TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT
22 - 29 May 2004
Saturday 22nd May Arrival
We had coffee at Vienna Airport while we waited for the minibus to be made ready, then made the short trip down the autobahn to Neusiedl, arriving just before 4pm. We all settled in and then gathered outside an hour later for a short exploratory walk. We headed down the road and out towards the reed edge of the lake. Several Serins were singing from the TV aerials near the hotel, then a Nightingale, very loudly from the edge of the willow scrub bordering the road. This bird, and others, seemed to accompany us as we walked down the track. A pair of Golden Orioles also flew ahead, giving brief views as they landed on each tree. We looked up as a calling Bee-eater flew over, and a smart male Black Redstart was collecting insects from the road surface. At the end of a side road, we looked out across the reed bed as both Purple Heron and a Cuckoo flew by. This was an excellent start to our week, and we returned to the hotel to meet up later in the bar for the checklist prior to dinner.
Sunday 23rd May Neusiedl and the east side of the lake
Mainly sunny, cold NW wind
Our early morning walk took us just down the road along the cycle way. We first stopped at the new marina development, finding a Wryneck near an old tree stump; Golden Oriole was also calling. We then walked out along the cycle way where a Marsh Harrier was quartering the reeds and a distant Purple Heron flew by. After breakfast, we headed east and south, scanning the fields north of Podersdorf where various Kestrels and Marsh Harriers were hunting. A Montagu's Harrier was seen by one of the group but it didn't return. A nice Red-backed Shrike was perched on the grapevine wires, and a Syrian Woodpecker gave us excellent views through the telescopes. Once through Podersdorf, we searched the lake shore towards Holle. Birding was quite difficult as the wind was very strong, coming off the lake directly into our faces. Even so, there were many Greylag Geese, most in family groups with broods of goslings, and Lapwing and Redshank were obviously holding territory. Indeed, later in the day, we saw several Lapwing chicks. Oberstinkersee was surprisingly devoid of birds, though the shallow lagoon opposite was thronged with shorebirds. These included Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin and three Temminck's Stints. Ducks included Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, Gadwall and several nice drake Garganey. A white Muscovy Duck with a brood of ducklings were also here. Just before leaving, a Black Tern appeared, followed by a Common Tern. As we were all shivering by now, we decided to return to the hotel to collect warmer/wind-proof clothing! Returning, we stopped at a café near the Oberstinkersee for a light lunch before continuing to explore the various local roads between here and Zick Lacke. The wind was still making birding difficult, though we did find several Kentish Plovers on the dried areas of the lake shore. Here also were many more Red-crested Pochards. Early Purple and Bog Orchids were found at various sites. A quick check along the causeway towards the Illmitz Marina found nothing of interest so we returned to Zick Lacke before heading back through Podersdorf to Gols. Here, a small Bee-eater colony in a roadside sandpit was checked and we had really excellent views of several birds sitting on twigs and an earthen pile. A nasty squall, which had been threatening for the previous hour then hit us and we packed up and headed back to the hotel.
