Sunday, 30 October 2011

In the red...once again!

I have spent the last two days doing a bit of casual (and unplanned) birding around the Karst in the superb red autumn colours.
This morning a by-the-way stop at the Doberdob Lake NR revealed a GREAT GREY SHRIKE on its usual dead branch on the heathland. Like last year, it was beautifully set in the red-coloured bushes of autumn (the above pic was taken last year). Now, I don't really know if the bird it's the same (probably yes!).
The heathland where the GGS was seen:

In the distance the lake of Doberdob is visible:

Early in the afternoon I took a stroll along the old industrial railway-line of Lisert (GO). When I was well into the main reedbed area, a flock of Penduline Tits appeared on the reeds and gave close views. It was quite mixed and included adults, juveniles and immatures, with different stages of moult too. Reed Buntings, Water Rails and Cetti's were common around. The highlight came in the form of a Goshawk (arrived in flight from Duino) dropping into the poplar woodland. I located the bird thanks to the alarm calls of some annoyied Black-headed Gulls that were mobbing the raptor. It flew right over my head and the bulky size was really distinctive. Some Siskins were heard too, along with some Water Pipits, Linnet, Curlew and 3 Stonechats.

Yesterday I spent half an hour on the ex airfield of Borgo Grotta/Briščki (TS). The area produeced some nice flocks of grounded birds, feeding on the short grass: 12 Mistle Thrushes, +20 Skylarks, about 30 Meadow Pipits, several Linnets, White Wagtails, 5 Black Redstarts, 1 female Stonechat and a singing Woodlark. 6 Woodpigeons flew over the pine-wood at dusk.
The area seems quite suitable for a wintering Great Grey Shrike but I've never found one there...
Below a showy Woodlark, perched on fence-post:

Local patch: a Grey Wagtail took residence in the neighbourhood and now I'm seeing (and hearing) the bird on a daily basis. Never had so many Robins around before - now seems to be the peak period for them. Also Dunnocks increasingly common, along with 2-3 Black Redstarts and Chiffchaffs. Yesterday a singing Cirl Bunting and a Short-toed Treecreeper, today a Serin flew by.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Moustached Warbler still there

Škocjanski zatok NR: I managed to get some more views of the Moustached Warbler today (see pics above). It showed well on the top of the reeds for a few second, in the usual reedbed area. Frequently calling the warblerish "tak-tak".
Other birds during the count today included: 1 female (juv) Tufted Duck (in the small pond of Jezerce), 25 Reed Buntings, several Dunnocks, 5 Meadow Pipits (flew overhead), 3 Song Thrushes, 2 Black Redstarts, 3 Serins, 6 Water Rails (one crossed the path several times), 12 Water Pipits (especially common on the grazing marsh), total of 488 Coots (that's twice more than last week!), 13 Skylarks (in flock on the grazing marsh), lots of Chiffchaffs everywhere (checked every single one for a potential sibe), 14 Snipes, 2 Wrens (one singing!), 1 Crested Lark, 169 Teals, 2 Black-necked Grebes still in the lagoon, several Siskins (flew overhead), 28 Shovelers, 10 Linnets, 7 Stonechats and still (!) 1 Whinchat (on the grazing marsh, probably always the same one), 7 Lapwings, 7 Curlews (both inland and in the lagoon), 1 Woodlark (flew overhead), 3 Jackdaws, several Penduline Tits, 1 Buzzards, 3 Yellowhammers, 46 Wigeons (all concentrated in the lagoon), 1 Sparrowhawk, 30 Greenshanks and 1 Green Sandpiper in the freshwater marsh.
Tufted Duck (juv female probably....):

Local patch: this morning at 8.00 am a beautiful male FIRECREST was on the pine-tree in front of the house. First of the season and always a pleasure to see in the garden!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Autumn Moustache

Škocjanski zatok NR: spent just half an hour on the reserve this afternoon, checking the reedbed. Within few minutes from my arrival on site I heard a weak warbler-ish song coming from the reeds. So I tried to "pish the bird out"...and luckily it materialised on the top of a reed: a handsome Moustached Warbler! Yes! It gave excellent and close views for some seconds, then disappeared again. That's the first time I see a Moustached in autumn.
Nearby also a Water Rail was showing very well, along with some Reed Buntings.

