My girlfriend and I arrived to volunteer at Undiscovered Montenegro for the 2020 season and obviously things have played out a little different than expected what with there being no actual guests for now! As a keen birder the bountiful birds certainly help compensate (Lake Skadar National Park has recorded over 270 species!) and they are completely oblivious to the current crisis. The villa and gardens here are nestled amongst a myriad of foliage and the cacophony of birdsong is never louder than now with the long, warm days and flowers coming into bloom. The nightingales have returned from Africa and seldom can you stand on the terrace without being serenaded with their fruity melodies. The scratchy song of Eastern subalpine warblers is ever-present as they flit around busily readying for the task of raising young. In the south-east of the UK, where I am from, the sighting of a Hawfinch would be an exciting occurrence but here it is quite common to see the black-and-white flash of their wings as they move through the treetops. By looking up you are rewarded with the aerial antics of house martins and red-rumped swallows and before long an alpine swift comes into view - dwarfing it’s smaller cousins with it’s half-metre wingspan. And this is all just from the villa and gardens! Lake Skadar itself offers a plethora of other rare and wonderful birds to discover. We managed to get out on the kayaks before total lockdown and the experience of floating gently through the reeds on a calm, sunny day while reed warblers sing from within and all around you pygmy cormorants, little and great crested grebes surface and disappear again is hard to put into words. If that wasn’t enough then the pièce de résistance is a group of Dalmatian
My girlfriend and I arrived to volunteer at Undiscovered Montenegro for the 2020 season and obviously things have played out a little different than expected what with there being no actual guests for now! As a keen birder the bountiful birds certainly help compensate (Lake Skadar National Park has recorded over 270 species!) and they
As a UK business operating nature holidays and tours in Montenegro, including birdwatching, today (National Bird Day) seems the right time to tell you about one of the projects that we have been actively involved in recently as part of Undiscovered Montenegro's commitment to sustainable tourism and eco-awareness at Lake Skadar National Park. It's quite something to see the majestic Dalmatian Pelican up close. The pelicans are one of the biggest draws for visitors to the lake and we operate a stunning kayaking trip to see them in May/June that has left our lucky guests open-mouthed in amazement. Dalmatian pelicans are the heaviest flying birds in the world, sometimes topping the scales at 13kg and with wingspans over 3m. The trouble is, they are fussy breeders and are currently rated as "near threatened". Pelicans, you see, nest on floating vegetation, and when there isn't any, they don't nest at all. The National Park, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), the Noe Foundation and CZIP (Montenegro's RSPCB) therefore have installed five man-made rafts in the pelicans' natural breeding area of Panceva Oka to give them a helping hand. These rafts have been so successful that pelican numbers have nearly doubled in the last five years (2017 saw the hatching of over 60 chicks, an annual high) - but the rafts are made of wood, and wood, when soaked constantly in water, will not last forever. When it was brought to our attention this year that the rafts were in dire need of repair and that local bodies did not have sufficient funding to manage this before the vital breeding season, we decided to donate the money, also enabling an upgrade to the solar-powered remote video monitoring system that has proven so vital in maintaining this habitat. It felt like we owed the pelicans, as
As a UK business operating nature holidays and tours in Montenegro, including birdwatching, today (National Bird Day) seems the right time to tell you about one of the projects that we have been actively involved in recently as part of Undiscovered Montenegro’s commitment to sustainable tourism and eco-awareness at Lake Skadar National Park. It’s quite something to
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