Saturday, 23 November 2013

Peregrine in the wind

Local patch: this morning a wind-blown Peregrine was present for some minutes in the airspace above my house, doing some nice stoops and soars around the cliffs and nearby woodland. It eventually disappeared NW. A good local record as I rarely see Peregrines from home. The above pics are phone-scoped.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Black-throat

Local patch: three Black-throated Divers yesterday were the major highlight on the coast. I followed them all the way from Miramare to Barcola's quay as they swam and dived towards Trieste, sometimes approaching very close to shore.
In the past few days there was a slight movement of late autumn birds over the patch, when the northeasterly kept the skies clear. A few Skylarks passing overhead were the most welcome, as were a patch year tick. Others included Meadow Pipit, Serin, Siskin and Grey Wagtail. Cirl Buntings have started to appear again in smaller flocks and I usually heard them as they pass overhead. The other day a female perched in the garden for a while, allowing good views. Meanwhile in the conifer trees some Goldcrests are present and Dunnocks are more frequently heard. There's also a slight increase in Black Redstarts numbers.
The other day I also found the corpse of the Common Redstart in the garden - the bird that lingered until 31st October didn't make it at the end.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

SNOW BUNTINGS!

Finally, after the recent very bleak birding, a stunner to make everything shine once again. This morning I had the pleasure to get scope-filling views of 2 SNOW BUNTINGS (above). Three birds were discovered yesterday by a friend of mine, so I was asked to keep the location secret for now. Today early in the morning I only saw two of them, feeding together on some gravelly terrain, covered with short vegetation. They hardly moved around during the time I watched them (40 minutes) and remained in full view at about 3-4 metres away from my feet! Tame and fearless, as a real tundra bird should be!

Today I also saw my first Red-throated Diver of the season, along with good numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers, Great Crested and Black-necked Grebes on the sea.
A quick check of patch waters in the bay of Grignano revealed a Black-throated Diver (also a season's first), a Red-necked Grebe, a female Red-breasted Merganser and a Kingfisher.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Long-eared Owl

LEO's vigilant eye
Been briefly to Bosco San Marco (Aquileia) with a friend this afternoon. Two of the local LONG-EARED OWLS were roosting on the pine trees. Although they were hidden by thick pine needles, we got good views of them as they stared down at us (above pic is a phone-scoping attempt).
The area also held a few other birds of note which included a ringtail Hen Harrier, a Peregrine hunting above the lagoon and mixed lagoon specialties like Grey Plover, Dunlin, Wigeon, Great Crested and Black-necked Grebes ect. Also quite a lot of Goldcrests in the pines.
A brief stop at the Timavo's estuary near Lisert produced a female Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Marsh Harrier, Dunlin (+10 roosting on the buoys), +10 Curlews and others. A Firecrest was calling from the small woodland by the brackish marsh.
A few days ago, while on the Karst I also had a close encounter with a male Black Woodpecker which gave brilliant close views.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Pygmy Owl mood

I'm afraid I have nothing to report at this dull and endless autumn time. I'm in a Pygmy Owl mood, so here's a couple of pics of a species I'd really like to see at the moment. It's been four years from my last close encounter with a Pygmy - the above bird (November 2009 in Slovenia).