On Monday I was pleased to see a Hen Harrier flying over the rooftops of the town of Koper (SLO), heading W.

Local patch - an update from the past few days: 2-3 Black Redstarts now on a daily basis in the garden (females mostly), along with Chiffchaff, Dunnock (heard only), Blackcap. On the sea 1 Sandwich Tern and 1 Med Gull on Tuesday. Also a Grey Wagtail is lingering in the area (usually heard, flying overhead). Few days ago it landed on a rooftop and showed well. Chaffinch and Robin numbers are increasing in the gardens. I'll have to put out the birdfeeder soon!

Tomorrow I'll be back in Škocjanski zatok for the weekly count, so more updates to come!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Winter birds on the coast

With nowhere else to go today I decided to try again the coastal wetlands. Several newly arrived winter species were just reported in the past few days (after the strong and cold northeasterlies).
I started at the Doberdob lake NR with the vain hope of finding a wintering Great Grey Shrike. The lake in itself was nice and full of water and held some wildfowl: 11 Tufted Ducks (first of the season), 1 male Ferruginous Duck, several Teals and lots of Mallards. In the surroundings also: 1 Black Woodpecker, several Goldcrests, 1 Firecrest, 6 Stonechats, 1 singing Woodlark, Linnet, 1 Water Pipit, Hawfinch, Song Thrush and Raven.
I then moved to the muddy coast of Staranzano (GO) and walked to Punta Barene, checking the sea. The area held: lots of Curlews, 30-40 Greenshanks, Grey Plover (common), 200 Dunlins, 26 Black-necked Grebes, several Great Crested Grebes, Wigeon, 1 Med Gull, 1 male Stonechat, Gadwall, 4 RED-NECKED GREBES (on the sea), 2 Marsh Harriers, 1 Red-throated Diver (in the company of the grebes), 1 BLACK-THROATED DIVER (fishing on the Quarantia canal), 15 Meadow Pipits, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 singing Water Rail, several Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs and another nice Firecrest.
At about midday I was on the beach of Grado (Banco Mula di Muggia), but the tide was quite low, so all the waders were scattered around. Grey Plovers were the commonest, along with Curlews, Greenshanks and Dunlins (some were still in breeding plumage!). 4 Kentish Plovers added interest and 11 Sandwich Terns were also fishing around. Out on the sea another BLACK-THROATED DIVER and several Black-necked Grebes. 1 Snipe flew overhead towards the sea.
Flock of Dunlins:

Later Valle Cavanata NR yielded: large numbers of Pygmy Cormorants (about 100 or more), 1 juv Flamingo (still present in the lagoon), common wildfowl + 15 Pintails, Lapwing, Water Rail, Greenshank, Curlew, Grey Plover, Water Pipit ect. On the Averto canal 2 BLACK-THROATED DIVERS were showing extremely well and close (see pics). One of the two had some little signs of the breeding plumage on the neck-side. On the canal also lots of Great Crested Grebes and 86 Pochards (strangely not a single Tufted Duck there).
One of the two very showy Black-throated Divers (both in the top pic of the post):

On the way back I stopped at Isola della Cona NR for the afternoon. The first winter geese were already around with up to 62 WHITE-FRONTED GEESE (second pic at the top of the post) and 4 TUNDRA BEAN GEESE. The latter seen only in flight as they were leaving the freshwater marsh. The Whitefronts were in the company of 3 odd Barnacle Geese of unknown origins (I didn't see any coloured ring on the legs). Also here an awful lot of Pygmy Cormorants: I counted 51 birds just in one flock, but there could have been more. Other birds of interest included: about 121 Lapwings, all common dabbling ducks, 3 Pintails, 1 Snipe, some Meadow Pipits, 1 Buzzard, 1 Curlew, 1 Sparrowhawk, 8 Spotted Redshanks a female Marsh Harrier and some Cattle Egrets.
The three odd Barnacles:

An average winter day on the coast!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Vis migging with PALLID SWIFT & Yelkouans

