Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

Little Grebes and gentians along the Misurina lake

The area of the “Lago di Misurina”, in the Auronzo di Cadore municipality, is another breathtaking Dolomites scenery, being tha lake surrounded by gorgeous dolomite mountains like Cristallo (3,221  m), Sorapis (3,205 m), Cadini di Misurina (2,839 m), Torre dei Scarperi (2,687 m) and, above all, the renowed Tre Cime di Lavaredo (2,999 m).


The lake is situated at the altitude of 1,754 m and is rich in aquatic vegetation because of its low depth (no more than 5 m): this supports a rather abuntant water wildlife for the altitude.

About dragonflies, I photographed for sure the Common Bluet (Enallagma cyathigerum), but I observed also some Blue Emperor (Anax imperator), hawkers (Aeshna sp.) and emeralds (Somatochlora sp.), while even Small Whiteface (Leucorrhinia dubia) is reported for the area.

Common Bluet (Enallagma cyathigerum)
August 2017

Some water birds breed in the lake, including Mallard, Eurasian Coot and a lot of pairs of very photogenic Little Grebes (Tachybaptus ruficollis).


Around the lake also the Tree-toed Woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) is reported, but I haven’t look hard for it: was a very hot day for the altitude and August is also the busiest times about turists, with hundreds of people everywhere. The forest birds activity was very low indeed, with just few Coal, Crested and Willow tits, Common Treecreepers, Spotted Nutcrackers, Crossbills and Chaffinches.


The number of butterflies was low, but with some interesting photo subjects like Water Ringlet (Erebia pronoe) and the valesina form of Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia), plus Brimstone, Chalk-hill Blue, Large Ringlet, Small Tortoiseshell and an amazing individual of Camberwell beauty (Nymphalis antiopa), unfortunatelly only in flight and not photographed.


I found quite a interesting late flowers including al least 4 species of gentians: Willow Gentian (Gentiana asclepiadea), Gentiana pumila,  Gentianella ciliata and Field Gentian (Gentianella campestris).


Luca Boscain


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