No sleep for Czech birdwatchers!
Twenty budding ornithologists, aged 12-56, took part in the 3rd practical ornithology course organized by A Rocha Czech and the Czech Ornithological Society. It was held in Eastern Bohemia, beside the Polish border at Orlické Záhoří, from 25-29 June. Each participant began the day by improving their song identification skills during the dawn chorus and then from 6 am until lunch time, watched birds being ringed by experts, learning about plumage, migration, moult and other associated topics. Some of the Czech Republic’s leading ornithologists lectured in the afternoons on monitoring methods and bird of prey identification, then it was back outside to practise identification and monitoring skills. A Rocha has been carrying out research into the Corncrake Crex crex here for many years, but they mostly call late at night, and so the day ended with catching, ringing and surveying till 2 am. One of the lecturers, Luděk Petrilák, said, ‘For me, it was wonderful, but exhausting. I was asked so many questions, the enthusiasm was amazing. It was impossible to tire them out!’
Small image: A Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes ringed on the course. (Kamil Hromádko)