Sunday, 13 November 2011

Cold wind brings birds!

Finally back to my routine birding, after nearly a week of "absence"! Fortunately the weather improved (at least for good birds) with a cold northeasterly that began to blow on Friday. Thus more new birds from the north and at least something to see offshore.

Local patch: a 15-minute visit to Miramare produced two very good birds for the area: 1 RED-THROATED DIVER (extremely close to shore) and nearby a RED-NECKED GREBE fishing along it (see pics above). I was quite surprised when the diver uttered repeatedly a mournful call to the sea.
A Wren and a Grey Wagtail were also of note in the garden (seen).

After 8.30 am I was at Isola della Cona, helping a friend guiding a group of beginners around the reserve. Even if it wasn't hardcore birding all the time, we managed to pull out some pretty interesting species: 60-80 White-fronted Geese, along with 4 TUNDRA BEAN GEESE (showing well while grazing on the marsh, but no pics unfortunately), several hundred Greylags, 3 Barnacle Geese (still present), all common dabbling ducks, including Pintail, then 3 Tufted Ducks, 3 female GOLDENEYES on the Quarantia canal (the firsts of the season!), 4 Black-throated Divers on the same canal, some Black-necked Grebes, 1 BITTERN (seen briefly in flight over the reedbed), 2 Cattle Egrets, 1-2 Marsh Harriers, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Goshawk (spreading panic among Starlings), Water Rail, several hundreds Lapwings, Common Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, a few Greenshanks, 5 Snipes, Curlew, Water Pipit, 1 female Stonechat, Penduline Tit, Hawfinch and some Reed Buntings.
Early in the afternoon I checked the sea at Lido di Staranzano/Alberoni (GO) and found: another Red-throated Diver (offshore), several Black-necked Grebes, lots of GC Grebes, several Grey Plovers on the mudflats, along with hundreds of Dunlins and Curlews. But there was too much "wind haze" to see farther out at sea.
Two female Goldeneyes:

Black-throated Diver: