Friday 18 March 2011

"superciliaris" Yellow Wagtail and spring arrivals

Škocjanski zatok: another day of migratory movement. In the morning I managed to find the year's first BLACK-WINGED STILT for the reserve (and for me). The bird was feeding in the freshwater marsh, quite apart from the other waders. In the extensive reedbed a MOUSTACHED WARBLER was singing and even showed up for a while. One of the other highlights was an unfamiliar Yellow Wagtail subspecies...that was later identified as a "superciliaris" YELLOW WAGTAIL. The bird was a male with a black cap (feldegg-like), but with a prominent white supercillium and a kind of white submoustachial stripe (see pics above). Other Yellow Wagtail ssp. present in the area were: mainly flava, some cinereocapilla and 1 feldegg all in the same flock of 11-12.
Other birds present in the reserve included: 2 Black-necked Grebes in the lagoon, 15 Wigeons, 4 Pochards, 1 Water Rail, 7 Little Ringed Plovers (see pics), 16 Curlews, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Redshanks, 1 Spotted Redshank, 22 Greenshanks, 2 Green Sanpipers, 9 Snipes, 6 Common Gulls, 2 Kingfishers, at least 5 ALPINE SWIFTS, 2-3 Skylarks, 1 Crested Lark, 1 single SWALLOW (passing by), 2 HOUSE MARTINS (over the lagoon), 2 Meadow Pipits, lots of White Wagtails, 7 Stonechats, 4 Cetti's Warblers, 1 Jackdaw (flew overhead), singing Chiffchaffs everywhere (!), several Penduline Tits (also showing well - see pics), 1 singing Cirl Bunting and +20 Reed Buntings.
Also of interest were 2 DICE SNAKES and several Marsh Frogs.
Below: Black-winged Stilt (2x), Penduline Tit and Little Ringed Plover

In the early afternoon a stop by the fields near Srmin/Bonifika (KP) produced a ringtail HEN HARRIER (hunting) and a flock of 40-50 Skylarks.