Sunday, 11 August 2013

Slow turn into autumn

Green Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
Yesterday at dawn I was at Isola della Cona NR for some post-rainstorm birding. I was hoping for big numbers (or variety) of waders, but as I then discovered, the tide was extremely low and probably most of the waders were out on the mudflats by the sea. Anyway, the semi-dry and muddy freshwater marsh held the seasonal array of waders. The most numerous were Wood Sandpipers, along with Little Ringed Plovers and Spotted Redshanks (+80). The main interest was provided by a flock of 10-15 Little Stints with 2 Dunlins and 5 Black-tailed Godwits. But still, not enough Little Stints to hold a Broad-billed Sand in their flock. Other waders also included Ruff (2), Common (just 1) and Green Sandpiper, Redshank (1), Snipe (4 showing well a few metres away from a screening - above), Curlew, Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt ect.
The calm situation in the marsh was sometimes livened up by a hunting Peregrine (juv.) which tried its luck on different waterbirds (including a Night Heron!) but without success.
In the hedges by the main path I was glad to see my first Garden Warbler of the autumn - personally my earliest record in this season. The bird was hopping between bramble bushes and poplars together with 3-4 Nightingales, a few Reed Warblers and Blackcaps.
Other birds of interest around the reserve included: Bee-eater, Yellow Wagtail, Golden Oriole (6 birds; the species being very prominent in this season), Pygmy Cormorant (+30), Marsh Harrier (1f), Garganey (4), Cattle Egret (30), Turtle Dove (1) and Night Heron (2 juvs).
When I left the reserve, the tide was still pretty low so I decided to take a look on the mudflats of Lido di Staranzano, where I found 3 Whimbrels - firsts of the autumn.
Later a check of Lisert produced in addition a juvenile Purple Heron, 1 Pochard (inner reservoir), 1 Honey Buzzard and 2 Golden Orioles. I also checked the Red-rumped Swallow site, but didn't see the birds. It was probably too windy.