Sunday, 29 November 2009

Goshawk day

Afternoon birding at Bosco San Marco - Belvedere (Aquileia-GO) produced:
Black-necked Grebe
Hen Harrier (1x female)
GOSHAWK (1x juv f and 1x ad m)
Grey Plover
Med Gull
BLACK WOODPECKER (1x calling male seen well in the small pine wood)
Skylark (on wires)
Water Pipit
Great Grey Shrike (1x)
Linnet (flock on wires with Skylarks)


Great Grey Shrike

Then a brief "dusk" visit to Isola della Cona (GO):
RED-THROATED DIVER (1x in the Quarantia canal)
GOSHAWK(1x female on a tree)
Water Rail + other local stuff

At home in the local patch many Blue Tits feeding on kaki with Blackcaps:

Blue Tit


Plus: everyday Dunnock, lots of Black Redstarts (flycatching!), Chaffinches in flocks around gardens (also feeding on western red cedar).

Friday, 27 November 2009

Song Thrush

Local Patch: This morning a Song Thrush represented the highlight of the day. The bird was perching on the Southern Nettle-tree and sometimes giving its call. The species here is not so common and I see them only a few times a year during migration, mainly in autumn. Usually they are very shy and difficult to see. This autumn I saw them just once, flying overhead.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Winter delights

Great Grey Shrike (by DomenS)

This morning I was in the lowland habitat of Belvedere near Aquileia (GO). The highlights were:
Goshawk (1x female)
Woodpigeon (large flocks, feeding on fields)
Woodlark (4x together)
Water Pipit
Meadow Pipit (in flock, 30-40x)
Stonechat (1 m + 1 f)
SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF (tristis ssp; in bushes, seen well, call heard)
Corn Bunting (at least 30x together on wires)
Mixed flocks including:
Reed Bunting

In the afternoon at Isola della Cona (apart from the usual species) also:
White-fronted Goose
Hen Harrier
Sparrowhawk (on tree, being mobbed by the Hen Harrier)
MERLIN (1x f perching on a bush, then disappearing in the reedbed)
Water Rail

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Mushroom time & Black Redstarts

Here are some photos from today's garden delights (all pics by DomenS)

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Foggy days

Cirl Bunting (by DomenS)

Local Patch: For the last two weeks, the weather has been quite bad, with clouds, fog and occasional rain. Dunnocks and Wrens are a regular sighting in the gardens and some Cirl Buntings turn up almost every day (see the picture). The Chaffinches are increasing; today at least 15x birds in flock, feeding in orchards and on lawns. Black Redstarts are now a usual sight on roofs. The migratory influx has diminuished (of course) and the last few finches were Linnets and Siskins.

By the way, some of the biggest bushes in the surrounding gardens have been chopped down the last few days. New owners are now building a house, so the effects will be quite devastating for the local wildlife. My only hope now (for good sightings in the future) is a surviving southern nettle-tree along with a chestnut...

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Misty Sunday

Bean Goose (by DomenS)

Today I went to the local nature reserve Foci dell'Isonzo (GO), exploring Punta Barene in the morning and Isola della Cona in the afternoon. These are the main species of the day:
Black-throated Diver: at least 25x
Black-necked Grebe
Reef Egret: the usual bird at Punta Barene
Greater White-fronted Goose: 66x
Greylag goose: many
BEAN GOOSE: 1x among Greylag Geese
Red-breasted Merganser: 2x
HEN HARRIER: 2x females
Goshawk: 1x
Water Rail
Curlew Sandpiper: at least 2x mong Dunlins
Med Gull: 1x
Woodpigeon: nice migratory influx
Meadow Pipit: 1x
Water Pipit
Firecrest: 1x

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Good news! Pintail Snipe confirmed!!

Today I recieved the confirmation that this October in Egypt, we observed a PINTAIL SNIPE with our birding group (Skua Travels). We first saw the bird on the 5th of October at the Naama Bay pools near Sharm El Sheikh, but we weren't able to correctly identify the snipe species. After some days it was still there, so we had the possibility to take good photos. Only now some snipe's experts confirmed, that the bird was indeed a Pintail Snipe. The species it's a rare vagrant to East Europe and the Middle East and the rarest bird I've ever seen!

Here are some pics taken by me on the 5th of October:

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Water Pipit

Local Patch: today at 14.00 I recorded a new species for my patch: a WATER PIPIT flew overhead from east going towards the sea, giving its call. Now the local patch list is at 116 bird species!
Also some Siskins passing by and local usual stuff (Dunnocks, Black Redstarts, hunting Sparrowhawks...).

Sunday, 8 November 2009

First Skylark record and Black Redstarts showing well

Local Patch: this mornings' highlight was a flock of 7x SKYLARKS flying around above the patch and calling. They then headed north-east. This is the first record for the species in the area, see here!
In the garden on the fences also some Black Redstarts showing well, especially two different males. Increasing numbers of this species in the last weeks (see the two pics above).

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Winter arrivals

Local patch: Today in the local patch I recorded the first Coal Tit for the season, calling from a conifer tree. Also some Tree Sparrows were around, plus a calling Wren.
In the afternoon I went for a kind of seawatch around the gulf of Trieste. Out of Grignano I spotted a BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN (dorsal fin only), a Great Crested Grebe and two Black-necked Grebes. Then on the sea in front of Duino there was a Black-throated Diver with a *RED-NECKED GREBE* (both first records for the season) and at least 40x Common Eiders (both males and females). At 17.05, 9x Greylag Geese passed overhead, going West.
The Shag's roost count (from Duino to Grignano) produced a nice number of 885 birds, roosting on sea buoies. While Cormorants were less numerous with 45 birds only.

That's all for today!

Thursday, 5 November 2009


(View on the sea from my home)

Local Patch: this morning the first Goldcrest for the season (in the patch) was calling on a pine tree. Also increasing Black Redstarts (especially females) around, Chaffinches coming to gardens with Blue Tits. Starlings forming even bigger flocks and visiting gardens.

Yesterday a whale of some kind (Balenoptera sp.) was seen in the Gulf of Trieste quite close to coast. Today it headed south towards the open sea. See here

Monday, 2 November 2009

Kestrel surprise

Local Patch: This morning a Kestrel appeared in the sky, flying from the sea northwards. It flew for a while above the patch, then disappeared. This is one of the few records for the species in the area. Today in the local patch also:
-Sparrowhawk 2x
-Starlings on kaki trees
-Black Redstart
-Song Thrush

1st Nov 2009: Trnovski gozd (Slovenia)

Birding in the mature slovenian forest of Trnovo produced some good birds as usual. Three highlights in complete daylight were a URAL OWL, seen very well; perching on beeches and spruces plus other 3x heard, a very confident PYGMY OWL and a *WHITE-BACKED WOODPECKER* - only heard. Also the first Redwing for the season feeding on rowan berries. Then two Sparrowhawks (one mobbing the Ural Owl!), some Skylarks flying over, Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Wren, Song Thrush - 3x, Mistle Thrush, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Marsh Tit, Willow Tit, Crested Tit, Eurasian Treecreeper. Many mixed flocks of finches including: Bramblings, Chaffinches, Linnets (few), Siskins, some Bullfinches, 3x Hawfinches, Crossbills.

Mammals were only one black morph Red Squirrel and 3x Roe Deers.

Here are some pics (all by DomenS):

Pygmy Owl

Pygmy Owl

Pygmy Owl

Ural Owl

Ural Owl