Friday 19 September 2014

Bear videos & update

Here and here I uploaded two videos of the Brown Bear from Sunday. I still think of it as one of the most exciting wildlife encounters in my life.

In the last week I just went for a stroll or two on the Karst and saw things like Goshawk Accipiter gentilis, Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus, Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius (including one today - seen from the car), migrant mix like Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe, Whinchat Saxicola rubetra, Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis, Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava, Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata ect. Also one of the few (the last?) remaining juvenile Red-backed Shrikes Lanius collurio before departure.
Here are two typical autumn flowers from the Karst:
Calluna vulgaris with Mt. Nanos in the background
Colchicum autumnale
Quite cool to see was a Lesser Whitethtroat Sylvia curruca in the garden when I looked out from my window some days ago. Robins Erithacus rubecula are on the increase and there's a nice movement of Coal Tits Periparus ater and Jays Garrulus glandarius around my house. Also around the odd Crested Tit Lophophanes cristatus and Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla. All in all good autumn mix.
Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus
On Wednesday the most interesting bird at Škocjanski zatok NR was a Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus (above), whereas a Peregrine Falco peregrinus was the highlight last week.
In these two weeks at the reserve also a passage of migrants like Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus, Garden Warbler Sylvia borin & Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca and the first Reed Buntings Emberiza schoeniclus of the autumn. Coots Fulica atra are having an incredible increase (683 counted on Wednesday) and there's a smaller increase in duck numbers too: Teal Anas crecca (100), Wigeon Anas penelope (3), Shoveler Anas clypeata (34) and a few Pochards Aythya ferina. Pygmy Cormorants Phalacrocorax pygmeus are down instead with just 2 birds remaining, after the very high numbers in summer. 7-8 Black-necked Grebes Podiceps nigricollis are still present in the lagoon, along with some Great Crested Grebes Podiceps cristatus.
On Wednedays I also saw my last Swallows Hirundo rustica so far - hirundines in general becoming quite scarce now.

Last week I was also at Lisert where I had a Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, a Hobby Falco subbuteo, a Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca and a Peregrine Falco peregrinus. I also visited shortly the cliffs at Duino/Devin which produced a juvenile Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius, but most interesting where the plants - see below.
Smilax aspera fruits
Teucrium flavum
Galeopsis angustifolia

That's all for now. Stay tuned.