Monday 24th May Tadten Plain
Sunny, some cloud, chilly wind though less so than yesterday
We walked partway round the block before breakfast, coming back into the hotel using the rear entrance by the school. The plan today was to explore the Tadten Plain, in the far east of the country, lying between Andau and the Hungarian border. Our first stop was at the tower hide overlooking the fields. Two fine male Great Bustards were immediately in view, and we found a third a little later. One in particular walked sedately towards us before turning away and moving off into the next field. The ever-present Marsh Harriers and Kestrels were hunting the fields, together with a few Buzzards. A lone White Stork, surprisingly our first for the trip, was standing very near the road at one point. Small birds immediately in front of the tower included Stonechats, Whinchats, Corn Buntings and many Yellow Wagtails (these latter birds being of the West/Central European Blue-headed race. We moved a little further down the road, stopping where a track crossed. A Hobby was sitting in a furrow, trying to avoid the wind whilst a second bird loitered overhead. We then walked eastwards along this track, in the lee of the tree line. Now out of the wind, it really was quite warm and Scarce Chaser and Azure Damselflies were on the wing. Lesser Whitethroat, Barred Warblers and Marsh Warblers were singing but all remained firmly out of sight! Near a copse of trees, we had brief views of Icterine Warbler, and very good views of Penduline Tit near its nest in a very windswept tree - we hoped that the female had taken her sea-sickness pills!! Nuthatch and Short-toed Treecreeper were also seen briefly. We then headed back to Andau for lunch at a café-bar, before returning to the Einser Kanal. This forms the border with Hungary and was once part of the Iron Curtain. The old watchtowers are still in existence and we walked across the footbridge on to Hungarian soil. Great Reed Warblers were much in evidence, and we found nice views of Spotted Flycatchers, Yellowhammers and Cuckoos. A Quail was calling from the field near the Army post, and we seemed to be completely surrounded by Blue-headed Wagtails. We then returned across the plain on the Tadten road, running parallel with that from Andau. Brown Hares continued to be numerous. We stopped at another tower hide, again finding two male Great Bustards; these were probably the same birds that we had seen previously. One gave us a superb display, seemingly turning himself inside out! Marsh, Reed and Sedge Warblers sang and showed briefly. A Hobby was hunting insects low over the fields and was joined by a second bird. A Whinchat perched very close to us, just across the road, and there were Curlews giving their breeding bubbling 'song'. We saw at least one of these as he performed his display flight. We then had to move on and return to the hotel - another excellent day.
Tuesday 25th May Marchegg & Hohenau an der March
Generally bright & sunny, less breezy
A short walk before breakfast was quite quiet, with a Lesser Whitethroat and Great Spotted Wood-pecker found near the hotel. After breakfast, we headed north to Marchegg. Here we walked into the Marchauen Reserve, right on the Slovak border. As we crossed the channel, a male Wood Duck was spotted - this American species presumably an escape from a local collection. About a dozen White Storks nests were visible in the ancient trees and we spent some time on the observation tower watching the adult birds coming and going, the pairs bill-clapping as each returned to its nest. Some contained chicks, and several adults returned with much-prized 'presents' in the form of soggy moss or other vegetation! We could hear a River Warbler 'reeling' in the distance and this encouraged us to walk on into the forest. A Black Kite circled overhead. Several River Warblers were singing from clumps of bushes but none were visible. Several Middle Spotted Woodpeckers, including newly fledged juveniles, were found along the trail; also Short-toed Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Marsh Tit, and finally, a male Collared Flycatcher was found high up near a dead tree. It proved very elusive despite continually singing and moving around its chosen territory. Eventually, most of us succeeded in getting reasonable if brief views. As we headed back, another Collared Flycatcher was seen briefly, very low down near the ground, but flew off as the rest of us approached. We had our sandwiches on the green in front of the Schloss, listening to Green Woodpecker and watching a Spotted Flycatcher. With ice-creams for desert, we were ready for the afternoon. Our planned watch from the Eagle Monument was cut short when a large party of students stopped next to us for lunch. We decided to drive north, to explore the area near Hohenau an der March. We found plenty of Fire-bellied Toads in the flooded ditch by the 'bird-ringing hut', and several Black Kites and Marsh Harriers were quartering over the trees and fields. A Hobby flew past just before we decided to move on to the observation tower, which allowed excellent views over an artificial lake. Here we found Great Crested, Black-necked and Little Grebes, several Common Pochards, a pair of Shoveler and two Garganey. The floating raft held about 50 Common Terns, and Black-headed Gulls were breeding on the other small islands.
