Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Slavonian Grebe in the patch

Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus - a first for the patch
Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata - the above bird is blind on one eye
Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena
Male Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator (front) and Black-necked Grebes Podiceps nigricollis (back)
Local patch: this morning I checked the stretch of coast from Grignano to Barcola's quay and gathered a good number of seabirds. In general the sea was unusually rich today. The top highlight was a SLAVONIAN GREBE near Miramare which represented the first patch record (for me - patch species number 161.) What was even more exceptional was the large number of divers, in particular Red-throated Divers. I haven't seen the species around here this season, so today was a bit of a surprise to see no less than 8 birds, evenly distributed along the coast. Most allowed very good views while swimming close to shore...but interestingly, several showed some kind of damage on one eye or around the beak. Some birds were not in very good form (above for example). To make the situation even better from an ID point of view, there were also at least 8 Black-throated Divers in small groups of 3 or 4. Additional interest was provided by the presence of 3 Red-necked Grebes, 21 Great Crested Grebes, 9 Black-necked Grebes, 4 Sandwich Terns, 5 Red-breasted Mergansers (3 m, 2 f) and 2 Cormorants. Very few Shags were around (about 10 juvs in total), because most adults are now in full breeding season on the Croatian islands.
All the above pics were phone-scoped.