Tuesday, 27 April 2010
The European Suslik Citellus citellus (also spelled Souslik) is an endearing little rodent found on steppes and short-grazed land in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans. It lives in colonies, in separate burrows, from which it emerges in March and April. This photo taken in Bulgaria by Mladen Vasilev.
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Slovensky Raj (known in English as the Slovak Paradise) is a scenic mountain National Park in Slovakia. It is a paradise on the eye, with high peaks and rushing streams and waterfalls. There are extensive mixed forests of beech and conifer with most of the forest and sub-Alpine birds that one would expect in Central Europe. For example, Three-toed and Black Woodpeckers, Pygmy and Ural Owls, Hazel Grouse, Wallcreeper, Dipper, Crested and Willow Tits and Nutcracker etc. There are also Wolves, Lynx and Brown Bears here. This is not an easy place to watch wildlife, more of a place to go trekking and see what you see and some effort will be needed to get the rewards. The park has an extensive, marked system of hiking trails though some are tough, with ladders to climb and walkways to cross, so check contours on the good local maps before you set off. The gateway to the area is the town of Spisska Nova Ves.