Tuesday, 31 August 2010


This afternoon in the inner marsh of Isola della Cona (GO) I found a 1st winter *RED-NECKED PHALAROPE*. As it wasn't seen before in the day, the joy was even greater... it must have dropped down from the skies in the early afternoon. Although it was confiding, it remained always in bad light, so the photos are poor (see above). Last year right in this season I got my first Red-necked Phalarope at this same site.
Some more waders in the area including Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Dunlins (1 still in summer plumage), about 10-15 Curlew Sandpipers (juveniles mostly), 8 Little Stints, some Green and Wood Sandpipers, one Common Sandpiper, some Spotted Redshanks, several Snipes and a single Ruff.
An adult Cuckoo showed very well, perching on an exposed fence-post (probably one on migration), while several cinereocapilla Yellow Wagtails were flying overhead. Still nice numbers of Bee-eaters forming the flocks before departure plus the local summer stuff like Pygmy Cormorants and Night Herons. Also a quite big Western Whip Snake was sun-bathing on the main path.

Local patch: this morning I had a JERSEY TIGER in the garden.

Monday, 30 August 2010

House Martins in the rain

Local patch: today at 14.00 pm a large flock of about 100-150 House Martins was caught in the sudden rainstorm and began to circle around the patch, quite low above the houses. Quite a large number of birds for the area! Other today's highlights in the patch included a low-flying and loud-calling Raven above the house, the usual Tree Sparrow always within the flock of House Sparrows and a Coal Tit calling from some nearby gardens. Also a Great Banded Grayling.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Freshwater fish & local birds at Cerkniško jezero

(fish species in blue)
Before arriving at Cerkniško jezero (Cerknica lake - Slovenia), a stop to look in the stream near Planina produced some Graylings and few Brown Trouts; the birds included two Common Sandpipers, some Yellow Wagtails in the grassland and a handful of Sand Martins on migration.

In the Cerknica lake's area nice numbers of migrant passerines including: Whinchats a bit everywhere, many Spotted Flycatchers, 1-2 female Common Redstarts, flocks of Yellow Wagtails (mostly flava), 5 Northern Wheatears, 1 Lesser Whitethroat. Other local birds included: Grey Heron, Great Egret, tons of Buzzards, Hobby (1), Short-toed Eagle (1 hovering above the lake), Greenshank (1 heard), 2 Marsh Harriers, Kestrel, Song Thrush, 1 Sparrowhawk, Marsh Tit, Linnet, Yellowhammer, Skylark, Red-backed Shrike, Black Redstart.
Fish in the local streams/water bodies: PIKE (both youngs and one adult with a large prey in the mouth), 3 Perches and some large shoals of Rudds.
Pike devouring a Perch:


Young Perches:

Lesser Whitethroat:

Spotted Flycatcher & Black Redstart:


Some froglets:

Below the viaduct near Postojna the local Crag Martins were present - about 9-10 individuals.

Local patch: this morning a Sandwich Tern on the sea and some passing-by Swallows.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A hot afternoon in the marsh

The situation was a bit quieter this afternoon in the Lisert wetland (GO). Loads of migrating Darter sp. (Sympetrum sp.) - massive movement a bit everywhere. The highlight were three WHIMBRELS, always "escorting" a group of Curlews. Other birds in the area included: two Garganeys, the two Ferruginous Ducks, some Common Eiders on the sea, two juv. Purple Herons, loads of Common Sandpipers, one Spotted Redshank, 2-3 Greenshanks, one Snipe, 1 Med Gull, 1 Sandwich Tern and 1 Spotted Flycatcher in the trees.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Convolvulus Hawkmoth - again

Local patch: yesterday evening I confirmed the presence of two CONVOLVULUS HAWKMOTHS, feeding on some flowers in the patch. Thanks to the above pics, the species is identifiable.
First sighting - see this post.

Monday, 23 August 2010

A load of migrants + local stuff

Quite productive morning spent in the Lisert wetland (GO), with the most interesting migrants being: one WRYNECK, lots of Common Nightingales (frequently calling/allarming), at least 3 Northern Wheatears on the barbed wires, a nice load of GARDEN WARBLERS (being the commonest species), one 1st w. COMMON WHITETHROAT, several Reed Warblers, an ICTERINE WARBLER up in the poplar trees, 5-8 WOOD WARBLERS, 4-5 Spotted Flycatchers and a single female PIED FLYCATCHER.
Icterine Warbler:

Northern Wheatear:

Spotted Flycatcher:

In the marshy area also:
Pintail: 1 f
FERRUGINOUS DUCK: 2 eclipse males/imm. (pic below)
Purple Heron: 1
Marsh Harrier: 1f
Water Rail: 1 singing
Tree Pipit: overflying on migration
Red-backed Shrike
Golden Oriole

The best butterfly sighting were two LESSER PURPLE EMPERORS (pic below).

By-the-way sighting: a Honey Buzzard was soaring above Kontovel/Napoleonica road (TS) this morning at 7.25 am.

Local patch: early in the morning some TREE PIPITS were flying overhead on migration (calls heard).

Friday, 20 August 2010

Black Woodpecker & hawkmoths

By-the-way sighting: in the afternoon a Black Woodpecker was calling from a beech wood at Dobrova near Ljubljana (Slovenia).

