Wednesday 27 August 2014

Bluethroat time

Bluethroat Luscinia svecica hopping on the mud... the company of a Whinchat Saxicola rubetra - can you see them?
Škocjanski zatok NR: It's that time of year again. The time when the freshwater marsh's water levels are very low and there's a lot of exposed mud at the edge of the reedbeds. These are the perfect conditions for finding the migrant BLUETHROATS Luscinia svecica that hop on the mud in search of food. This morning during my weekly census I had three of these wonderful little birds. Two where chasing each other in flight, showing the distinctive red tails, while a third bird was showing well on the ground. Also had two Bluethroats together plus a Whinchat Saxicola rubetra in the same field of view.
The weather was pretty miserable with low clouds and drizzle. Actually the perfect conditions for grounded migrants. Of the most interesting birds I had a Wryneck Jynx torquilla, a female Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus, 2 Wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe, 8 Whinchats Saxicola rubetra and 2 Pied Flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca. As I was finishing the circular path, I noticed a raptor in the sky. It looked like a Marsh Harrier, but it wasn't. It was a Black Kite Milvus migrans - the second I see this year on the reserve!

Local patch: yesterday I had some pretty good sighting for my home area after a long while. No less than 4 Pied Flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca were in the neighbour's garden, frequently flying around and chasing each other. Other migrants were also a Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus and a Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita and a flock of +15 Swallows Hirundo rustica was darting overhead. A loose group of 18 Common Swifts Apus apus on migration was also of note, as was a female/imm fly-by Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus. Here and there also the occasional Jay Garrulus glandarius in the gardens - a clear sign of autumn.