Tuesday, 30 November 2010

LESSER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE and GOLDEN PLOVER











Škocjanski zatok: the juv. *LESSER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE* was still present today in the freshwater marsh, showing well (see the photos above) . A video is available here.
Another interesting sighting today, was a EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER within a flock of 13 Lapwings and Curlews. It's quite a rare bird for the area (pics above); another video here. Also many Greenshanks, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 female Goldeneye, a male Stonechat and some Meadow Pipits.

Monday, 29 November 2010

LESSER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE

Škocjanski zatok (KP): as I arrived in the nature reserve I was promptly alerted that a juv. *LESSER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE* was present in the freshwater marsh. It was there since Friday (26th), but was firstly thought to be a Greater White-fronted Goose. Today it was re-seen well and consequently re-identified as a Lesser White-fronted by the local reserve wardens (and me).
I quickly spotted it as it was showing quite well, grazing on a grassy "island" in the marsh.

Identifiable as a juvenile Lesser Wf by the prominent yellow eye-ring, no white on forehead (just a small hint around the bill), no black markings on the belly, tiny bill and overall small appearence and long wing-tip (wing projection) extending far beyond the tail (unlike Greater White-fronted).
Unfortunately I didn't have any camera with me so I couldn't take any pics. The only one are those taken with my phone (the wardens took some documentative shots). Tomorrow I'll try to relocated the bird and photograph it well.

It seems to be one of the few records for Slovenia (4th probably) and the first for the Škocjanski zatok nature reserve.

In the freshwater wetland also some waders: 17 Greenshanks, 8 Dunlins, 1 Spotted Redshank, 15 Curlews.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Winter waders, gulls and grebes



Some sightings from today's birding at Valle Cavanata NR and Banco Mula di Muggia (Grado-GO): about +200 Pintails, nice numbers of Wigeon on the sea (some thousands), 300 Pochards, several Tufted Ducks, 1-2 Goldeneyes, 1 Black-throated Diver, Black-necked Grebe, 2 Red-necked Grebes (in the Averto canal), Pygmy Cormorant, Marsh Harrier, Water Rail, 1 RINGED PLOVER, several Kentish Plovers (on the beach), Grey Plover, several hundreds Dunlin at the roost, 1 Redshank, 1 BAR-TAILED GODWIT among Dunlins, Curlew, 2 Common Gulls, 3 Med Gulls, Sandwich Tern and 2 Ravens that flew overhead near Staranzano (quite rare bird for the area).
The pics above: last year's Bar-tailed Godwit and Ringed Plover.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Snowy day with WALLCREEPER




This morning on the cliffs of the mount Stena (TS) a nice WALLCREEPER was hopping up and down, looking for insects and flying from rock to rock (see the video above). The heathland area was covered in snow (as it was the whole Karst plateau), but some birds were still around: Coal and Crested Tits, Linnet, Goldcrest, 1 Yellowhammer, 1 Buzzard, few Meadow Pipits, 7 Woodlarks and overhead Bramblings & Crossbills.
Here's last year's Wallcreeper post (with some decent images)

Friday, 26 November 2010

Black Redstarts in search of shelter




Local patch: And finally the snow came even to the coast; unfortunately only mixed with rain, so it didn't accumulate on the ground. The Karst though has a soft "white mantle", so it's possible that some birds will drop down to the coast in search of food. Meanwhile 3 Black Redstarts (1 male + 2 females) were seeking shelter from the heavy rain (and occasional snow) beneath the eaves of the houses. Usually sitting on the window shutters (see pics).

Thursday, 25 November 2010

"The telegraph-pole eagle"

Local patch: this afternoon a Buzzard was perching on a telephone-pole, overlooking a local road. It was promptly mobbed by a massive crowd of corvids (Crows and Magpies), but didn't seem too much annoyed. After some minutes it changed perch, landing on a small tree in a private garden, just few steps away from a house. It definitely flew off after a while, heading towards the shore.
Otherwise there's not much movement in the patch; just the usual garden birds including daily Coal Tits, Dunnock (1-2 showing well the last days), Black Redstarts, parties of Cirl Buntings. A Sparrowhawk is regularly patrolling the area, giving some nice acrobatic hunts at times.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Crossbills on the Karst




This afternoon on the mount Grisa near Kontovel (TS) I watched a flock of 13 CROSSBILLS landing on a pine-tree and feeding on the cone seeds. They flew away after about 10 minutes of feeding frenzy and constant "chipping". In the area also a party of +8 Long-tailed Tits, containing at least 3 very white-headed individuals (caudatus-style), a Meadow Pipit flying past, some Siskins and a Sparrowhawk.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

