Saturday, 3 September 2011

Not yet on my list, but two year-ticks!

Today's main target birds -the Dotterels- were nowhere to be seen! An early start this morning on the Mount Pizzoc and surroundings (in nearby Veneto) proved to be quite usless. Me and my friend checked all the possible places, hoping to get at leats one of these elusive upland waders. The place is one of their usual stopping areas, and has yielded small parties in the past years. But today maybe was too early... Even though reports came out of birds being seen on different other mountains in north-eastern Italy and Slovenia.

I'll keep looking for them in the next weeks, making sure I see them this autumn!

Fortunately, two year-ticks (quite banal though) saved the day. These two were in fact the highlights of the day: Golden Eagle and Flamingo.

A pair of adult GOLDEN EAGLES was soaring in the skies over Piancavallo (PN) at midday and gave resonable views. Other birds in the upland areas (both around the Pizzoc and Piancavallo) included: tons of Northern Wheatears (finally some nice males too) and Whinchats, Sand Martin, Siskin, 1 Common Swift (quite unexpected), some Skylarks, Mistle Thrush, several Pied Flycatchers, Kestrel, Buzzard, flocks of Linnets, several Ravens, Goldcrests in mixed flocks of tits, 5 Honey Buzzards on migration along with a very dark juv Marsh Harrier, then also a Goshawk, Bullfinch and 1 Lesser Whitethroat.

In the early afternoon we moved to the lowland areas, visiting Magredi del Cellina, Vivaro and Coneglians. Birds of interst included: 1 fantastic Wryneck sitting on a fence and showing pretty well, lots of Northern Wheatears and Whinchats, 2 juv Tawny Pipits and a total of about 40 Bee-eaters (on migration, but also perched on trees).

A last stop at Valle Cavanata (GO) on the way back home to see the reported Flamingo. And there it was...a quite dull juvenile bird, feeding in the main lagoon. In front of him was a nice summer-plumaged Grey Plover, 4 Wood Sandpipers, +30 Pygmy Cormorants (!!) and 11 female Garganeys.

That's it for now... as I said, I'll keep searching for Dotterels!

Dotterel photo above by Steve Round