Friday, 30 November 2018

Garden birds in the Karst

Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla (female above and male below).
Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
Rock Bunting Emberiza cia
Greenfinch Chloris chloris, Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes and House Sparrow Passer domesticus.

November has always been a quite depressing and slow month for wildlife watching. Days are becoming incredibly short, outside is cold or wet and there's a certain lethargic feel in the air, an impulse for going into hibernation. These days almost the only regular birding we do is from our bedroom's window onto the birdfeeder in our karstic garden. The situation is quite lovely actually. Species like Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes (up to 3), Greenfinch Chloris chloris (up to 5) and Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis (3-4) are present almost non-stop on the feeder, as are good numbers of Blue Cyanistes caeruleus & Great Tits Parus major, an occasional Marsh Tit Poecile palustris, Robin Erithacus rubecula and House Passer domesticus & Tree Sparrows Passer montanus. When the weather gets colder small numbers of Bramblings Fringilla montifringilla appear too. One of the most exciting recent encounters was with a flock of Rock Buntings Emberiza cia that came feeding in the cabbage patch in our vegetable garden. These birds are typical for the Karst and are quite abundant in western Slovenia on rocky slopes, screes and along limestone cliffs. As they like to feed on bare ground they sometimes visit large gardens and orchards in winter in search of small seeds. So far we've been lucky to have them a couple of times, so maybe they'll return.