Thursday, 19 January 2012

January mist

Škocjanski zatok NR: once again I chose the worst day in the week to do the monitoring. Ok, it was not raining or windy, but the reserve was again in the mist. Very wet and chilly conditions - and the temperatures were around 0 degrees C even by 11.00 am. So most of the freshwater marsh and some parts of the lagoon were still ice-locked. Despite that, there was a greater movement than last week. The gull numbers were again very high with totals of 292 Black-headed, 212 Yellow-legged, 5 Common, 2 CASPIAN GULLS (yes, still around!) and 1 adult Herring Gull.
Otherwise, the major interest was provided by a White-fronted Goose which dropped down into the marsh at mid morning. As soon as it landed among the other wildfowl, it was mobbed by a Mute Swan (very aggressive) and minutes later took off, heading to the lagoon instead. A very brief appearence indeed.
Here the main problem for the geese are the swans which are very territorial and tend to mob any big intruder. So usually the geese stay for a short time...unfortunately.
Other birds were mainly the common species seen regularly. It was nice to see two Water Rails (males I suppose) chasing each other, out in the open on a grassy bank. Seven Skylarks were mixed among Water Pipits on the grazing marsh and 3 Hawfinches provided interest on the hedges (pic above). 1 Green Sanpiper was in the lagoon with 11 Curlews and several Greenshanks. Interesting ducks included 9 Pochards and 3 Tufted Ducks on the same freshwater reservoir and 4 Shelducks. The only Penduline Tit I had today was at Jezerce. In the same area, feeding on the path was a flock of 13 Cirl Buntings.
Coots total number today: 530... decreased!

By the way THIS is the new website of the reserve - a new look finally! The link can also be found on the sidebar to the right.