Wednesday 26th May Schneeberg
Bright & sunny, light breeze
We were waiting for breakfast as soon as the dining room opened at 6:45, to be away by 7:20 and arrived at Puchberg to collect our tickets by 9am. The 'Salamander' rack & pinion train left on time at 9:30 and we were at the top of this massif isolated from the rest of the Alps by 10:20. We first of all checked the slopes around the restaurant near the railhead, immediately finding Ravens and Yellow-billed Choughs flying around below us. Several Water Pipits were on territory, and we watched their display flights for a little while. A Wheatear was also singing from a stone shelter across the railway tracks. We then walked up along the main track. There was more snow than in recent years and the flowers were rather few, most plants being barely above ground. However, we did find Auricula, Least Primrose, Spring Gentian, Rock-Jasmine and Yellow Whitlow-grass. Ring Ouzels showed well, as did Dunnocks (a montane species here) and eventually Common Redpolls. Several Chamois were on the far slope and we were watching these through the telescope when one appeared right in front of us, walking up over the ridge and on to the slope only a hundred metres or so from us. We stopped briefly at the café-bar at the bottom of the first slope, before climbing slowly up through the stunted Dwarf Pine. Reaching the top of the escarpment, we carefully looked over at the jumble of scree and rocky ridges below us. Just a single Alpine Accentor was found, a male, which perched up on a rocky ridge and sang just briefly before dropping down out of sight. He did this twice and most of us got views through the telescope. While some returned carefully to the café, a few of us tried moving along the ridge to view from a different angle, but nothing was visible apart from a White Wagtail. We returned to the café for lunch and slowly made our way back to the rail-head in time for our 3:35 return departure. We got back to the hotel by 6:20.
After dinner, one of the group had good views of a Tawny Owl sitting on the pollarded willow stumps immediately outside his room.
Thursday 27th May Eisenstadt, Rust & Morbisch
Overcast though warmer, largely dry
We walked along the cycle way before breakfast, finding a pair of Icterine Warblers, a nice Nightingale in full view and a Marsh Warbler in full song. After breakfast, we headed for Eisenstadt, where we walked round the palace grounds. This excellent wooded parkland was alive with newly fledged tits and nuthatches. Amongst these, we found Short-toed Treecreeper, Spotted Flycatcher, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and a nice pair of Wood Warblers. The only woodpeckers were Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Several Red Squirrels were seen and all of these were dark brown in colour, the most usual form across large areas of Europe. We then drove down to Rust where a street market had blocked the village main street. We parked anyway and had an excellent lunch in a restaurant. During the time taken to have lunch, the market had ended and nearly all the stalls had disappeared, so no retail therapy! We did walk around the village centre, looking at the numerous storks' baskets set up on the rooftops. Only four nests appeared to be occupied, and indeed very few of the various nests we saw in the various villages had been occupied, including the nest overlooking the Neusiedl main street. We hoped this didn't mark a downward trend in the stork population. We then explored the low hill next to the Roman quarry to the west of Rust. This area was botanically very interesting and the warm temperature had also encouraged butterflies on the wing. These included Common Blue, Silver-studded Blue, Black-veined White, Small Heath, Brown Argus and one of the pale Clouded Yellow species. We nearly ran over a Souslik as we left the car park! Our final stop for the day was a gentle walk along the reed edge at Morbisch. A Great Reed Warbler was very noisy and showed well on occasions. Savi's Warbler also showed well if distantly through the telescopes. Bearded Tits were more secretive, giving only very brief views as a few of them flew across the tops of the reeds before plunging down into the depths. A lovely male Bluethroat sidled up a tall dead reed, showing briefly but well before retiring once again. A little further on, another was spotted in short dead reeds in a soggy field, and this ultimately flew across the track, giving us a lovely display flight and a glimpse of a third male as it landed in the taller dead reeds - an excellent and prolonged view through the telescope for all of us. This bird had a solid blue throat with no white spot, unlike the other two.
An excellent end to another excellent day but not quite, as the Tawny Owl again showed briefly at dusk.
