Thursday, 12 April 2012

Clouds bring RED-RUMPED SWALLOWS




Škocjanski zatok NR: today, with an overcast and rainy April sky, it was obvious there was something good to be found just around the corner. The highlight of the day and for the season so far were 2 *RED-RUMPED SWALLOWS*. One was seen flying over the lagoon and the second gave excellent flight views in front of the 2nd screening (freshwater marsh). The latter was difficult to follow once it came too close for focusing with bins! Of course both birds were mixed within large numbers of Swallows (+600), House Martins (50-100) and Sand Martins (20-30). There were also lots of Common Swifts over the marsh, as well as one single Alpine Swift.
Other interesting birds today were in the form of: 1 Nightingale, 4 Ferruginous Ducks on Jezerce pond (3 m & 1 f), 2 Pochards, lots of Blackaps, 11 Great Egrets, 2-3 Marsh Harriers (all female), 20 Yellow Wagtails (flava & cinereocapilla), several Wood Sandpipers, 6 Garganeys, 10 Little Ringed Plovers, 1 Spotted Redshank, 16 Ruffs, 6 Greenshanks (in the freswater marsh), 2 Northern Wheatears (male and female) on the grazing marsh, 1 singing Great Reed Warbler, 6 Sedge Warblers, Curlew, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, Song Thrush (heard), 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Lesser Whitethroats (singing and showing in the hedge), 1 adult SQUACCO HERON (first of the year!), 6 Common Terns, 2 Common Sandpipers (the first migrants this year), 1 Willow Warbler, 4 Snipes, 1 Purple Heron. Also the drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL was still present in the freshwater marsh (resting on the grass).
Pics above (top to bottom): Northern Wheatear, House Martin and Green-winged Teal