Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Karstic grassland in spring

I had a short morning visit to Campo Carri today, checking for potential Woodchat Shrikes. I had no luck with real rarities, but there were several fine birds around. 3 Red-backed Shrikes (last pic above) and 2 Tawny Pipits were the highlight. A Tawny Pipit allowed very close and brilliant views when perched on a low pine (see first pic above). I was quite surprised not to find any Wheatears at all!
Other birds around included: 3 Nightingales, Chiffchaff, 2 Cuckoos, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 singing Cirl Bunting (2nd and 3rd pic above), 2 singing Rock Buntings, 1 male Whinchat, Woodlark, 2 Hawfinches, 1 Linnet and a Serin.
Some typical karstic wildflowers were nice to see as well:
Paeonia officinalis:

Iris sp:

Scorzonera austriaca:

Polygala nicaaensis:

Local patch: yesterday I heard my first GOLDEN ORIOLE of the season here - which now sings on a daily basis. Today I also heard a Cuckoo from the nearby woodland and a Nightingale is singing loudly as well. Up to 10 Common Swifts and a few House Martins are now an everyday sight from home. This afternoon also a Marsh Tit was singing in the "backyard".

P.S. the small report from my weekend in Slovenia is available also from the Trip reports bar on the right.