Friday, 24 February 2012

Red-breasted Goose...invasion!

I had some unplanned birding this afternoon around the "goose hot-spot" - between Fiumicello and Terranova (GO). With a friend of mine we went to look for the rare geese and other lowland stuff. We think it's better to enjoy the goose spectacle while it lasts! The White-fronts (and all adjoining rarities) will be leaving in a while. The warm sunshine seems to be pushing the birds a bit, so I think it's just a question of days. Just to prove the fact: 6 (!!) Red-breasted Geese were found today in a field near Udine, along with hundreds of other White-fronts. Those were probably the same that overwintered southern down in Veneto and Emilia Romagna.
Well... the highlight for us came also in a ruficollis fashion, as we enjoyed the "local" RED-BREASTED GOOSE in a field near Isola Morosini, among 1000-1500 White-fronted Geese. Even if it was dusk already and the light was poor, the goose was a quite distinctive feature in the flock. A real spectacle when all the birds took off several times (due to passing airplanes). Around Isola Morosini a Bittern was also of interest: firstly flushed from a small reedbed and later flying over a field at dusk (silhouette against the sunset... wow!). Some Wigeons passed overhead when already dark (clearly on migration). In the nearby trees, along the Isonzato canal, were also 25-30 Fieldfares.
At Isola della Cona NR not much movement: a few Ruffs (not more than 10), 1 usual Bittern by the restaurant, 500-800 White-fronted Geese (in the freshwater marsh; no sign of the Lesser White-front), 1 Penduline Tit, common dabbling ducks, several Tufted Ducks and some really nice displaying Goldeneyes. A Red Admiral was on the wings in the warm sun.
The above photo is from last year - taken at Terranova, where the geese used to spend much of the time

Local patch: 2 Black Redstarts today (male and female) and a Firecrest in the garden yesterday.