Monday 15 July 2013

Waders and halophytes

Škocjanski zatok NR: back to routine monitoring today which produced a few goodies. The highlight of the morning was a gorgeous Curlew Sandpiper in almost full summer plumage - the first of the autumn! There were a few other waders around, but not great numbers; most were those seen last week including Little Ringed Plovers (incl. 2 along the railway line - above), lots of Redshanks, Black-winged Stilts, Common Sandpiper, a single Green Sandpiper ect. Today a female Little Bittern showed briefly in flight, while a Purple Heron was sitting on a high tamarisk in full view. A Turte Dove was perched on one of the bushes bordering the lagoon (2nd above) and a juvenile Nightingale was showing on the top of a dead tree (silly juvenile). Other birds also included the usual Common Terns (up to 20), Kingfisher, Yellow Wagtail, Pygmy Cormorant and some Reed Warblers.

I also took some time to photograph and identify some of the halophytes present in the brackish lagoon. All very rare species in Slovenia, which are confined to the few saltmarshes found along the coast.
Limonium angustifolium
 Atriplex portulacoides
Sarcocornia fruticosa
Salicornia europaea