Friday 28th May Hohe Wand
Rain all day
It started as a very light drizzle before breakfast as we walked along the cycle path next to the railway. We noted Icterine Warbler and Blackcap, two Cuckoos flew over and we had several sightings of Great Spotted and/or Syrian Woodpeckers in flight. After breakfast, we headed with much trepidation for the Hohe Wand. The skywalk was clear of the cloud but the rain persisted as we walked a short distance down the road before returning to the minibus parked near a lodge. We treated ourselves to a much-needed coffee, watching the feeding tables just outside the windows. A Red Squirrel hung upside down whilst raiding the feeding tray and, interestingly, this individual had a dark brown back & tail with a redder face, legs and flanks. Greenfinches were most numerous, together with one or two Siskins and a lovely male Bullfinch. After coffee, we explored a short distance in the minibus but immediately ascended into cloud, so we returned to the base of the cliffs and walked a little way along a trail into the pine woods. This was very quiet except for the occasional Chaffinch and a Yellowhammer singing loudly. A very group returned to the café for a leisurely lunch before returning to the hotel at around 4pm, allowing some to go shopping in the town.
Saturday 29th May East side & departure
Breezy but warm
No pre-breakfast walk today so we met up at breakfast at the normal time. We had arranged to hold on to one of our rooms and we duly left our baggage there before heading out for a part day's birding. Our first stop was to check out some of the lakes we had previously not visited. There were very few Sousliks at Warmsee, though one appeared right beside the vehicle for quite some time. There were also many broods of Little Ringed Plovers dodging the horse riders galloping along the shoreline. Black-tailed Godwits were also on territory. A Spoonbill flew in and landed briefly at Warmsee, stayed awhile and left. We later found two at Holle. An adult Slender-billed Gull with the Black-headed Gulls also flew past us near Warmsee. We checked other lakes, getting temporarily misplaced (we never get lost!) in Illmitz itself before finding the correct road to Zick Lacke. Here there were still many Red-crested Pochards and the usual Red-backed Shrike was sitting on its usual fallen dead tree. We then headed round to Oberstinkersee where we found the brood of white Muscovies, just a single Temminck's Stint and three stunning breeding-plumaged Curlew Sandpipers right in front of the raised viewing platform. Two pairs of Coots were having a serious kick-boxing contest and the brood of chicks hurriedly dispersed. The shore at Holle had two Spoonbills. After lunch at a restaurant in Podersdorf, we had a final look at the Bee-eaters near Gols and also found a Little Owl sitting up on a fence post.
Back to hotel and depart for airport.
The various species lists below use the following references:
Birds: We use the suggested worldwide English names and systematic order as found in World Bird Species Checklist: with alternate English & scientific names (Wells, M.G., 1998). Commonly used alternates are enclosed in [ ] or separated by / .
Collins Bird Guide (Svensson, L. & Grant, P.J., 1999)
Butterflies: Collins Field Guide: Butterflies of Britain & Europe (Tolman, T. & Lewington, R., 1997)
Mammals: Collins Field Guide: Mammals of Britain & Europe (Macdonald, D. & Barrett, P., 1993)
Amphibians and Reptiles: Collins Field Guide: Reptiles & Amphibians of Britain & Europe [second edition] (Arnold, E.N. & Ovenden, D.W., 2002)
Plants: Collins Pocket Guide: Alpine Wild Flowers of Britain & Europe (Grey-Wilson, C. & Blamey, M., 1995)
Little Grebe / Dabchick: One at Hohenau on 25th.
Great Crested Grebe: Four at Hohenau on 25th.
Black-necked/Eared Grebe: At least 4 at Hohenau on 25th.
Great Cormorant: Noted on 2 days with 1 on 24th, several on 25th.
Grey Heron: Noted most days.
Purple Heron: Noted on 4 days with 1's & 2's on 22nd - 24th, 4 on 27th.
Great [White] Egret: Several noted each day.
Little Egret: One on 23rd.
White Stork: Noted on 5 days with only 1's or 2's in fields; also at least 12 nests at Marchauen on 25th, but only 4 occupied nests in Rust on 27th.
