All posts filed under: Balkan Wildlife

Farewell Virpazar

On a chill morning in early March a fisherman puts out not long after dawn to set his nets, baling the icy water from the small boat as he meanders the flooded channel. Fishing is tough and incessant with scant rewards outside  of the short, summer […]


Orjen Mountain and Boka Kotorska

On the far side of Boka Kotorska (the Bay of Kotor) running up behind the town of Herceg Novi sits the largely unexplored massif known as Orjen. This lies adjacent to Bosnia-Herzegovina and the thin slice of coastal Croatia that is now labelled the Dubrovnik riviera.  I […]

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Lovćen Mountain

Lovćen is a mountain within the heart of Montenegro’s coastal range, rising abruptly from the dark maquis and olive-clad hills between the coastal towns of Kotor and Budva to descend more gently inland to the old capital of Cetinje. The mountain is the most accessible of them […]

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Žabljak Crnojevića Emperors

If Freyer’s purple emperor (Apatura metis), or FPE for short, is abundant around Lake Skadar as I think it maybe, having found a handful of territories at Vranjina and knowing that its food plant, white willow (Salix alba), is very commonly distributed around the wetter areas […]

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Ascent of Rumija 2

Above the dark green, ancient sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) woodland near Livari, the hay is neatly stacked in the corner of a small field with a protective plastic sheet, like a skull cap, and weighted with old tyres and water-filled plastic bottles. The crops in […]


Lake Skadar’s Emperor

The weather the other morning at Vranjina was sunny, clear and warm. The squacco herons now joined by a couple of little egrets rushed from the water’s edge as usual, some perching motionless in the nearby trees.  A little bittern flew across the road; this […]

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Orahavo and Kucka Korita

The village of Orahavo with its small, grass high, hay meadows is enveloped by the shrubby hornbeam forest that is characteristic of the low limestone hills. Above, by the side of the winding road to Kucka Korita, there are small glades in the woodland full […]


Chasing Apollos in the Rijeka Cijevna Valley

The Rijeka Cijevna (River Cijevna) runs down a wild, steep-sided valley and forms the boundary between Albania and Montenegro to the east of Podgorica. There is a small road that follows the river up the narrowing valley passing farms, a small school, an even smaller church and […]

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Beyond Bukumirsko Jezero

The last few kilometres of the winding road from Podgorica to Bukumirsko Jezero (Lake) has been recently cleared of snow and debris by a small bulldozer.  The lake is reached down a stony track which runs to some small summer farms (Katuns) and wooden cabins; […]


Plavnica’s Fields of Gold

The morning is hot sun and the meadows at Plavnica are now tall grass and a profusion of wildflowers. The few cultivated fields down the long winding tracks, which a few months were waterlogged and a part of Lake Skadar, have been recently ploughed and harrowed; one […]

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Ćemovsko Polje

The passing storms, grey and massive, create wonderful light on the back road between Golubovci and Tuzi.  The road passes through a wide plain (Polje) full of small farms then large fields, many of them flower-filled fallows, and vineyards. The air is humid and the […]

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Godinje’s Knight of the Garter

Godinje is a pretty village the other side of the hill from Virpazar.  Almost every house has neat signs on the road advertising their home-produced Vino, Rakija and Med (honey). The owners sit under the shade of a tree on the terrace or on a chair behind […]