Curonian Spit, June 2018
Curonian spit is an elongated peninsula in the north of Kaliningrad Oblast, separating the Baltic Sea from the Curonian Bay. The Russian part of the spit has three villages (Lesnoy, Rybachy, and Morskoye) and a national park.
The spit consists mostly of sand, and beaches on it with fine sand.
There is an ornithological station Fringilla in Rybachy, where birds are ringed. There are traps there that work like a primitive maze. The “entrance” to the trap is wide, but as you go deeper, the inner flaps narrow. There is a neck through which the birds cannot fly back out.
The only way out of there is through the hands of birdwatchers who record the species of birds, their weight, wing size, and amount of fat. Mostly they ring small birds there because the big ones fly too high and don't get trapped. And if they do, they quickly figure out how to get out. Only owls are dumb, and they can't get out.
A little further down the trail is The Dancing Forest. The tree trunks in this forest do not grow straight, but twist and curl. One theory is that caterpillars that damage the shoots are the cause of the curvature. It would be cool to be there in the fall.
The soil here is sandy, and to keep the trees from drying out, they need moisture, which the topsoil holds back. To keep visitors from trampling the remnants of the forest, you can't go behind the fences.
There are a lot of sand dunes on the spit. The sand is blown by the wind, the dunes are “trapped” by sand traps.
The author of the trapping of the dunes is thought to be Wilhelm Franz Epha, after whom the height on the highest dune is named.
The township of Morskoe has been “moved” several times because of the shifting sands. Wasn't too far from here: