Thursday, 5 July 2012

First signs of movement

Škocjanski zatok NR: there's finally a touch of migration in the air. This morning the situation on the reserve was a bit livelier than in the past weeks. Wildfowl numbers are increasing and today I also found some goodies. An immature Ferruginous Duck was perhaps the best find, but I was also quite happy to see 3 Gadwalls - the only ones I've ever seen here! It's amazing, but here in Škocjanski zatok they are quite rare. Another good duck was a female Garganey that quickly disappeared into some reeds. Commoner ducks included the numerous Mallards and 7 Teals.
There were at least 7 Wood Sandpipers around (both on the freshwater and brackish marsh) and 3 Common Sandpipers. Surprisingly in the lagoon I didn't find any Common Redshanks, but instead a Kentish Plover was present. I'm afraid this is a non-breeding bird that arrived from nearby areas like the Sečovlje saltplans.
Other birds around included: 4 Little Bitterns (2 m and 2 f), 1 adult Night Heron, 1 singing Water Rail (the first after so long!), 19 Black-winged Stilts, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 1 Curlew, 3 Greenshanks, 15 Common Terns, Yellow Wagtail, 2 Nightingales and usual Great Reed and Reed Warblers (plenty of juveniles) plus a singing Cirl Bunting.
Above: Wood Sandpiper, duck mix with Gadwall & Ferruginous Duck, juvenile Great Reed Warbler.