Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Honey Buzzard

Local patch: yesterday at about 14.05 pm a Honey Buzzard was soaring above the patch with a Common Buzzard. Today a Common Tern on the sea and two (usual) Shags. It's becoming increasingly hot and very wet (damp actually).

Monday, 28 June 2010

Summer Karstwatch

Birding on the Slovenian Karst didn't produced the hoped Ortolan Buntings, but there was some other good wildlife too (in the Komen-Pliskovica area): Short-toed Eagle (1 above the moorland, carrying a snake in the beak - going to the nest), HOBBY (1 hunting dragonflies), Turtle Dove (1 in flight), Hoopoe (1 seen, 1 heard), Wryneck (1 singing from exposed perch), Woodlark, Tawny Pipit (1), Mistle Thrush, Melodious Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher (some in rural areas-villages), Red-backed Shrike, Golden Oriole, Linnet, Tree Sparrow, Hawfinch ("families"), Yellowhammer, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting, Corn Bunting (at least 3-4); also some Brimstones, a Meadow Brown, some Small Heaths, many Silver-washed Fritillaries and tons of Marbled Whites and Great Banded Graylings (really numerous!).
Rock Bunting:

Corn Bunting:

Short-toed Eagle (note the snake in the beak):

Small Heath:

Fritillary sp:

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Stag Beetle returns!

Local patch: this evening another Stag Beetle (or probably the same one) was flying around in the semi-darkness. Two records in three days... not bad! Then also a Golden Oriole heard singing from the nearby woodland, the usual Cirl Bunting and still a Nightingale giving its song.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Gull-billed Tern and Osprey

In the afternoon I jumped to Isola della Cona (GO), to see the recently reported Gull-billed Terns. Fortunately, this time I managed to see three *GULL-BILLED TERNS* in the inner marshland (see pics above). They were always associated with a large group of both Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls; sometimes taking off and making few circles. Then a nice OSPREY appeared in the sky and all the gulls, waders and wildfowl took off. The bird passed a bit high over the marsh, heading north, following the Isonzo river. In the area, of interest, also: Pygmy Cormorant, Night Heron (usual juvs.), Spoonbill (4), Garganey (2), Black-winged Stilt, Redshank (3), Spotted Redshank (lots!), Common Tern (2-3 in the inner marsh), Whiskered Tern (2, along with the Commons), Bee-eater, GR Warbler, Melodious Warbler (1 singing) and a glimpse of a Western Whip Snake.

Moorish Gecko!

Local patch (yesterday): discovered the first MOORISH GECKO (Tarentola mauretanica) for the area (in fact they are regular here), it was running up and down on my houses' wall (the pic up here). Also of interest the first Stag Beetle for the patch, flying around at dusk and a very nice and cute little Eastern Hedgehog at the drive's roadside.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Hobby hunt!

Summer afternoon birding at Isola della Cona (GO): Pygmy Cormorant (8x - exceptional number!), Little Bittern (1 male in flight, landing in the reedbed), Night Heron (about 9 juvs.), Purple Heron (1 in flight), Spoonbill (4), HOBBY (1 hunting in the inner marsh, flying exceptionally close to the hide), Black-winged Stilt, Curlew, Lapwing, Green Sandpiper (3), Redshank (2), Greenshank (4), Spotted Redshank (at least 49 - all in summer plumage), Little Tern (2 in the inner marsh), Bee-eater (1 leaving the nest-hole in the bank + few around), Green Woodpecker (1 on the path), Sand Martin (at least 1 among Swallows), Great Reed Warbler. Plus: one Grass Snake, one Dice Snake, Comma Butterfly (see pic), Speckled Wood, Admiral and Painted Lady.
Night Heron:

Pygmy Cormorants:


Great Egret:


Thursday, 17 June 2010

Summer time

By-the-way birding, Valle Cavanata (GO): 3 Purple Herons, 2 Spotted Redshanks, ad Black-winged Stilts with fledged youngs, 1 Marsh Harrier, Common Tern (see above), at least 4 LITTLE TERNS, one Bee-eater and a Golden Oriole.
Lisert (GO): a singing Melodious Warbler and lots of Great Reed Warblers. A Coot was buidling its nest in a canal.

Local patch: seen again the TREE SPARROW in the garden, whitin the flock of House Sparrows (drinking on the ground from a puddle). Blackbird chicks already born (3 or 4), still blind. Also a Green Woodpecker today somewhere in the garden.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Great Reed Warbler sings!

Morning at Isola della Cona (GO) produced: Pygmy Cormorant (2), Cattle Egret, Spoonbill (1 ringed), Marsh Harrier (2), Black-winged Stilt, Green Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Redshank (1), Cuckoo (display-flight + song), Bee-eater (one pair at the nest-hole entrance), Great Reed Warbler (see the pics above), Reed Warbler, Melodious Warbler (1-2), Purple Heron (1), Whiskered Tern (3 in the inner marsh), Night Heron (1 juv.). Plus one Grass Snake in the ditch, some dragonflies, a Holly Blue and a Lesser Purple Emperor (female).
Here are the two Pygmy Cormorants:

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Pacific time

Yesterday in the evevning I made a quick visit to the "moors" of the mount Kokoš, near Basovica/Basovizza. The NIGHTJARS were singing; at least 4 different individuals in the same place. But nothing more special to report.

Local patch: the last few days were calm ones, with the usual Cirl Buntings, Nightingales, Serins and Greenfinches singing. Occasional new butterflies and moths appeared around the patch, including the two (unidentified) in the pics above.

It's becoming too hot indeed!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Lesser Grey Shrike, Black Kite and Quail

Lesser Grey Shrike (2008)
Of interest in the Vipava valley (SLO): Red-backed Shrike (2), Crested Lark (singing), LESSER GREY SHRIKE (1 male perching on cipresses and on wires), Common Quail (1 singing in the fields), Skylark, Black Kite (1 soaring) plus loads of Banded Demoiselles in the nearby wet ditches and some Black-tailed Skimmers.
A very poor pic of the Lesser Grey Shrike:

Black Kite:

Banded Demoiselle:

Local patch: at 19.50 a TREE SPARROW was present in the garden, feeding on the ground within a flock of House Sparrows.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Invertebrates in the patch

Some macro shots taken today in the patch
2-spot Ladybird:

This seems a Harlequin Ladybird larva:

A few other insects:

...and the female Blackbird in the nest:


Yesterday evening/night from Koludrovca (TS) on the Karst, heard: one Nightjar, a distant Tawny Owl (eastwards), a Woodlark giving its song and the usual Nightingale. Somewhere between Gabrovec and Zgonik a Beech Marten was at the roadside, climbing a fence (same place as the last time!).

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Grassland in the blue

This afternoon I visited the open grassland area, at the roadside, near Dane-Sežana (SLO). The birds included: Corn Bunting (at least 2-3 pairs), Cirl Bunting, Red-backed Shrike (1 m), TURTLE DOVE (1 perching on an exposed branch), Melodious Warbler (1), Skylark (about 2-3 pairs), Cuckoo (seen flying), Common Whitethroat, Mistle Thrush, Buzzard. Instead the grass was full of butterflies: mainly Silver-studded Blues, Meadow Browns and a Small Heath, plus some other probable blue sp.
Some Blues:

A Meadow Brown:

Small Heath:

Red-backed Shrike:

Corn Bunting: