Saturday, 7 December 2013

Bittern master

Find the Bittern
Just like in the drawing....
Škocjanski zatok NR: this morning, after a long period of absence, I was back at the reserve with a friend, enjoying some sunshine and the first frosts on the ground. Jedi skills allowed me to spot a very well concealed BITTERN in a reedbed. The views were not the best (above) but that's how you usually see a Bittern through some thick layers of reed. It was by the way, my first of the season, so a quite good find.
In the freshwater marsh we also had a Cattle Egret which is present in the area from the beginning of the autumn. Two Greylag Geese dropping from the sky were probably new arrivals at the reserve. Otherwise quite a lot of wildfowl with the most interesting species being 1 female Pintail, 3 Gadwalls (1m &2 f), +15 Pochards, 5 Tufted Ducks and up to 73 Wigeons grazing on the green islands in the marsh. Then also Snipe, Curlew, Water Pipit, Pygmy Cormorant, Water Rail (+4 heard), Reed Bunting and Penduline Tit.

Earlier in the morning we also payed a visit to the bay of Ankaran on the Slovenian coast where a SLAVONIAN GREBE was the major highlight. It was my first Slavonian Grebe in Slovenia actually. Also there were: 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 5 Black-throated Divers, Great Crested and Black-necked Grebes, 1 Sandwich Tern and 4 Shelducks (on the sea).