Friday, 1 February 2013

The river and the lake

I've spent today's afternoon in the wider area between Lisert, the river Timava springs and the Doberdob lake NR.
The sea in front of the Timava's estuary at Lisert held a nice flock of 18 Pintails on the (see pic) and some Shovelers - an unusual habitat for both species; then 1 Red-throated Diver, 18 Black-necked and 2 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Common Eiders (3 males) and most interestingly an adult HERRING GULL sitting on the buoys (my first this winter). The brackish reservoir contained some additional wildfowl inlcuding 2 Gadwalls, 10 Shelducks and a load of Mallards, along with a solitary Greylag Goose. I also counted at least 26 Curlews and a few Greenshanks.
Male and female Marsh Harrier were quartering the area, while a short walk along the bank produced 3 Water Pipits, a Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher. A nice flock of about 25 Siskins was good to see perched on a poplar, as I usually see them only in flight.
Dusk was spent around the lake of Doberdob, in the hope of seeing a Woodcock, which at the end didn't show. The lake was full of water and held a nice variety of ducks. About 150 Tufted Ducks were the most obvious (even with bad light), along with +20 Gadwalls (now a good place for the species in winter) and a lot of Teals and Mallards. A few Greylag Geese, Coots and Moorhens were mixed in there as well. Even the woodpecker score was pretty poor with just Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker seen. Two Rock Buntings were feeding at the roadside and the pine trees held a good movement of Goldcrests and Crested Tits.
On the woodland's floor I had the pleasure to see my first Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) this year, along with some small green sprouts, that in the summer will become Summer Snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum). Good to see the first signs of spring!