Thursday, 18 August 2011

Local scarcities & grounded migrants on the reserve

Škocjanski zatok: back at my usual weekly job I had the opportunity to see two local scarcities (if not even rarities) for the area. A juvenile SPOONBILL and 3 CATTLE EGRETS are present in the reserve since last week. Commonly found throughout the wetlands in Italy, this two species are quite scarce in Slovenia and are irregularly recorded mainly on coastal marshes.

But I don't really consider these as "true" rarities. So today the most exciting thing for me was perhaps the nice fall of migrants with the passerines higher on the list: sevaral Yellow Wagtails, 4 Nightingales, 3 Whinchats (the first of the autumn), 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 WRYNECK showing well on some low trees in the hedges, 1 Garden Warbler (probably more than one!), 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, +6 Blackcaps, 4 MISTLE THRUSHES (flying high over the reserve to SE) and 1 imm. Willow Warbler (very bright yellow underparts). But the commonest migrants were especially the numerous Reed/Marsh Warblers and Great Reed Warblers in the hedges.

The other highlight of the day was a female/juv. Little Crake crossing a stretch of water from a reedbed to the other.

And then the usual selection of commoner birds (wildfowl numbers building up): 15 Shovelers, 8 Wood Sandpipers, 24 Greenshanks, 10 Black-winged Stilts, 21 Common Sandpipers, 2 Woodpigeons (over the lagoon), 2 Kingfishers, 2-3 Fan-tailed Warbler (calling in flight), 2 Swallows (!), 3 Snipes, 1 male Little Bittern, 66 Teals, 5 Pygmy Cormorants, 2 Curlews, 2 Great Egrets, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Common Terns (3 ads + 1 juv), 1 male Pochard, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 juv Purple Heron.

Above photo: the juvenile Spoonbill

Local patch: a Short-toed Treecreeper calling at 13.35 from a nearby garden and a Scops Owl still singing this morning at 05.30 am.