Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Duck show

Local patch: the sea was stuffed with wildfowl this afternoon! In addition to the usual Garganeys, today I managed to spot a flock of 21 SHOVELERS (majority drakes) and several PINTAILS. The Shovelers were escorting a smaller flock of approximately 20 Garganeys. The males were recognisable even at great distance due to the massive bill and contrasting flank colouring. The Pintails instead were part of a big flock (250 ind) of otherwise unidetified ducks - probably Garganeys as well. I identified the distinctive Pintails just thanks to their long tails and characteristic head shapes. Lots of drakes of the different species were constantly displaying to the females (head-throwing, neck-stretching ect).
In total there must have been something like 350-400 ducks on the sea today! Scanning over the water's surface there were smaller flocks of ducks a bit everywhere. Usually Garganey is by far the most numerous in this period.
Within a flocks of about 100 Black-headed Gulls I counted 40 Common Gulls.
A Dolphin sp. was also swimming in the waters in front of Bracola's dock. Unfortunately it made a too quick appearence to be identified for sure.

Well, it's migration time... and it's just the beginning of it!

Pic above by Paolo Grion