Thursday, 10 October 2013

Lanius excubitor!

Today I caught up with the first GREAT GREY SHRIKES of the season. Precisely three birds seen in the course of the morning, on the Slovenian Karst between Sežana and Senožeče. I was quite glad to find one in each of the habitats I checked. The above pics are just for documentation as usual with these little beasts and show two different individuals. They tend to be quite wary and "distant".
Low clouds, rain and misty conditions are keeping late-autumn migrants still grounded these days and the Karst was quite alive with passerines. Song Thrushes were everywhere this morning, along with hundreds of Chaffinches, Jays, Robins and Dunnocks. Other birds seen included Yellowhammer (2), Hawfinch, Grey Heron (1 in karstic scenery), Meadow Pipit (small flock), Skylark (10), Woodlark (singing a bit everywhere now), Blackcap (good numbers), Chiffchaff, Raven, Black Redstart, Kestrel and Buzzard.
Yesterday during a short session of unplanned urban birding in Trieste I found a female Common Redstart in a small garden. In the evening I watched about 25 Jackdaws going to roost and reasonably big flocks of Starlings gathering on kaki trees.

Local patch: this morning a flock of 10 Swallows was still present in the area. Also some House Martins still occasionally found here and there. In the last three days good numbers of Water Pipits were migrating along the coast with quite big flocks of Chaffinches and even a flock of +60 Woodpigeons flew over the suburb. Dunnock invasion has begun and now they are fairly common in the gardens.