Thursday, September 20, 2012

Biogradska Gora National Park, Montenegro (Nationalpark Biogradska Gora, Montenegro) (Biogradska Gora Nemzeti Park, Montenegró) 09.2012.

As we travelled through Montenegro, we stopped for a night in the Biogradska Gora National Park in the northern, mountainous region of the country. It was raining the whole day long, so we just set up our tents and spent the whole night listening to the roaring of local brown bears. Taking photos was not possible,  than, however, one interesting arthropod species turned out in the tents in great numbers: the orange harvestman Opilio ruzickai.

Bojana Island, Montenegro (Insel Bojana, Montenegro) (Bojana-sziget, Montenegró) 09.2012.

On the way back from Albania in September 2012, we stopped on the Bojana Island (Ada Bojana) for a day, which is located at the Montenegrin side of the boarder river of the same name. There are sandy coasts, coastal forests, salt swamps and a large number of interesting reptiles on this small island.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sarandë District, Albania IV. (Kreis Sarandë, Albanien IV.) (Sarandë járás, Albánia IV.) 09.2012.

We spent our last days in Albania between the villages of Kulluricë and Kodër, where we visited a quite long abandoned bunker in search for animals. Bunkers are everywhere in Albania, and as they are abandoned since many years, they are perfect for cave-inhabiting fauna.

Sarandë District, Albania III. (Kreis Sarandë, Albanien III.) (Sarandë járás, Albánia III.) 09.2012.

We spent our last days in Albania between the villages of Kulluricë and Kodër. The landscape dominated by only 100-300 m high mounds is spectacular (and there is a nice view on the hills of Corfu), the vegetation was diverse even in the autumn and we managed to find many reptiles and arthropods here.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sarandë District, Albania II. (Kreis Sarandë, Albanien II.) (Sarandë járás, Albánia II.) 09.2012.

We spent a day in the vicinity of Shalës in South-Albania, camping on the shore of a small river between 500-700 m high hills, covered with maquis shrublands. The area is used by goat herders, who roam around with the herd and their dogs on the steep hills - the landscape is just idyllic. Of course the local fauna offers some interesting discoveries as well.

Sarandë District, Albania I. (Kreis Sarandë, Albanien I.) (Sarandë járás, Albánia I.) 09.2012.

We spent the second half of our Albanian field trip in the southernmost part of the land. We drove to Sarandë and from there through the Butrint National Park (Parku Kombëtar i Butrintit), which is famous for its archeological sites of different eras. First, we stopped near Shkallë to search for reptiles. This landscape differs greatly from the mountainous, forested areas we visited earlier during the trip. It is covered by maquis shrublands and of course the fauna is also different.

Syri i Kaltër, Albania (Syri i Kaltër, Albanien) (Syri i Kaltër, Albánia) 09.2012.

Syri i Kaltër, or the Blue Eye is a karst spring and lake in the Mali i Gjerë mountains near Sarandë in the Southern part of Albania. It is a popular tourist attraction: clear blue water bubbles forth from a more than fifty-metre-deep pool under great pressure. The round shape of this pool gave the place its name.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mount Gramoz, Albania (Berg Gramoz, Albanien) (Gramoz-hegy, Albánia) 09.2012.

The second area we visited in Albania was the Mount Gramoz (Gramos in Greek). This mountain is at the border of Albania and Greece and with its 2520 metres height, it is a prominent sight. We arrived in the late afternoon to a small village not even present on our maps: Kreshove. We camped here at 1200 m a.s.l. In the morning, we climbed up to the Gramoz and found a wonderous landscape with many interesting plants and animals.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fir of Hotova-Dangell National Park, Albania (Nationalpark Tannenwald von Hotova-Dangell, Albanien) (Hotova-Dangell Fenyvese Nemzeti Park, Albánia) 09.2012.

We visited the termal ponds of Ura ë Kadiut in the Fir of Hotova-Dangell National Park (Parku Kombëtar Bredhi i Hotovës-Dangelli) and spent two days here. The rapid-flowing river, Lëngarica that flows through the national park created a valley with sludgy rift and the thermal springs are found on the sides of this valley. They are very popular among tourists and local people as well. Some of the thermal springs have dense vegetation, while others are simple rock pools. The chemical composition of the thermal waters varies greatly. After heavy rains, the river even covers some of the thermal pools.

Near Fir of Drenove National Park, Albania (Neben Nationalpark Tannenwald von Drenove, Albanien) (A Drenove Fenyvese Nemzeti Park mellett, Albánia) 09.2012.

In September of 2012 I had the opportunity to take part in a herpetological research trip in Albania organised by the Herpetological Group of the University of Debrecen. We drove from South Hungary all the way down in one day to Korçë in the middle of the country. Here we found a camp site near the village of Boboshticë, at 1000 m above sea level (during the whole 10-day-long trip we camped in the wilderness). Next morning, we started to search through the area near Boboshticë, than, after visiting the famous bazaar of Korçë, we drove up the incredibly steep serpentine road to the beautiful little village of Dardhë, located on the Dardhë Scenic Route. Both areas that we visited are located near the National Park called Parku Kombëtar Bredhi i Drenovës (Fir of Drenove). This park has untouched fir forests and steep slopes with mediterranean bush vegetation.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bugac-Puszta, Hungary (Bugac-Puszta, Ungarn) (Bugac-Puszta, Magyarország) 08.2012.

Last August we traveled to the Kiskunság National Park, to the Hungarian Puszta to take some photos of the insect fauna there. We also did some night sheeting to find night-active moths (we lured them to a white bedsheet using the light of a strong lamp).