid' Aylen)I must apologise for my complete lack of communication over the past days since my guided trip to Serbia - which was a complete success might I add!
We had a fantastic array of species including a Pallid Harrier, several Montagu's Harriers including some fine males, truckloads of Marsh Harriers and during my recce before the guests arrived, a lovely female Hen Harrier and a late Merlin. Other bird of prey highlights during the course of the trip included brilliant views of a Long-legged Buzzard on the deck and fairly close up, several Osprey, Red-footed Falcon, Goshawk, stacks of Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, a few Hobby, a couple Saker Falcons, a Peregine and a putative Honey Buzzard. Add to that mix the multitudes of Hawfinch, several migrating Golden Orioles, Cuckoos including a rare hepatic (rufous phased) female watched in the pouring rain, tons of migrant Wood Warblers - the list goes on.
The main reason why most people came on my trip was to witness Serbia's incredible owl populations. We got to see many Long-eared Owls, Little Owl, heard Barn and Scops Owl's plus watched a mighty Ural Owl emerge from its woodland nest box too. I was lucky enough to glimpse an even mightier Eagle Owl flap from its hidden, edge of woodland perch.
It was a fantastic trip and one that I will be repeating in May 2013 when even more of Serbia's specialities will be on show. So get in touch if you fancy coming then. As a teaser, I will be running a long weekend trip to Serbia at the beginning of December 2012 to witness the truly unbelievable gatherings of Long-eared Owls in some of the villages in northern Serbia. How does the sight of nearly 200 of the blighters sitting in one tree grab you?
Keep checking my blog for further details.