Friday, 23 September 2011

A proper Spotted Crake!

Škocjanski zatok NR:
the freshwater part of the marsh looks very attractive now, after all the reedbed-cutting. The grassy and muddy scrapes are now completely visible and host a variety of ducks, with Teals being the commonest. Today I counted a total of 613 Teals, which is a quite high score for the season.
Top-bird of the day was a SPOTTED CRAKE, walking on the reedbed's edge with 3 Moorhens. Even if a bit distant, I got nice vews of it through the scope. Actually this is the first time I see a Spotted Crake properly, completely out of cover. It seemed a nice adult as it had white barrings on the flanks and an overall blueish hue (Water Rail-like).
Other birds today on the reserve: 1 Black-necked Grebe in the brackish lagoon (winter plumage), total counts of 64 Little and 13 Great Egrets, 11 Wigeons, 4 Shovelers, 1 female Garganey in the lagoon, 1 singing Water Rail, 211 Coots (growing numbers!), 5 Ringed Plovers in flight over the lagoon (probably settled down somewhere on the mudflats), 1 Lapwing, 2 Curlews, 1 remaining Common Sandpiper (!), 1 juvenile Spotted Redshank, 23 Greenshanks, 1 Snipe, 11 Swallows, constant passage of Tree Pipits, +10 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Robins, 1 Whinchat, 1 female Common Redstart, 1 Bluethroat (seen briefly on the muddy edge of a reedbed), 2 Sedge Warblers, 6 Reed Warblers, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Blackcaps, 4 Willow Warblers and 1 Penduline Tit (calling).
Illustration above gently stolen from the RSPB website