Local patch: the morning started very well with a patch-tick directly from my window. Quite unexpectedly a PALLID SWIFT drifted past, blown away in the strong wind (heading NW) just over the coast. I spotted it with bins only, as it was so quick that by the time I got the scope, it was gone. There were several reports of Pallids in the last weeks from the city of Trieste. Including flocks of up to 40 birds! Surely it was one of the next new birds to be expected in the patch. List number so far: 145 species!
As the morning seemed quite good for vis-migging I decided to go down to Miramare and have a look at the sea (properly). After a bit of scanning, the first passerines appeared over the sea, flying inland (wind-blown, like last Sunday). Here the totals: 13 Skylarks, 3 White Wagtails, 9 Water Pipits, 2 Serins, 30-35 Chaffinches, 2 Linnets, flock of about 45 Woodpigeons (flying higher in the sky, heading NW), some Dunnocks (also came from the sea), 1 Greenfinch, 1 female HEN HARRIER (pics above and below) and 1 Grey Wagtail.
After nearly two hours of scanning, finally also the YELKOUAN SHEARWATERS appeared. A double flock: approx 50 birds flying east (very far) and 30 birds flying in the same direction, quite closer. They passed by almost at the same time.
Local birds included 1 Kingfisher and 2 Sandwich Terns.
Ringtail Hen Harrier coming inland (above is the same bird with the city of Trieste in the background):

Still very crappy photo of the Yelkouans:

At dusk 2 Song Thrushes flew over the garden, a female Black Redstart was on the roof and a female Blackcap was also around. A Serin flew over the garden too this morning.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Bull of the Mire

Škocjanski zatok NR: top bird today was the first BITTERN of the season. The above picture shows one phone-scoped last year, in the same area. I managed to see it just when it flew in my scope view, as I was counting wildfowl. It then quickly dropped into the reedbed. This is also the first official record of the season for the reserve.
Quite a lot of Starlings today, mainly concentrated on the grazing marsh. I estimated something between 2000 and 5000 birds. But counting was difficult due to a constant influx of flocks, coming from the nearby farmlands. Part of the flock is pictured below.
Other relevant birds during the count today: 2 Penduline Tits, 18 Black Redstarts, 346 Coots, 19 Shovelers, 1 Song Thrush, 1 female Pintail in the lagoon, 270 Teals, 1 Black-necked Grebe (still in the lagoon), 9 Great Crested Grebes, 8 Snipes, 3 Curlews, 12 Greenshanks, 58 Wigeons (mainly in the lagoon), 5 Reed Buntings, 3 Water Rails (one seen flying), 3 Serins, 8 Stonechats (on the grazing marsh) along with 2 Whinchats (still here!), 3 Dunnocks, 3 Meadow Pipits, +25 Linnets on the grazing marsh, 19 Jackdaws (passed overhead), 3 Water Pipits, 2 Common Buzzards, 1 Yellow Wagtail (garzing marsh), 2 Lapwings (in the freshwater marsh - newly arrived), 2 Dunlins in the lagoon, 2 Siskins (overhead) and 2 Sparrowhawks.

After 16.00 pm a stop at the bay of Lazzaretto (Muggia - TS) produced a lonely female Wigeon, feeding in the shallow water - anusual bird for the area (pic below). Also 2 Common Sandpipers were present.

Local patch: on Wednesday a male BLACK REDSTART was hopping on a rooftop - the first of the season in the patch. It didn't have white on wings, so I suppose it was a first-winter/imm. Nice to see it in the garden after so long!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Trnovski gozd rarely disappoints

