Sunday 1 February 2015

January update

Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius

Here we are...blogging back again. The first month of 2015 has been quite good and stuffed with typical winter bird sightings, so below there's a quick review of what I saw in January.
SMEW Mergellus albellus on Cerkniško jezero - a group of at least 5 birds was present (2 males, 3 females), along with +20 Goldeneyes Bucephala clangula. Also the usual Dipper Cinclus cinclus on the river Unica.

Male Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus at Orleška Draga (Sežana). Also there a flock of +40 Fieldfares Turdus pilaris, but most interesting, several REDWINGS Turdus iliacus in the ivies. In general lots of Fieldfares and Bullfinches Pyrrhula pyrrhula out on the Karst.
Helleborus multifidus - one of the earliest flowers on the Karst

Crocus weldenii - a Karst specialty (see here)

Dipper Cinclus cinclus holding territory (singing) on the Hubelj river in Ajdovščina. Another bird (female?) was nearby.

 Primula vulgaris on the January woodland floor - Trnovski gozd

Tussilago farfara

WALLCREEPER Tichodroma muraria at Škocjanske jame. Saw this species about 4 or 5 times in January. Mostly on this location. One was in the Glinščica valley (Val Rosandra) along with 7 Alpine Accentors Prunella collaris and two overwintering Crag Martins Ptyonoprogne rupestris (present in the area since December).

Highlight of the month was of course this MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPECKER Dendrocopos medius I found on the Slovenian Karst, where a small population is present. I had some random searches for it in the last two years, but failed to find it. After a whole morning of roving in the woodlands, this little gem just appeared in front of me. It showed well for more than two hours in the glorious winter sunshine. Alongside it, for comparison, were a male Great Spotted Dendrocopos major and a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor.

Dipper Cinclus cinclus, well camouflaged, on the river Reka, near Škocjanske jame. In about 1.5 - 2 km of river I counted 4 of these pretty little birds. A location close to home, I never really checked. It was well worth it!

Snowdrops Galanthus nivalis, sprouting at large by the river Reka.

Adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL Larus fuscus in the local patch (Barcola), in the company of a juvenile Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis. These pics are fresh from today. This individual is most probably the old bird that winters on this stretch of coast since 2004/2005. I saw my first LBBG 10 years ago, in might well be this same bird.
Today I also found a SLAVONIAN GREBE Podiceps auritus in the bay of Grignano, which is the 2nd record for the patch. Otherwise pretty much usual birds on the sea like 4 Black-throated Divers Gavia arctica, Great Crested and Black-necked Grebes Podiceps cristatus & nigricollis ect.
And the male Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala I saw in December seems to be wintering in the garden (saw it a couple of times).

That's it for now. By the way I made a small renewal in my old Flickr gallery and added a selection of my favourite shots, so I have them all together in one place. The link can be also found on the top bar, under the header. Enjoy.