Sunday, 30 October 2011

In the red...once again!

I have spent the last two days doing a bit of casual (and unplanned) birding around the Karst in the superb red autumn colours.
This morning a by-the-way stop at the Doberdob Lake NR revealed a GREAT GREY SHRIKE on its usual dead branch on the heathland. Like last year, it was beautifully set in the red-coloured bushes of autumn (the above pic was taken last year). Now, I don't really know if the bird it's the same (probably yes!).
The heathland where the GGS was seen:

In the distance the lake of Doberdob is visible:

Early in the afternoon I took a stroll along the old industrial railway-line of Lisert (GO). When I was well into the main reedbed area, a flock of Penduline Tits appeared on the reeds and gave close views. It was quite mixed and included adults, juveniles and immatures, with different stages of moult too. Reed Buntings, Water Rails and Cetti's were common around. The highlight came in the form of a Goshawk (arrived in flight from Duino) dropping into the poplar woodland. I located the bird thanks to the alarm calls of some annoyied Black-headed Gulls that were mobbing the raptor. It flew right over my head and the bulky size was really distinctive. Some Siskins were heard too, along with some Water Pipits, Linnet, Curlew and 3 Stonechats.

Yesterday I spent half an hour on the ex airfield of Borgo Grotta/Briščki (TS). The area produeced some nice flocks of grounded birds, feeding on the short grass: 12 Mistle Thrushes, +20 Skylarks, about 30 Meadow Pipits, several Linnets, White Wagtails, 5 Black Redstarts, 1 female Stonechat and a singing Woodlark. 6 Woodpigeons flew over the pine-wood at dusk.
The area seems quite suitable for a wintering Great Grey Shrike but I've never found one there...
Below a showy Woodlark, perched on fence-post:

Local patch: a Grey Wagtail took residence in the neighbourhood and now I'm seeing (and hearing) the bird on a daily basis. Never had so many Robins around before - now seems to be the peak period for them. Also Dunnocks increasingly common, along with 2-3 Black Redstarts and Chiffchaffs. Yesterday a singing Cirl Bunting and a Short-toed Treecreeper, today a Serin flew by.