Friday, 21 October 2011

Bull of the Mire

Škocjanski zatok NR: top bird today was the first BITTERN of the season. The above picture shows one phone-scoped last year, in the same area. I managed to see it just when it flew in my scope view, as I was counting wildfowl. It then quickly dropped into the reedbed. This is also the first official record of the season for the reserve.
Quite a lot of Starlings today, mainly concentrated on the grazing marsh. I estimated something between 2000 and 5000 birds. But counting was difficult due to a constant influx of flocks, coming from the nearby farmlands. Part of the flock is pictured below.
Other relevant birds during the count today: 2 Penduline Tits, 18 Black Redstarts, 346 Coots, 19 Shovelers, 1 Song Thrush, 1 female Pintail in the lagoon, 270 Teals, 1 Black-necked Grebe (still in the lagoon), 9 Great Crested Grebes, 8 Snipes, 3 Curlews, 12 Greenshanks, 58 Wigeons (mainly in the lagoon), 5 Reed Buntings, 3 Water Rails (one seen flying), 3 Serins, 8 Stonechats (on the grazing marsh) along with 2 Whinchats (still here!), 3 Dunnocks, 3 Meadow Pipits, +25 Linnets on the grazing marsh, 19 Jackdaws (passed overhead), 3 Water Pipits, 2 Common Buzzards, 1 Yellow Wagtail (garzing marsh), 2 Lapwings (in the freshwater marsh - newly arrived), 2 Dunlins in the lagoon, 2 Siskins (overhead) and 2 Sparrowhawks.

After 16.00 pm a stop at the bay of Lazzaretto (Muggia - TS) produced a lonely female Wigeon, feeding in the shallow water - anusual bird for the area (pic below). Also 2 Common Sandpipers were present.

Local patch: on Wednesday a male BLACK REDSTART was hopping on a rooftop - the first of the season in the patch. It didn't have white on wings, so I suppose it was a first-winter/imm. Nice to see it in the garden after so long!