Sunday, 18 March 2012


Had a great morning out in the Lisert wetland today. The weather was quite changable with an overcast sky in the morning and an almost constant breeze/wind from SW (from the sea). Thus it proved to be the perfect factor for migrants. One of the first birds I saw when I arrived at the reedbed area was a SWALLOW - the first of the year!! Another one was close nearby, flying past. Almost at the same moment I also spotted my first HOUSE MARTIN of the year. Excellent! The three hirundines flew swiftly by and I soon lost them. Later in the morning I saw one or two other Swallows flying around.
In the meantime I began to see a great movement of Stonechats. During the whole morning I counted 46 different individuals in the area! This was clearly a migratory fall.
Later, as I was watching the local pair of Marsh Harriers (performing aerial displays), a flock of at least 21 ALPINE SWIFTS materialised in the sky overhead (see pic above). They stayed in the area just for a while, before heading away. In the bushes and trees migration was visible in the form of several Chiffchaffs (some singing), lots of Robins and Blackcaps, several Black Redstarts, tons of Blackbirds and a total of 8 Song Thrushes. The usual Reed Buntings, Cetti's Warblers and Penduline Tits were also around. A few Skylarks flew overhead as well during the morning. A single Water Rail was heard singing.
The small freshwater lake held its surprises as well. Apart from 8 Garganeys (four pairs), 5 FERRUGINOUS DUCKS were present along with a female RED-CRESTED POCHARD! There was just one male Ferruginous Duck, escorting the group of females (also displaying) and the RC Pochard kept following them as well (see pics below).
Ferruginous Ducks:

Ferruginous Ducks & Garganeys:

Ferruginous Ducks & Red-crested Pochard:

Female Red-crested Pochard:


In the brackish marsh the mudflats were quite extensive and held 4 KENTISH PLOVERS (1 m and 3 f). They were quite hard to see, because they were keeping squeezed into the sand all the time. I soon realised what was the source of their fear: a hungry Peregrine looking for a meal over the wetland.
Other waders included 4 nice Redshanks, some Curlews, 1 Lapwing and a Common Sandpiper.
In the afternoon also 7 WHIMBRELS were spotted in the marsh. They stayed in a well-spaced flock on the mudflats and took off a few times, giving the characteristic liquid call (see pics). Other birds in the brackish marsh included: several Common Gulls, 1 adult pl Med Gull, Kingfisher, 12 Teals, 1 Shoveler and a few Water Pipits.
The seven Whimbrels in the air... and after landing:

After my excellent visit to the Lisert area, I went to Isola della Cona NR. The most interesting birds were: 10 SWALLOWS, 100-150 Ruffs, several Spotted Redshanks, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, about 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Spoonbills, just 6 remaining White-fronted Geese and a Black Woodpecker (in the poplar wood by the Isonzo river).

Well well, a great day indeed! I'm quite glad to see the first summer last!