Observation of birds with wigs and a view of Triglav
The two Ruffs we saw last time flew to the other side of the lake. By the way, did you know that some males of this species of birds dress up? Just like us, human males and females for the carnival, except these feathered boys do it during the mating season, when they try to get female affection. Some of them put on a wig and a ceremonial collar for this purpose. They do not consider themselves as carnival birds, but more as incredibly handsome.
Perhaps we see some of them from the next observatory on our trail, the highest and most special of all:
Location: on the forest ridge of the Otočec hill, which descends to the road Dolenje jezero – Otok in a steep slope.
Through the binoculars we can see a nine-meter tower, which resembles a high hunting hide. We climb up the zigzag wooden stairs to the observation platform, which is six meters high. There, a breath-taking view of the lake and its idyllic surroundings becomes visible. In fact, look at them, the flock of Ruffs has just risen to the sky.
Beams in the Otočec observatory will be equipped with boards, containing interesting information about what you can see from this high position. Below, at the foot of the tower is a small wooden bench.
OBSERVATORY NAD LEVIŠČI
Location: a lonely rock above the lake in the vicinity of village Otok.
This observatory, a wood platform with a roof, will stand on a high point, with a beautiful view of Lake Cerknica. In winter, we can look into an ice mirror in which the shades of the winter sky and frost-hardened reeds are mingling and, in the summer, we see the water as a colour palette of emerald and blue. We can witness lively gatherings of the feathered inhabitants of the lake in all seasons.
OBSERVATORY GORENJE JEZERO
Location: this will be the only observatory, built on even terrain – on a grassy shore, a few meters from the bridge that leads along the road Otok – Gorenje Jezero, across the Stržen stream.
The observatory is designed as a small wooden house with a ridged roof. It will be open at the front, and will be equipped with boards with information and interesting educational content. There will be an outdoor classroom next to the observatory with two large wide wooden benches for observation, listening, and even for laying down. If we look closely through our binoculars, we can see four great egrets that are well camouflaged during winter – they blend completely with the white snow and are hard to spot. The Eurasian bittern also carries masking clothing and is quite hard to notice in the reeds.
The special feature of this observatory is that in clear weather and good visibility you can see the highest Slovenian mountain and how it boasts over Lake Cerknica.
View of Triglav (Photo: Tine Schein)
Next time: a circular educational trail along crystalline springs.