Friday 2 September 2011

Final score: 7 BLUETHROATS!

Škocjanski zatok NR: a great day with an interesting passage of passerines, including some pretty rare ones. Early in the morning when I saw the first BLUETHROAT (first pic above) I was quite amazed by the find of this rare migrant. But when I began to see them everywhere, I realised there was a strong passage going on. I counted a total of 7 different birds in different parts of the reserve. Usually preferring reedbed-filled ditches, hedges (by the main path) and reedbed borders. The second bird was hopping on the path and feeding in the nearby hedges. The third and fourth were seen in a reedbed, usually feeding on the ground (sometimes chasing each other). While these two uttered a "tack-tack" call, a third bird called back, rising the score to 5 birds! At the end of the path, by the biggest reedbed area, I could spot 2 other Bluethroats chasing each other in flight - identified by the diagnostic reddish tail-sides. One also landed on a willow and gave some short views.

All were either 1st winter males or adult males/females in autumn plumage: with a blue band on the lower throat. Some were more colorful (having a bigger blue band) thus suggesting males.

This was undoubtely one of my best birding sights on the reserve!

Other birds of note included: 1 juv Purple Heron, 1 juv Spoonbill (the usual one), 20 Shovelers, 232 Teals (!), 2 female GARGANEY, 1 juv/female Marsh Harrier, 8 Common Sandpipers, 9 juvenile Spotted Redshanks, 18 Greenshanks, 3 Wood Sandpipers, 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Snipes, Kingfisher, 1 singing Wryneck (always the same one), Tree Pipits on passage, 5 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Nightingales, 10 Whinchats on the grazing marsh, 1 first winter Northern Wheatear (by the railway line), 1 Fan-tailed Warbler, 3 Great Reed Warblers (in the hedges), 4 Sedge Warblers, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 juv/female Common Whitethroat (first of the autumn), +8 Blackcaps, +10 Garden Warblers and 2 juv Red-backed Shrikes.

Some waders were pretty close...

Juvenile Spotted Redshank:


Spotted Redshank and Greenshank:

Wood Sandpiper:

Not a wader, but worth a picture - Goldfinch: