Sunday, 28 February 2010

Wildcat and night delights

Yesterday (27th Feb 2010):
An evening trip to Val Rosandra/Glinščica and Draga St. Elia (TS) produced: Wigeons (some heard migrating overhead) Eagle Owl (1 m and 1 f singing in duet), Tawny Owl (1 red morph singing and showing quite well - seen with torch), Black Woodpecker, Woodlark (singing), two stunning Wallcreepers in flight, two Ravens and some Rock Bunts. Perhaps the most interesting record was a *WILDCAT* heard caterwauling down in the wooded valley at dusk.

Local patch: in the last days the spring activity was highligthed by some nice sightings: the first Brimstones flying around with Red Admirals, Bumblebees, Blackcaps singing and the first flowers coming to bloom - Snowdrops, Daffodils and so on...

Few Blackbirds' shots:

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Wigeons flying over

Local patch: Yesterday evening (7.20 pm) I was pleased to hear some Wigeons migrating over the patch. Unfortunately I couldn't quantify how many birds were in the flock. Probably heading east or north.
Let see what will turn up in the next days!

Today: more and more flocks of Wigeons are almost constantly overflying Barcola. The air is filled with whistling calls. The single flocks (coming in "waves") count at least 20-30 birds. At 6.40 pm (in semi-darkness) I've also seen about 15 big white birds (flying to the same direction - east) that I identified as possible Mute Swans. Although the most appropriate bird would be a Spoonbill, but it's quite improbable in this season!
Whilst I was moonwatching at least 4 bird shapes appeared over the moon's surface. The sizes were as that of a Woodpigeon, but in this case the identification is almost impossible.

Just before darkness also the first Bat sp. of the season appeared in flight above the gardens.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Today I played a bit with the timelapse mode on my camera (Nikon Coolpix P6000). I positioned the camera on a tripod and recorded the view (from my window) for almost two hours. This is the result:

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Usual morning bw and new species for the patch!

This morning I visited the karstic lake of Doberdob (Doberdo' - GO), where the water level was quite high. On the lake itself there was a nice variety of waterbirds: Greylag Geese, Water Rail (1 seen hiding away), Tufted Ducks (at least 5), Teals, Coots, Little Grebes, Moorhen, Gadwalls and a single Cormorant. Also in the surrounding wooded area a couple of interesting species: Raven, Song Thrush (the commonest species; some also singing), Nuthatch, Hawfinch, LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (at least 3 different; very territorial - see the pic above), Linnet, Green Woodpecker, GS Woodpecker (drumming), Chiffchaff, Short-toed Treecreeper, Reed Bunting (males in almost complete breeding plumage), Black Woodpecker (1 singing). On the nearby moorland some singing Woodlarks.

Near the rubbish dump at Bistrigna/Monfalcone (GO) there was a Carrion Crow among some Hoodies. In the nearby trees also some Jackdaws (including the soemmerringii ssp.) and some Skylarks and Crested Larks in the fields.

This female Marsh Harrier was at Lisert (GO):

Local patch: I knew today was a good day to spend out on the terrace, doing a bit of evening VisMig! At about 17.45 I noticed a small flock of 22 TEALS flying above the sea. They circled for some minutes and then headed east when it was almost dark. The influx still continued at 18.10, as other flocks of 20-25 birds flew in the same direction. This is the first record of the species in my local patch. But probably on migration they are commoner, that I could expect. With this sighting I reached 120 bird species seen in my home area!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Cormorants flying away

Local patch: this morning 5 Cormorants were circling in flock above Barcola (TS); then at about 7.25 am they flew eastwards in a high flight...probably to their breeding territories.
Spring is in the air!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Kestrel and Geese

In the afternoon I re-visited some areas around the Isonzo river (Caneo and Isola della Cona - GO) in the hope of finding a recently reported Whooper Swan and the eventual, yesterday's reported, Short-eared Owl. Twitching was unsuccessful, but the afternoon was rather nice. More or less the usual species (as yesterday), plus about 500 White-fronted Geese in a field at Fossalon - GO and nice numbers of waders, feeding on the mudflats at the Isonzo's rivermouth, including: one OYSTERCATCHER, some Grey Plovers, lots of Dunlins and many (many!) Curlews (about 800-900 or more). Above the reedbeds some Hen Harriers hunting...and the Water Rails squeaking.

The White-fronted Geese at Fossalon

Local patch:
This morning I was delighted to see a Kestrel flying over my patch and circling a few times, before disappearing southwards. This is one of the few records of the species here. almost at the same time (10.50 am) I spotted in the sky 4 Geese, probably Greylags, due to their size. They flew quite high south-westwards.
A Nuthatch was singing from the highest trees in the surroundings, while some Hawfinches flew past.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Bubo bubo!

