Friday, 6 July 2012

RED-RUMPED SWALLOWS & Gull-billed Terns

Early this morning, around 6 o'clock I was in the area of Lisert looking for the Red-rumped Swallows that nested there this spring. Three individuals were seen in the area in the past weeks and someone also found the nest.
It wasn't that difficult to find them and soon I was watching a RED-RUMPED SWALLOW flying past. After a while I spotted other 4 birds circling around with House Martins. Then at a certain moment I got at least 5 at the same time, so that's the highest number. Most were juveniles with short tails and there should have been 2 adults I presume (pics above).
A good find and especially an excellent record as a breeding bird here. It's quite rare to have breeding Red-rumped Swallows in North-eastern Italy and if it happens it's not annual.
Later I moved towards the sea and the Timavo's estuary where the highlight in the brackish marsh were 2 Gull-billed Terns (resting among Black-headed Gulls). A pleasant surprise. On the scrape were present also several Common Terns and later the gull flock was joined by 3 immature Sandwich Terns that arrived from the sea. Thus I had a nice scope view with both Sandwich and Gull-billed Tern for comparison.
Waders were in the form of 2 Wood Sandpipers, 3 Curlews, 1 Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover and 1 Common Sandpiper, while I also had great views of two adult male Golden Orioles chasing each other in flight. The usual Marsh Harriers were hovering above the reedbed area where plenty of juvenile Reed Warblers were present. On the sea just the odd Common Eiders in eclipse plumage.
Can you spot them?