Eurasian Spoonbill: On 29th, 1 at Warmsee but flew off, then 2 near Holle.
Mute Swan: Noted on 3 days with up to 5 at Zick Lacke on 23rd & 29th, 2 at Neusiedl on 27th.
Greylag Goose: Only actually noted on 4 days, but many flocks and family groups at each lake visited.
Wood Duck: A male at Marchauen on 25th, presumably an escape.
Common Shelduck: Two at Oberstinkersee on 29th.
Eurasian Wigeon: Two males on 23rd.
Gadwall: Noted on 2 days with several on 23rd & 29th.
Mallard: Noted each day.
Garganey: Noted on 2 days with 3 males at Oberstinkersee on 23rd, 2 males at Hohenau on 25th.
Northern Shoveler: Noted on 3 days with at least 12 on 23rd, a pair on 25th, several on 29th.
Red-crested Pochard: Noted on 3 days with at least 130 on 23rd, 1 on 27th, many on 29th.
Common Pochard: c6 on 25th.
Tufted Duck: A pair on 25th.
Black Kite: c12 on 25th.
Red Kite: Two on 25th.
Montagu's Harrier: A male briefly on 23rd.
[Eurasian] Marsh Harrier: Noted most days.
Eurasian Sparrowhawk: Noted on 2 days with single birds on 23rd & 27th.
Common Buzzard: Noted most days.
Common/Eurasian Kestrel: Noted each day.
Eurasian Hobby: Noted on 4 days, 1 with prey on 23rd, at least 2 possibly 4 at Tadten Plain on 24th, 1 at Hohenau on 25th, 1 over hotel at dusk on 28th.
Common Quail: Heard calling near Einser Kanal on 24th.
Common Pheasant: Noted each day.
Common Moorhen: Three on 24th.
Eurasian/Common Coot: Noted on 4 days, several pairs with chicks.
Great Bustard: 3 males, including one in full display, on 24th.
Black-winged Stilt: Noted on 2 days with a pair at Unterstinksersee on 23rd & 29th.
Pied Avocet: Noted on 2 days with at least 20 on 23rd & 29th, some chicks seen.
Northern Lapwing: Noted each day on roadside fields, even Vienna Airport as we landed. Many pairs with chicks.
Little [Ringed] Plover: Although noted only on 4 days, there were many pairs around each lake we visited, often with chicks.
Kentish Plover: Noted on 2 days with several at Oberstinkersee and Zick Lacke on 23rd, 1 at Oberstinkersee on 29th.
Black-tailed Godwit: Noted on 2 days with a flock of c25 at Oberstinkersee on 23rd and widespread breeding birds on 23rd & 29th.
Eurasian Curlew: At least 2 at Tadten Plain on 24th.
Common Redshank: Noted on 4 days with many on territory and with chicks.
Green Sandpiper: One at Oberstinkersee on 23rd.
Temminck's Stint: Noted on 2 days at Oberstinksersee with 3 on 23rd, 1 on 29th.
Dunlin: A flock of at least 50 at Oberstinksersee on 23rd.
Curlew Sandpiper: Three in breeding plumage at Oberstinkersee on 29th.
Common/Mew Gull: Two on 23rd.
Yellow-legged Gull: Noted on 3 days.
Slender-billed Gull: A full adult, with Black-headed Gulls, near Warmsee on 29th.
Black-headed Gull: Noted each day.
Black Tern: Noted on 2 days with 1 in breeding plumage at Oberstinkersee on 23rd, 2 also in bp at Hohenau on 25th.
Common Tern: Noted on 3 days with 1 at Oberstinkersee on 23rd, c50 at Hohenau on 25th, several on 29th.
Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon: Noted each day.
[Common] Wood Pigeon: Noted on 5 days in small numbers.
European Turtle Dove: Noted on 5 days, mainly heard 'purring', though several nice views.
Eurasian Collared Dove: Noted each day.
Common Cuckoo: Noted each day, heard & seen.
Little Owl: One near the Bee-eater colony at Gols on 29th.
Tawny Owl: Noted on 2 days with brief views of 1 after dinner by hotel on 26th & 27th.
Common Swift: Noted on 4 days in small numbers.
European Bee-eater: Noted on 3 days with 1 over Neusiedl on 22nd, only 5 at colony at Gols on 23rd, at least 15 at colonies near Gols on 29th.
Eurasian Hoopoe: One near Holle on 29th.
Eurasian Wryneck: Noted on 2 days with 1 near nest-hole on 23rd, 1 briefly on 27th.
Middle Spotted Woodpecker: Two family parties at Marchauen on 25th.
Syrian Woodpecker: Noted on 3 days with particularly excellent views in roadside tree between Weiden & Podersdorf.
Great Spotted Woodpecker: Noted on 4 days.
Green Woodpecker: Heard whilst we were having lunch at Marchegg on 25th.
[Eurasian/Common] Sky Lark: Several noted on 4 days.
Sand Martin / Bank Swallow: Noted most days.
Barn Swallow: Noted each day.
[Common] House Martin: Noted each day.
Yellow Wagtail: Noted on 2 days, all were of the European Blue-headed race, the males looking particularly stunning.
White Wagtail: Noted each day.
Water Pipit: Several were on territory, Schneeberg, on 26th.
Red-backed Shrike: Several males and pairs regularly noted on 5 days.
Winter Wren: One at a log pile near Holle on 29th.
Alpine Accentor: A singing male showed twice briefly, Schneeberg, on 26th.
Dunnock / Hedge Accentor: Many at Schneeberg on 26th.
Ring Ouzel: Several, Schneeberg, on 26th.
Common Blackbird: Noted each day.
Mistle Thrush: Two at the roadside at Howe Wand on 28th.
Song Thrush: Noted on 5 days.
European Robin: Several heard singing at Howe Wand on 28th.
Common/Rufous Nightingale: Noted most days, both heard singing and seen remarkably well.
Bluethroat: Of the 3 males at Morbisch on 27th, 2 were of the white-spotted form and the third was unspotted.
Black Redstart: Noted each day.
Whinchat: Several at Tadten on 24th.
Common Stonechat: Noted only at Tadten on 24th.
Northern Wheatear: A male at Schneeberg on 26th.
Bearded Tit / Reedling: Several briefly at Morbisch on 27th.
[Eurasian] River Warbler: Heard singing and seen briefly at Marchauen on 25th.
Savi's Warbler: Seen & heard near Morbisch on 27th.
Sedge Warbler: Noted on 3 days.
Marsh Warbler: Noted on 2 days with heard singing & seen on 24th, heard on 27th.
[Eurasian] Reed Warbler: Noted on 3 days.
Great Reed Warbler: Noted on 4 days with several brief views in windy conditions at Neusiedl and seen very well at Einser Kanal on 24th, again seen well at Hohenau on 25th & Morbisch on 27th, 1 singing at Oberstinkersee on 29th.
Icterine Warbler: Noted on 4 days with 1 seen briefly on 24th, singing on 25th, a pair seen briefly on 27th, 1 singing & seen near hotel on 28th.
Wood Warbler: A pair at Eisenstadt on 27th.
Willow Warbler: Noted most days.
Common/Eurasian Chiffchaff: Noted most days.
Blackcap: Noted on 4 days.
Common Whitethroat: Noted on 2 days.
Lesser Whitethroat: Noted on 3 days.
Barred Warbler: Heard singing & seen briefly on 24th.
Spotted Flycatcher: Noted on 3 days with 1 on 24th, 2 on 25th, 2 on 27th.
Collared Flycatcher: 2 males at Marchauen on 25th.
[Eurasian] Penduline Tit: 1 plus 2 nests on 24th.
Marsh Tit: Several at Marchauen on 25th.
Coal Tit: Several at Hohe Wand on 28th.
Great Tit: Noted most days.