This late afternoon/evening I went to check the newly discovered Eagle Owl; resident in a rocky habitat just out of the town of Trieste. The male owl was singing on exposed songposts (on a bush and on a rock) and was showing quite well. Actually the best place to see it, is from the main road.
Here are only two documentative photos (the light was too poor):

A bit of waders and ducks

Today's scores:
Valle Cavanata (GO): Tufted Duck (19), Pochard (110), Greater Scaup (10 males), Goldeneye (in the Averto canal and on the sea), RB Merganser, Hen Harrier (1 f), Greater White-fronted Goose (100 approx.), Spotted Redshank, Mistle Thrush (1 on telephone wire).
Banco Mula di Muggia - Grado (GO): Dunlin (hundreds), at least 4 Bar-tailed Godwits among Grey Plovers and some Kentish Plovers.

Some pics (by DomenS):

Tufted Ducks


Bar-tailed Godwit

fantastic WoodP

Sunday, 14 February 2010

In the black

Today's garden photoreport:

Black Redstart:

Some Blackbirds feeding on ivy berries:

A female Blackcap:

I was surprised to find a probable Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata) on my homes' wall. I would say a bit unseasonal! (Ok, it was quite sunny and warm today)

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Some ducks

Curlew and Lapwings (by DomenS)

In the afternoon at Isola della Cona (GO) about 9 Pochards (both m and f) were present in the inner marsh, together with a female Goldeneye and 4 Tufted Ducks (2 m and 2 f). Some Red-breasted Mergansers as usual on the Quarantia canal plus a female Hen Harrier hunting over the marsh. Perhaps the days' highlight was a "glimpse" of Bittern seen landing in the reedbed. Also one Redshank was present among the 266 Lapwings and few Curlews. On the path to the main hide I could watch a nice Water Rail hiding itself in the thick bushes above a water-canal.
Another surprising sight was a Great Egret taking off from the roadside (probably from a canal-waterside) near Štivan/San Giovanni del Timavo (TS).



Tufted Ducks


Hen Harrier

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Another snowfall

A Blue Tit on the fatball (4th Feb.)

In the last few days the weather was cold and the usual north-easterly wind was blowing quite strongly (120 km/h). Yesterday it has been snowing for almost the whole day. The garden highlights in the local patch were a flock of about 10 Cirl Buntings feeding on the grass in the orchards (all females or youngs, except for one nice male) and some Hawfinches passing by. The usual Robin was feeding on the snow, along with some Blackbirds on ivy bushes.
That's all for now!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Song Thrush in the park

Hawfinch (by DomenS)

Local patch: this early afternoon a Black-throated Diver was present on the sea, along two Great Crested Grebes.
Instead Miramare park (TS) produced: Common Gull (7x), Sparrowhawk, Dunnock, Song Thrush (1 feeding on the ground in Area North; quite shy), Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper, Goldfinch (20 in flock), Greenfinch (heard) and lots of Hawfinches (a flock of about 20 birds, perching together on a high tree).

Sunday, 7 February 2010

No Rooks

Great Egret on Lebanon Cedar!!

Today I took part in the Rook count project (see here) with some other friends. Although we explored some very nice and interesting areas, we didn't find any Rook at all! In general there weren't much birds around, so birding was very disappointing. The area covered was approximately between Gradisca d'Isonzo (GO) and Cividale del Friuli (UD) with some stops and "passing by" at: Sagrado, Farra d Isonzo, San Lorenzo, Mossa, Mariano del Friuli, Capriva, Cormons, Brazzano, Corno di Rosazzo, Spessa, Cividale del Friuli, San Pietro al Natisone, Savogna and Clodig.
Here are some of the species we could find: Tufted Duck (1 m on the river Isonzo), Great Egret (1 perching on a Lebanon Cedar in a garden!!-see pic), loads of Buzzards and Sparrowhawks, Common Sandpiper, Snipe, Woodlark, Crested Lark, Mistle Thrush, Raven, Linnet, Hawfinch and Rock Bunting. Interesting to see the first Snowdrops of the season, near Gradisca d'Isonzo, some meters away from the riverside.

First Snowdrops

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Woody woodpecker

Today I was back to the small woodland patch in the Karst area (TS), which is home to five species of woodpeckers. During my stay I recorded the exact time when every different species goes to roost (in the tree-holes). So below there's a list of the woodpeckers recorded with the "roosting times":
Black Woodpecker (m and f seen) - male at 4.43 pm
Great Spotted Woodpecker (at least 5 birds) - one at 4.50 pm; one at 5.17 pm
Grey-headed Woodpecker (one female seen) - at 4.22 pm
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (only one male seen briefly)
Green Woodpecker (one bird only heard)

Then also the local TAWNY OWL abandoned the day-roost at 5.20 pm and flew towards the thick pine wood. Another interesting sighting was a nice FIELDFARE perching on a fir and giving its call. Other common species included: Mistle Thrush, Marsh Tit (territorial - singing), Nuthatch, Short-toed Treecreeper and Goldcrest.

Some photos (by DomenS)

Black Woodpecker

Grey-headed Woodpecker


Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Roadside Black Woodpecker

The view on the mount Slavnik (SLO) from Pesek (IT)

Driving on the Karst plateau (TS), I stopped at a small beech woodland where I male Black Woodpecker was perching on a tree, just next the road!
Otherwise some kilometers away near Pesek the moorland was completely birdless, probably due to the recent snowfalls.