The "Bull of the Mire" finally ...and some other delights





Latest sightings from today's birding on the Adriatic coast:
Valle Cavanata (GO): 15-20 Pintails, 150-200 Pochards (both males and females), 1 female FERRUGINOUS DUCK (among Pochards), 2 Tufted Ducks, 1-2 Goldeneyes at sea, Red-breasted Merganser, 1 RED-THROATED DIVER on the sea, several Black-necked Grebes, Pygmy Cormorant, 1 Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Water Rail, Lapwing, 20-25 Dunlins in flock on the rocks by the sea, 1 REDSHANK on the muddy beach, Greenshank, about a hundred Curlews on the rocks by the sea, several Sandwich Terns, Reed Bunting.
At Lisert (GO) of interest a stunning BITTERN showing very well at the reedbed margin - first of the year (see pics above), Black-necked Grebes, 1 female Red-breasted Merganser and an Alpine Chamois seen from Lisert on the mount Grmada (TS).
From the Rilke path (Duino - TS) a nice male PEREGRINE flying past, 2 Black-throated Divers on the sea, along with a Red-necked Grebe and at least 59-60 Common Eiders in front of Duino.
female Ferruginous Duck:

Redshank:

Curlew:

And here a pic of a Ural Owl, found in the town of Gorizia few days ago. It probably hit a building (mobbed by crows) and was rescued by some people. Now it's under the care of some vets and will be released as soon as it will be in the conditions to fly again:

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

"Greve" & Black-throated Diver







Seawatching from Miramare (TS) today produced: 2 Black-throated Divers (1 far at sea + the usual ind. close to shore), 1 winter-plumaged RED-NECKED GREBE (swimming quite close to the coast, showing well), 2 Sandwich Terns and several Shags.
Close to Miramare also a Black Woodpecker was calling, pratically at sea level.
Pics above: Red-necked Grebe on the first three, Black-throated Diver on the last ones.

Local patch: usual movement of Cirl Buntings, Coal Tits, Black Redstarts and a Buzzard (this morning) - low over the suburb.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Black-throated Diver - winter arrival



A BLACK-THROATED DIVER was present this afternoon on the sea near Miramare (TS), along with two Red-breasted Mergansers (m & f).

Friday, 12 November 2010

Surprise: PALLID SWIFT!

Škocjanski zatok (KP): the bird of the day was certainly a PALLID SWIFT, spotted at 11.40 am as it was circling in the sky above the nature reserve. Fortunately it remained in the area for some minutes and was consequently seen by some of the reserve wardens. It's quite a late time for a swift, but Pallid Swifts are known to stay much longer in Europe than Common or Alpines. In some areas of the Mediterranean they even wintered. However in the last weeks (and months), some small parties o Swifts are seen around the city of Trieste at dusk - Pallids for sure!
Usual stuff in the area: Sparrowhawk (hunting), 4 Skylarks, 2 Meadow Pipits, tons of Water Pipits, 1 female Goldeneye, Bramblings on passage, Siskin, Greenshank, +15 Dunlins, 1 Black-necked Grebe, about 20 Curlews, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Stonechats.
I caught this nice Kingfisher too:


In and around the pine growths near Bazovica (TS), on the Karst: flocks of Crosbills feeding on pine cones, Bramblings and Siskins on passage, many Goldcrests, the usual tits and about 7 Meadow Pipits (on the open heathland).

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Lady Goldeneye

Škocjanski zatok (KP): a female Goldeneye in the inner marsh (first record for the season), 6 Shovelers, 4 Pygmy Cormorants, 3 female Stonechats, 1 Water Rail, 18 Greenshanks, 1-2 Curlew, 12 Dunlins (feeding with the other waders on the grassy areas of the inner marsh), 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Temminck's Stint (in company of Water Pipits!), Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk (2 - one hunting Starlings at dusk), Starling (flocks at dusk of about 200-300 birds - fairly small), 1 Buzzard over the marsh.
The presence of such nice numbers of waders in the inner/freshwater marsh, is probably due to the heavy rain of the past days, that has risen the water level.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Reed Bunting



Two pics of a female Reed Bunting, today at Lisert (GO). In the area also a Penduline Tit.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Sparrowhawk & Peregrine




Škocjanski zatok (KP): today of interest a nice Sparrowhawk perching on a fence post (see pic above), a Peregrine flying above the reserve with a just-caught Starling (heading south, towards KP), 1 Stonechat (photo above), 4 Skylarks (feeding on the grass), Water Rail, Greenshank, 6 Pygmy Cormorants, Reed Bunting, Linnet and a Cetti's Warbler showing very well in the reedbed.

Local patch: a House Mouse roving around the garden this morning, a Coal Tit and a Goldcrest on the pine tree.