Blue Tit: Noted on 5 days.
Eurasian Nuthatch: Noted on 3 days.
Short-toed Treecreeper: Noted on 3 days.
Eurasian Jay: Noted on 3 days.
Black-billed/Eurasian Magpie: Noted each day.
Yellow-billed/Alpine Chough: At least 6, Schneeberg on 26th.
Western/Eurasian Jackdaw: Noted on 3 days.
Rook: c10 on 23rd was the only record.
Carrion Crow: Noted on 3 days, 1 with 3 Hoodies on 24th, 26th, seen with hybrids on 28th.
Hooded Crow: Noted each day.
Common Raven: At least 6, Schneeberg on 26th.
[Eurasian] Golden Oriole: Noted each day, particularly when woken at dawn by a nearby male!
Common Starling: Noted each day.
Corn Bunting: Noted on 3 days.
Yellowhammer: Noted on 5 days.
[Common] Reed Bunting: Noted on 5 days.
Common/European Chaffinch: Noted most days.
European Serin: Noted each day.
European Greenfinch: Noted most days.
Eurasian Siskin: One or two on feeding table, Howe Wand on 28th.
European Goldfinch: Noted most days.
Common/Mealy Redpoll: Several in song flight & perched, Schneeberg on 26th.
Common Linnet: Noted on 5 days.
Common/Eurasian Bullfinch: Several, Howe Wand on 28th.
House Sparrow: Noted each day.
[Eurasian] Tree Sparrow: Noted most days.
BUTTERFLIES & other insects:
Scarce Swallowtail: One near Rust on 27th.
Southern Festoon: Several on 24th.
Large White: Several on 25th.
Black-veined White: One near Rust on 27th.
Orange-tip: Noted on 3 days.
Clouded Yellow species: One of the pale yellow species near Rust on 27th.
Holly Blue: Noted on 2 days.
Brown Argus: Several near Rust on 27th.
Common Blue: Several near Rust on 27th.
Silver-studded Blue: Several, including a mating pair, near Rust on 27th.
Peacock: Noted only on 24th.
Small Heath: Noted on 4 days.
Chestnut Heath: Noted on Tadten Plain on 24th.
Orbed Red Underwing Skipper: At least one near Rust on 27th.
Azure Damselfly: Tadten Plain on 24th.
Scarce Chaser: Tadten Plain on 24th.
AMPHIBIANS & REPTILES:
Fire-bellied Toad: c6 at Hohenau on 25th.
Marsh Frog: Noted on 2 days.
Western Hedgehog: Various road casualties were presumably this species rather than Eastern Hedgehog.
European Mole: Mole hills noted on 26th.
Weasel: One ran across the road near Holle on 23rd.
[Western] Roe Deer: Noted on 4 days, maximum count was c12 on 24th.
Chamois: At least 5, Schneeberg on 26th.
Red Squirrel: Noted on 2 days with several at Eisenstadt on 27th, several Howe Wand on 28th.
European Souslik: Noted on 2 days with 2 near Rust on 27th, 1 very close at Warmsee on 29th.
Brown Hare: Noted most days, very common.
SELECTED PLANTS (with special thanks to Christine & Brian Surfleet):
Pinus mugo Dwarf Mountain Pine
Aristolochia europaeus Birthwort
Lychnis flos-cuculi Raged Robin
Silene italica Italian Catchfly
Silene viscosa White Sticky Catchfly
Silene vulgaris Bladder Campion
Silene acaulis Moss Campion
Dianthus deltoides Maiden Pink
Dianthus carthusianorum Carthusian Pink
Stellaria nemorum Wood Stitchwort
Trollius europaeus Globeflower
Clematis integrifolia Simple-leaved Clematis
Thalictrum aquilegifolium Great Meadow-rue
Arabis hirsuta Hairy Rockcress
Draba azoides Yellow Whitlow-grass
Thlaspi arvense Field Pennycress
Filipendula vulgaris Dropwort
Sanguisorba officinalis Great Burnet
Sanguisorba minor Salad Burnet
Dryas octopetala Mountain Avens
Geum montanum Alpine Avens
Geum rivale Water Avens
Potentilla anserina Silverweed
Potentilla argentea Hoary Cinquefoil
Robinia pseudacacia False Acacia (naturalised everywhere!)
