Thursday, 22 December 2011

Gulls: one in the process of ID

Škocjanski zatok NR: I found this interesting gull today, while doing the weekly count. I think it could be good for a Caspian, but I'd like to wait the opinions of some experts first. I'm not yet very sure to claim the identification of certain gull species...
Otherwise nearly all the water bodies were frozen over, so all the waterbirds were confined to small, ice-free areas. Even the brackish lagoon was locked in ice, but thankfully half of it was still free. However the numbers of the different species were a bit down today (a consequence of the ice cover). Birds of interest included: 124 Little Grebes (!), just 2 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 1 Shelduck left, 28 Wigeons, 10 Shovelers, 183 Teals, 9 Pochards (both sexes), 1 female Tufted Duck, 3 Water Rails, 545 Coots, 9 Curlews, 15 Greenshanks, 1 Snipe, quite high numbers of gulls with 221 Black-headed and 218 Yellow-legged Gulls, 1 first-winter COMMON GULL also present (my first of the season!), 11 Skylarks on the grazing marsh (see pics below), 16 Water Pipits (walking around on the ice), 1 Wren, 2 Dunnocks, 1 male Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, flock of 36 Jackdaws (!) over the reserve, 4 Hawfinches (on hedges), 1 Spanish Sparrow (male at the feeding station - still within the massive flock of House and Tree Sparrows).

By the way, here on this link you can find three short films about the Škocjanski zatok nature reserve (by clicking on one of the three videos).
They are available here too:
1.The first one about wildlife/birds in the nature reserve (perhaps the most interesting)
2.The second about horses and cattles present on the reserve
3.The third about education, field trips and bird monitorings