Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saturday, March 19 - A Migratory Push, Part 2

     What follows is speculation. The clouds sitting low like a blanket over  the hilltops left open corridors formed by the two major valleys, one that stretches south toward Foča and the Montenegro border, and the Miljacka River "canyon" that bears east and southeast. Our ridge is a low natural divide between Sarajevo and the Bosne River valley that serves as a passageway going north to Croatia and Hungary. From a vantage point on the ridge near our house in a two-hour period between 1130 and 1330, I watched several migratory flocks move northward. Common Cranes (Grus grus), Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs), and 9 Eurasian Marsh-Harriers (Circus aeruginosus) formed the bulk of the movement. Had the skies been clearer, perhaps the migration would have been moving over higher up, allowing the birds to disperse on a broader front.

     Here is the complete list:

Gray Heron - Ardea cinerea     5

Eurasian Marsh-Harrier - Circus aeruginosus     9

Common Crane - Grus grus     260

Sky Lark - Alauda arvensis     20 

Stonechat (European) - Saxicola torquatus rubicola/hibernans     2 (non-migratory)

European Starling - Sturnus vulgaris     30

Common Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs     165

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