Today I took a safari to observe the European fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina). So loud, yet so difficult to trace. Finally, I made it as opposed to my camera battery which run out in the decisive moment. Fortunately, when I came back and looked through the photos, I have discovered a lucky shot of a young toad I took at the beginning of the expedition. Lucky me.
The European fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina)
This was my second reconnaissance trip I took to this place. Finally I have found a pulpit of my dreams - cosy with oriental design and... a cuckoo. A real cuckoo. The bird appeared all of a sudden and started singing on the tree growing just opposite the pulpit. I failed to spot it on the leafy crown of the tree, but I guess it is just a question of time and maybe a night spent in the pulpit. I have been thinking about staying overnight in a pulpit since ages, so I have no doubts that I am going to spend it soon right here. I liked the place from the very beginning. Apart from the cuckoo, I came across a fox, roe deer, a few birds in the reeds (common reed bunting?). I could also smell strong urine around the pulpit, so there must be a lot going on here at night. Maybe roe deer, maybe fox, maybe other animals. Time will show. I only trust that the nettle will not reach the sky before my night trip. It is just the beginning of the vegetative boom and crossing the causeway already proved a health path. However, what made my day today was a meeting with the red-backed shrike. I still struggle with inborn perfectionism in photography, which is of no use in nature photography especially in case of amateur equipment and hand photography. This time this moment of hesitation made me catch the bird in the decisive moment of flying away from the branch. Though the photo is not perfectly sharp and it is just a common red-backed shrike, it still makes the photo I appreciated most of all that I have made today.
The red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio)
Can you just imagine something more sweet?
The mute swan (Cygnus olor). Female with chicks. Below the male apparently identical, if not for the much larger black knob on the bill. The male is also slightly larger than the female. Apart form this pair with chicks I also came across another swan hidden in the reeds. Possibly another female nesting.
You cannot tell male from female Eurasian coot (Fulica atra). Both have the same black color of plumage and white forehead.
The garganey (Spatula querquedula). This male dabbling duck is a real elegant. The female is less distinctive.
The master of entering the frame. When I was making the photo of this buck roe deer, I have missed the grey heron wandering around. When I came back home and looked through the photos, it turned out that the heron or to be precise some part of the heron is almost in every frame. It reminded me of a trip I took to watch cranes. As it often happens in case of these kind of topics as crane mating or deer rut, it is very easy for them to turn into kitsch if suddenly a herd of deer appears out of nowhere behind the scene. They were the masters of the second plan, for instance.
W tle niesamowicie piękne stare pnie wierzb głowiastych
Male (buck) roe deer and... grey heron (Ardea cinerea) - the master of entering the frame.
Don't miss the amazing old willow trunks in the background.
When it comes to cranes... today I have seen a key of as many as eight of them.
Auricularia auricula-judae (Latin for 'Judas's Ear'), known as the Jew's ear, (black) wood ear, jelly ear is an edible tree mushroom equivalent of the Asian mun. It can most often be found on elder.
To nie krzyżówka, nie cyranka, nie łabędź, nie błotniak, nie łyska.
It seems like a perfect mystery for Victoria on the trail. This egg I found on my way has puzzling dimensions (50 mm x 35 mm) - my birdy bible of the Czechs Cerny and Drhal seems to be of no help.
And here it comes! In May everything begins to blossom in Poland.
Yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus)...
...Lychnis flos-cuculi, commonly called Ragged-Robin...
Viburnum opulus, known by the common name guelder rose
Uwielbiam ten krzew. Pięknie kwitnie i pięknie owocuje. Choć surowe szklisto szkarłatne owoce zawierają saponinę, po przemrożeniu i przegotowaniu tracą swoje toksyczne właściwości i nadają się na przetwory. Uwaga! to propozycja tylko dla prawdziwych koneserów. Konfitura może zalatywać obornikiem :)
I just love this shrub. It blooms in as much beautifully as it fruits. Though the raw bright red fruits contain saponins, they loose their toxic character after first frost and boiling to become just perfect for confiture. Beware! it is a perfect proposition just for real connoisseurs. The confiture might have a slightly manure smell :)
Honey bees working hard on still blooming lush Crataegus monogyna, known as common hawthorn. Hawthorn honey? Sounds good.
Nobody expected... the green frog...
...somehow more greenish frog and another lighter green frog.
It has been proved on the example of one of the Polish national parks that the similarity between different kinds of green color frogs living in the same area was so great that it turned out to be impossible to distinguish one from another without closer examination with the help of a special key for marking amphibians. To put i short, green frogs rule the world.