Friday, 25 November 2011

Overflying Bittern

Škocjanski zatok NR: yesterday's highlight was a BITTERN that showed well for the whole morning. I got four views of it in flight, on different parts of the reserve. Most of the times it just flew over the reedbed for a few seconds, before dropping down again. The last time it decided to take a longer circle and landed somewhere nearby me, giving great flight views from quite close distance. It also called a few times while in the air - a harsh, heron-like call I never heard before!
Other birds on the reserve today included: 2 Shelducks, 1 female Pintail, +30 Shovelers, 70 Wigeons, 527 Teals (lots!), 13 Pochards (all on Jezerce), 5 Tufted Ducks (2 on Jezerce and 3 in the lagoon), 2 Black-necked Grebes, up to 500 Coots (!), 1 Marsh Harrier (seen briefly in flight...quite dark, so probably a female), 1 Sparrowhawk showing well on a tree, Buzzard, 5 Water Rails, 1 Green Sandpiper, 15 Greenshanks, 10 Curlews, 4-5 Snipes, 1 Skylark (overhead), lots of Water Pipits - now totally replaced all the other pipits, 1 Moustached Warbler (heard calling in a small patch of reedbed... it didn't show this time), a few Chiffchaffs, some Penduline Tits at Jezerce, 3 Hawfinches and several Reed Buntings.
Above pic taken in Hungary, 2011

Local patch: a Hawfinch was of interest yesterday - flying on the edge of the deciduous woodland.