Wednesday 16 April 2014

Migration update

 Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
Black Kite Milvus migrans
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
New spring migrants are on the way. Today (and partly yesterday) at Škocjanski zatok NR I had some year's firsts in the form of Sand Martin (about 40 today), 2 Purple Herons, 1 Squacco Heron, several Little Ringed Plovers and 2 singing Great Reed Warblers. However the major highlight today was a BLACK KITE flying over the freshwater marsh. In general there was a good movement of birds. Together with the Sand Martins, there were lots of Swallows and a few House Martins, as well as Common Swifts (+20) and a single Alpine Swift (yesterday). Ten flava Yellow Wagtails and a male Whinchat were good to see on the grazing marsh. Other birds, already recorded in the previous visits included things like Little Gull (2), Lapwing, Wood Sandpiper, Ruff (+25), Black-winged Stilt, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper (1 in the lagoon), Redshank, Common Tern (10) and Marsh Harrier (1 f).

On Sunday I had a small guided trip to the karstic lake of Doberdob which was quite unproductive in terms of migrants and/or waterbirds. However we managed to see an adult Night Heron, a few Common and Alpine Swifts, heard a Water Rail, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, a distant Cuckoo and a load of Nightingales. In the early afternoon I saw my first two SHORT-TOED EAGLES of the season (soaring together), which were quite cool to see again.