Yesterday I finally managed to re-visit the Trnovo forest (W Slovenia) after so long from the last trip there. I took a birding friend with me and together we went looking for owls and gamebirds. Just out of Ajdovščina, a GREAT GREY SHRIKE was spotted by my mate, perching on a distant wire. It flew off several times over the fields to catch some prey. Always a pleasure to see the first GGS of the winter! In the surrounding fields also a Whinchat was around with some Black Redstarts and 5 Meadow Pipits flew overhead.
The time in the forest was spent driving around the tracks and trying some good spots for Hazel Grouse (while still light) and owls (in the evening). No luck with the grouse, but the usual "dose" of owls was very welcome. Top sightings included a total of 11 Ural Owls heard (both sexes, calling and singing, sometimes in duet) but none seen. They were actually present on every spot we stopped the car. 2 TENGMALM'S OWLS were also heard calling just over our heads (odd, squeaking call; not the usual song: "po-po-po-po") and seen briefly a few times, while they flew from a fir to the other.
Other birds around included: Crossbill (a few flocks overhead), Hawfinch (heard), 2-3 calling Bullfinches, 2 Black Woodpeckers (calling), Mistle Thrush (very common -see pics above), 2 calling Nutcrackers (in an area of small spruce plantation-like growth), 1 Goshawk (heard), 1 Sparrowhawk soaring overhead, flocks of Coal Tits and Goldcrests in the conifers, along with many Dunnocks, Wrens and Robins (common forest birds) and a few Bramblings mixed with tons of Chaffinches.
We also managed to pull out several mammal species, with a lifer for both of us... In the dark, a small rodent crossed the forest road, just in front of the car, so we stopped and had a look around with the torch. And there it was: by the road a tiny COMMON DORMOUSE (Muscardinus avellanarius) staring back at us! It showed well for a couple of minutes, then we decided to leave it in peace and we left. Very distinctive were the long, furry tail, big black eyes and big pinkish snout. As the name suggests is probably quite common even here in Slovenia, but rarely seen.
On the other hand Edible Dormice were absolutely everywhere (as always), running up and down the trees and making that awful noises. We managed to see a few that crossed the road or showed for some minutes on the trees. Other mammals recorded included 1 Brown Hare, several Roe Deers and 1 Red Squirrel (black morph).
First two pics above: Mistle Thrush on spruce
Last pic: sunset over the forest - a chill in the air, the fog lifts and 4 Ural Owls start to call...

Sunday, 16 October 2011

MEGA SEAWATCH off the patch

Local patch: I wasn't really convinced of going out earlier in the morning, due to the strong and very cold northeasterly. But then I thought there could be something of interest along the coast, so I decided to check Miramare (for any winter gulls) and to do a bit of seawatching if possible. From 9.45 am onwards I began to see a great movement of small birds on the sea, coming inland, blown by the strong wind. As I took a bit of time to check every single dot, I realised there was a constant influx of passerines (that continued for the whole morning). The commonest were Chaffinches (hundreds), along with several Skylarks, +10 White Wagtails, 5-8 Meadow Pipits, some Water Pipits (heard only), 1-2 Yellow Wagtails (a local patch tick!!), 2-3 Serins and most surprisingly a House Martin (mixed among Skylarks). Later a single Woodpigeon came inland from the sea, followed by a flock of other 15 birds. 3 Buzzards came in too before midday.
In the shallower water just beneath the castle's cliffs a beautiful RED-THROATED DIVER was fishing (see pic above). It took off some minutes later, heading towards Grignano (a year tick!). Nearby a winter plumaged Sandwich Tern was battling against the wind and an immature Mediterranean Gull flew by.
Later I was took a bit by suprise when a female HEN HARRIER arrived from the sea just in front of me and flew literally metres away, over my head!
Shortly after 11.00 am, while scanning the sea, a flock of 40 YELKOUAN SHEARWATERS materialised in my scope! YES! Surprisingly they passed by very rapidly (NW to E), flying completely against the wind. I managed to spot the flock later when they were flying back towards Duino (TS). I then realised there were several flocks, as another one was spotted at the same time in the opposite direction. In total I estimated 100-150 birds. I enjoyed the spectacle of their "shearing flight" (up and down the waves) for the rest of the morning, until I left at 12.15 am. Managed to take some crappy photos, just for documentation (see above).
With the Yellow Wagtail I thus raised the total of my local patch list to 144 species!
Also a compact group of 34 Shags was present in the Grignano bay; here's a part of it:

Friday, 14 October 2011

Swallows back in

Škocjanski zatok NR: today by mid morning the northeatserly increased steadily, bringing a nice fresh blow. Top highlight were 4 Swallows over the freshwater marsh, flying south-eastwards (9.45 am). Personally my latest ever record of the species... and a quite late record for the reserve too.
More or less the same birds as yesterday were in the area, with the addition of: flock of 15-20 Skylarks, 1 female Pintail (freshwater marsh), 10-15 Meadow Pipits (in flock on the grazing marsh), 2 Whinchats (instead of one), about 15 Jackdaws in flock over the lagoon (later in smaller numbers in the marsh), 2 Yellowhammers overhead. Still around were the 2 Grey Plovers, 1 Woodlark, Curlew, Snipe, 1 Ruff, some Water Pipits, 1 Tree Pipit, lots of Dunnocks, 2 Stonechats, 1 Sedge Warbler, Reed Buntings, Penduline Tits and loads of Chiffchaffs.
Photo by Igor Maiorano

