Milan Ruzic - our brilliant and lovable Serbian guide
More of those fantastic Long-eared Owls
SparrowhawkI'm fresh back from an amazing tour of Serbia. As you may recall from yesterday's entry, we saw loads of Long-eared Owls. Indeed, we probably ended our long weekend with upwards of 1,000 birds seen. To put that into prospective that's quite possibly nearly half the entire UK population seen in a handful of towns in the Pannonian Plain. The whole region receives around 30,000 wintering LEO's. That's exceptional!
My co-guide was the inimitable Milan Ruzic, a Serb ornithologist who has put his heart and soul into studying and preserving all of Serbia wildlife and especially the country's owls and other birds of prey. Without him we would not have found a third of the owls as he had an uncanny knack for seeking them out.
All the participants of the tour seemed to be completely bowled over by the sight of so many owls. The dull and freezing conditions did little to dampen spirits. Nothing could beat the those owls. We did see other birds including an obliging Great Grey Shrike, skiens of White-fronted Geese, a couple flocks of Common Crane, several White-tailed Eagles, a Hen Harrier, several Marsh Harriers, lots of Common Buzzards and Kestrel. Waterbirds were well represented with many Pygmy and Great Cormorants, Great Egrets, Grey Heron, Pintail, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler and Shelduck.
You must come and see the owls here in Serbia though. If you are interested in coming on my spring tour in May next year when we will be watching many breeding LEO's then let me know.