Wednesday 26 August 2020

The start of autumn migration

Osprey Pandion haliaetus, Škocjanski zatok NR.
Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Škocjanski zatok NR.
Knot Calidris canutus, Škocjanski zatok NR.
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea, Škocjanski zatok NR.
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis on podolic cattle, Škocjanski zatok NR.
Freshwater turtle census at Škocjanski zatok NR.

Another short post just to keep up with the advancing autumn season and migration. Routine work at Škocjanski zatok NR as well as Strunjan was the main source of birding recently. Migration is kicking in and the past weeks already brought several interesting sightings. Sara was very lucky to spot the first Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus for Strunjan (a rare migrant bird in Slovenia), while Domen was mainly entertained by the almost daily presence of an Osprey Pandion haliaetus at Škocjanski zatok (still present at the time of writing). Wader numbers at Škocjanski zatok should be higher and more variety would also be expected in this season, but so far we've been happy with the sight of two rather rare birds: a summer-plumaged Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria and a 1st winter Knot Calidris canutus. Other observers also reported Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia and Black Tern Chlidonias niger about two weeks ago. Commoner migrants also included Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, Hobby Falco subbuteo, Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca, Whinchat Saxicola rubetra, Wheathear Oenanthe oenanthe and Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio. Some of the interesting breeding birds (that have finished breeding) like Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus, Purple Heron Ardea purpurea, Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus and Little Tern Sternula albifrons are also around in "residual" numbers. Regular (weekly) sightings from Škocjanski zatok can be found on the reserve's website or FB page.