Monday, 20 August 2012

First crake of the autumn

Skocjanski zatok NR: I made a short visit to the reserve this afternoon on the way home from Koper. As I skipped the bird monitoring last week, I was glad to see how's the situation in the area. Part of the freshwater marsh has now been mowed and it already looks very good. All it needs now is some more rainwater. The highlight this afternoon was my first LITTLE CRAKE of the autumn, that unfortunately I just glimpsed as it run into a canal by the path. Migration was also clearly visible in the form of 4 Whinchats on the grazing marsh, 1 Red-backed Shrike and most interestingly a juvenile SPOONBILL resting in the marsh with lots of Grey Herons and Little Egrets. Teal numbers have increased considerably and the brackish lagoon looks also quite autumnish with gatherings of Coots and wildfowl.
The biggest reedbed was alive with Starlings (numbered something like 800 birds) and Swallows, preparing to roost in the area.
Otherwise pretty much the same birds: 2 Reed Warblers, 10 Greenshanks, 1 female Sparrowhawk (showing well at 6 meters), Black-winged Stilt, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 immature Night Heron, 4 Common Sandpipers, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Garganey and 1 Great Reed Warbler.
I was scope-less so I couldn't check the distant birds and the potentially good waders. Thus I missed the opportunity to confirm the identification of a small flying wader as a Little Stint.
I think I'll have a proper look later in the week.

By the way, you may have noticed the overall black-and-white appearance of the text in the last posts... Well I'm now pretty tired to paint every single species name in a different colour, so here's the new look of the blog! Good birds will be highlighted with some nice big letters instead and really special birds in red.

...and as I lacked a proper photo from today, above is a brilliant painting by artist Szabolcs Kokay (depicting a female Little Crake).