Friday, January 28, 2011

Good Birding Around Sarajevo in Winter 1: Gornje Telelovo Polje

Location: Gornje Telelovo Polje (outlined in blue on the map). Observation date: 28.01.11 Number of species: 21

In the month I've been here, I've focused on three sites in the metropolitan area:

1. Kobilja Glava, my home territory and immediate area, on the ridge that separates Sarajevo from Vogošća (VO-gush-cha). Elevation range here is 600 meters and up to over 900 meters.

2. Vrelo Bosne (literally source of the Bosne) where the waters of the Bosne River that ultimately flow into the Black Sea via the Sava and the Danube, gush out of a subterranean spring from the mountain. That area is a popular park at the very southwestern edge of the valley with a mix of open woodland, small artificial ponds and fields and crystal-clear water!

3. The immediate vicinity of the confluence of the Miljacka and Bosne Rivers. These latter two locations are on the valley bottom at 480-500 meters.

Today's Notes: This is perhaps the flattest part of the Sarajevo Valley where the Miljacka and the Bosne Rivers converge, no doubt a floodplain for the rivers. On either side there are open fields with only scattered trees, two of the largest fields are cultivated (corn?) in summer. A sewage treatment plant is there as well as a small factory of some kind. The whole area covers more than 320 hectares.

As there is no substantial standing body of water anywhere in Sarajevo, the rivers attract a few wintering waterbirds. As you might guess, Mallards are everywhere. There were an estimated 200 in the immediate area today as well as 3 Teal. I also counted 81 Gray Herons standing out in the snow in a 100 hectare field between the Miljacka and Bojnička Street.

Also on while biring here on 23.01, I saw the same group of species, but also a Green Sandpiper and a European Robin. Both of these were uncommon over-wintering species in Kyiv too where the average temperature is a little lower (avg min. in Kyiv -10 vs -4 in Sarajevo - BBC Weather data).

Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos 200
Green-winged Teal (Eurasian) - Anas crecca crecca/nimia 3
Great Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carbo 6
Gray Heron - Ardea cinerea 81
Common Buzzard - Buteo buteo 5
Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica 30 Eurasian Jackdaw - Corvus monedula 10
Hooded Crow - Corvus cornix 30
Common Raven - Corvus corax 4
Marsh Tit - Poecile palustris 2
Great Tit - Parus major 10
Eurasian Blue Tit - Cyanistes caeruleus 1
Eurasian Blackbird - Turdus merula 1
Dunnock - Prunella modularis 1
White Wagtail (alba) - Motacilla alba alba 1
Water Pipit - Anthus spinoletta 1
Common Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs 35
Brambling - Fringilla montifringilla 2
European Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis 7
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus 5
Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus 5

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