Astralagus danicus Purple Milk-vetch
Astralagus cicer Wild Lentil
Vicia cracca Tufted Vetch
Lathyrus tuberosus Tuberous Pea
Medicago sativa Lucerne
Lotus corniculatus Birdsfoot Trefoil
Tetragonolobus maritimus Dragon's Teeth
Onobrychis viciifolia Sainfoin
Oxalis acetosella Wood-sorrel
Geranium sanguineum Bloody Cranesbill
Geranium pratense Meadow Cranesbill
Geranium sylvaticum Wood Cranesbill
Geranium molle Dovesfoot Cranesbill
Erodium cicutarium Common Storksbill
Linum perenne Perennial Flax
Daphne mezereum Mezereon
Viola biflora Yellow Wood Violet
Viola alpina Alpine Pansy
Viola tricolor Heartsease
Cornus sanguinea Common Dogwood
Primula elatior Oxlip
Primula minima Least Primrose
Primula integrifolia Entire-leaved Primrose
Primula auricula Auricula
Soldanella alpina Alpine Snowbell
Armeria maritime ssp. alpina Mountain Thrift
Gentiana verna Spring Gentian
Borago officinalis Borage
Cerinthe minor Lesser Honeywort
Pulmonaria officinalis Common Lungwort
Symphytum officinale Common Comfrey
Myosotis sylvatica Wood Forget-me-not
Cynoglossum officinale Hound's Tongue
Ajuga pyramidalis Pyramidal Bugle
Salvia pratensis Meadow Clary
Salvia nemorosa Wild Sage
Lamiastrum galeobdolon Yellow Archangel
Stachys recta Yellow Woundwort
Melittis melissophylum Bastard Balm
Globularia cordifolia Matted Globularia
Plantago media Hoary Plantain
Atropa belladonna Deadly Nightshade
Pinguicula alpine Alpine Butterwort
Galium odoratum Woodruff
Galium uliginosum Fen Bedstraw
Cruciata laevipes Crosswort
Campanula rotundifolia Harebell
Legousia hybrida Venus's Looking-glass
Knautia arvensis Field Scabious
Knautia dipsacifolia Wood Scabious
Scabiosa ochroleuca Yellow Scabious
Tussilago farfara Coltsfoot
Homogyne alpine Alpine Coltsfoot
Carduus nutans Musk Thistle
Tragopogon pratensis Goatsbeard
Allium ursinum Ramsons
Ornithogalum augustifolium Star-of-Bethlehem
Polygonatum verticillatum Whorled Solomon's Seal
Polygonatum multiflorum Common Solomon's Seal
Polygonatum latifolium Scentless Solomon's Seal
Convallaria majalis Lily of the Valley
Paris quadrifolia Herb Paris
Leucojum aestivum Summer Snowflake
Orchis palustris Bog Orchid
Orchis morio Green-winged Orchid
It is always nigh-on impossible to pick out particular highlights from a trip like this. As ever, the success of a trip depends upon the pleasure of the company and this one was no exception; I do hope you all enjoyed the trip as much as I did. We found many great birds, butterflies and plants, and I 'm sure each of us has taken away our own particular memories: the White Stork colony at Marchauen, the Great Bustards at Tadten, the Bee-eater colony near Gols, the really close Purple Herons on occasions and that stunning male Bluethroat are just examples.
Well done to all of you who made this trip the success it was. I would like to thank everybody for their good humour and great company, and hope to see you all on another trip, sometime in the not-too-distant future.
Keith Grant, June 2004
© The Travelling Naturalist and Limosa Holidays 2004