Friday, 13 January 2012

Back to the monitoring

Škocjanski zatok NR: this morning I was back again counting birds and it was really miserable...weatherwise. The visibility was very poor and the air was thick with mist and moisture. The kind of day you usually see nothing special and very few birds at all. In fact that was more or less my situation! In the whole day I heard just a single Water Rail for example... They probably didn't bother to come out and sing.
With a bit of scanning I could relocate two first-winter CASPIAN GULLS within smaller numbers of Yellow-legged Gulls. And also 5 Common Gulls were around today.
At the end of the morning I was happy to confirm once again, that my pishing skills are very effective with reedbed birds. 11 Penduline Tits and 4 Reed Buntings materialised in front of me just 3 second after my first sign of "pish". Showing extremely well of course. I'm now wondering if that works with Bearded Tits too... that would be amazing!
Another nice thing today was to see a female Sparrowhawk with a prey in the talons. It spent the whole morning flying around or sitting on different perches (see pic above), waiting for a meal. At the end it finally caught a sparrow just next to the feeding station. I actually flushed it when walking down the path - it took off from the ground...fortunately with the prey in the talons.
And now some numbers from the monitoring: 6 Pygmy Cormorants, 3 Great Egret, 2 Greylag Geese (locally interesting record), 4 Shelducks, 22 Wigeons, 63 Shovelers, 427 Teals, 10 Pochards, 5 Tufted Ducks, 1 Buzzard, 674 Coots, 12 Curlews, 2 Green Sandpipers, 1 Spotted Redshank (the wintering bird-see pic), 14 Greenshanks, 1 Snipe, 187 Black-headed & 38 Yellow-legged Gulls (both decreased in numbers), 7 Water Pipits, 7 Hawfinches.