Local patch: two probable CONVOLVULUS HAWKMOTHS are present regularly (in the last days) in the western part of the patch, hovering at night on the flowers. I'll have to check another time for a completely correct identification.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Migrants going on: Wood Warbler and Pied Flycatcher

Some migrants to report, this morning on the Slovenian Karst: one WOOD WARBLER was singing near Pliskovica, while a female PIED FLYCATCHER was present in some hedges at Kobjeglava. Also local birds including several singing Cirl Buntings.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Woodland mushrooms

This morning I had a stroll in the nearby woodland area above Barcola (Kontovo - TS). After the recent rainfalls, many mushrooms were already growing a bit everywhere, so I decided to get some macro pics (see above). Birds in the area included: Short-toed Treecreeper, Green Woodpecker, Marsh Tit, Raven, LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (at least 2, calling several times), Buzzard, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blue Tit (juvs), Nuthatch, Long-tailed Tit, TREE PIPIT (some flying overhead - on migration, giving the characteristic call), Crested Tit (1-2), Rock Bunting (at least 4-5 juv. on the open grassy slopes - from the local breebing pairs), Golden Oriole (1 female/juv. in flight), Sardinian Warbler (1 calling in the bushes on the dry, open slopes), Sparrowhawk (1). Maybe the most interesting sighting was a flock of 9 Little Egrets seen flying on the sea in front of Barcola (TS) at 9.07 am. They came from north and headed south (towards Trieste) in tight flock, not very close to coast.
Other wildlife species in the woodland area: Stag Beetle (2 females), large numbers of Woodland Graylings, few Wall Browns, one Great Banded Grayling, several Dryads, one Speckled Wood. In the local pond also an Emperor Dragonfly, some Smooth Newts and a young Fire Salamander.
Woodland Grayling:

Rock Bunting:

By the way: everyone publishes this fantastic video on blogs, so I'll do it too: here it is, a Spoon-billed Sandpiper displaying.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Waders increase

This afternoon Isola della Cona (GO) yielded of interest: Pygmy Cormorant (the usual ones), Night Heron (1 juv), Purple Heron (1 ad), Marsh Harrier (1 f), Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover (about 20-30, mostly juvs.), Ringed Plover (1 ad.), Dunlin (4 in summer plumage), Temminck's Stint (4), Little Stint (30 together in flock), Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank (1), Greenshank, Ruff (4-5), Bee-eater (larger flocks assembling), Yellow Wagtail (2-3, probable cinereocapilla ssp.), Reed Warbler.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

The Sparrowhawk lands

Local patch: today a Sparrowhawk came in flight from west, low above gardens and landed on a high spruce tree for rew second.
In the last days also some passing-by Swallows with the usual House Martins and some more Blue Tits sightings in the garden. Few Great Banded Graylings (not a regular species here) are present in the patch these days with the first Clouded Yellow for the area today.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Snežnik: Ural Owl, forest delights and the first load of migrants

Last two days spent in the extensive Slovenian forests of Sviščaki in the Snežnik mountain area. The birding highlights were: Honey Buzzard (1), URAL OWL (1 juv./imm singing at night, seen well - see pics above & video), Skylark (2 on migration), Tree Pipit (several), Dunnock, Robin (mostly moulting youngs), Black Redstart (2-3), Whinchat (several on migration in the woodland clearings), Song Thrush, LESSER WHITETHROAT (1 on migration), Chiffchaff, WOOD WARBLER (lots in the beech trees canopy; also 5-6 at the same time), Goldcrest, PIED FLYCATCHER (1 female on migration), Coal Tit, Crested Tit, Willow Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Red-backed Shrike (1 male), Raven, Goldfinch, Siskin, Bullfinch (quite common in the woods, some stunning males approaching quite close), Crossbill (numerous flocks around conifers). Mammals included (mostly at night): Roe Deer (2-3), Red Fox (1 juv.), Edible Dormouse (several heard) and one probable Red Deer.

On the way back to Trieste today also: two Northern Wheatears on migration on the fields near Koritnice/Knežak, one stunning BLACK STORK soaring near Ribnica (Vremska dolina) and one Honey Buzzard in flight with the Black Stork.
Black Stork:

Monday, 9 August 2010

Barred Warbler ringed at Škocjanski zatok

Morning spent at the Škocjanski zatok wetland (KP - Slovenia): Reed Warbler (lots in the reedbeds), Greenshank, Teal, Great Reed Warbler (lots in the reeds), LITTLE BITTERN (1 male feeding in the open), Wood Sandpiper (several), Kingfisher, Cetti's Warbler, Redshank (1), Common Sandpiper, Curlew, Med Gull (1 - 1st winter), Shoveler, Purple Heron (1), Greylag Goose.

The ringing station was active so I went to check "the menu". The highlight was a 1st winter *BARRED WARBLER* caught in the nets early in the morning (see the pics above). This is the second record ever for the reserve (and a rare one too!). Other catches included: mostly Reed Warblers with 2 or 3 Marsh Warblers, some Great Reed Warblers, 1 f/juv Blackcap, 1 Nightingale, several Garden Warblers and an ICTERINE WARBLER.
The ringer said that this morning he had three recaptures: two Reed Warblers from Croatia and one from Africa. Nice ringing day!