Tuesday 9 July 2013

Back to Škocjanski zatok

Common Sandpiper
Little Ringed Plover
Ashy-headed Yellow Wagtail (cinereocapilla)
Škocjanski zatok NR: yesterday morning I was back on the reserve after more than a month of absence. The situation is pretty quiet as usual in July, although there were a few signs of early movement. The highlight was an adult LITTLE TERN resting in the lagoon with the local breeding Common Terns (with lots of juveniles). It's not rare to see this species here in summer, but they are still pretty scarce, even if once they used to breed on the reserve. Every sighting of a Little Tern is thus a hope for a future nesting... who knows!
Several Little Bitterns were also nice to see - 3 different birds actually (2 f and 1 m) flying low above the reeds. The reedbeds have grown simply too tall to try and see the birds perched in full view. They usually drop down into thick cover, never to be seen again.
The first migrant waders were also obvious and the most unexpected was a summer-plumaged Dunlin in the lagoon. There were also good numbers of Common Redshank (18 birds, mostly juvs. - fledged in the lagoon), Greenshank (21), Common Sandpiper (8), Green Sandpiper (2), Little Ringed Plover (28 - mostly juvs.), Black-winged Stilt (50) and a single Curlew.
Other locally breeding birds such as the above Yellow Wagtail were also around.