Thursday, 13 October 2011

First returning Water Pipits

Škocjanski zatok NR - some numbers from today's bird count: 2 Black-necked Grebes (in the lagoon), 9 Great Crested Grebes, 10 Great Egrets, 12 Wigeons, 31 Shovelers, 310 Teals, 1 Buzzard, 5 Water Rails (1 showing well), 322 Coots (increasing!), 2 GREY PLOVERS in the brackish lagoon (winter plumage), 1 juv Dunlin (lagoon), 2 Ruffs, 4 Curlews, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, 24 Greenshanks, 7 Snipes, then a nice lark-trio: 1 Woodlark, 1 Skylark and 1 Crested Lark, +10 Water Pipits (now almost completely replaced the Meadows), 2-3 Tree Pipits overhead, several Meadow Pipits (also mixed within the Water Pipits), 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Whinchat, 4 Stonechat, 1 Song Thrush, 1 female Black Redstart, 1 Dunnock, 1 Sedge Warbler, lots of Penduline Tits (including a flying flock of 23 birds), 4 Jackdaws, 4 Hawfinches (overhead), flock of 80 Goldfinches with 3 juv Linnets in it and +16 Reed Buntings.
Tomorrow I'm having another session on the reserve, so hopefully some new updates soon.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Late autumn movement

Škocjanski zatok NR: despite the pretty wintery feel of the past few days, some summer migrants are still around, mixing with the newly arrived late-autumn migrants. A bit of a surprise today was a bird that I usually see in spring. A first winter LITTLE GULL was present in the brackish lagoon, before flying away, heading eastwards. Showing its distinctive pied colouring.
Other birds in the area included: 3 Jackdaws perched on a tree in the freshwater reservoir, Meadow Pipit (frequently heard, seen feeding on the grazing marsh), 4 Stonechats, about 15 Chiffchaffs, 3 Yellowhammers (flew overhead), 4 Water Rails (2 seen), small flock of Reed Buntings, several Greenshank, Penduline Tits (very vocal and showing well), 4 Snipes, 1 Ruff still present, 1 BRAMBLING calling in flight (first of the season!), 4-5 Tree Pipits, 3-4 Reed/Marsh Warblers, 1 Skylark (heard), Siskin (a small flock), 16 Wigeons, Shoveler, 4 Dunlins (in the lagoon), 1 juv Spoonbill (still present in the lagoon), 1 WOODLARK (seen in flight-also called), 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Whinchats and 4 Sedge Warblers, several Linnets and a Curlew.
Pics above (top to bottom): male Stonechat and Kingfisher

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Vis migging & sailboating

Local patch: sunny morning spent vis migging on the neighbour's terrace, while witnessing to one of the biggest sailing regattas in Europe (Barcolana - pics above). As every year, a good passage of Woodpigeons was quite entertaining too. The total score is 361 birds, in different flocks that passed overhead between 10.50 and 11.40 am. That's quite a lot for the area. Another highlight was a KINGFISHER darting over the sea, few metres from the coast. I saw it from my bedroom, when I started to scan the sea. The species is quite regular on the coast in winter, but seeing one from home is another matter!
Apart from the Woodpigeons, there was a passage of Chaffinches (flying past a bit everywhere over the horizon) and a Grey Wagtail was also flying over "coastal Barcola". 2 Buzzards soaring overhead for the whole morning, along with a hunting Sparrowhawk. The first returning Dunnocks in the gardens were also of interest. Otherwise quite calm, with lots of Robins, some Chiffchaffs and a Short-toed Treecreeper.
While I was busy scanning the sailboats, a MEDITERRANEAN GULL flew into scope view: a nice adult in winter plumage.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Black-throated Diver - first of the season

Surprisingly quite this afternoon in the Lisert area (GO). The sky went overcast after midday and a cold northeasterly began to blow again. On the sea the feel was quite wintery, partly due to the presence of a BLACK-THROATED DIVER that allowed quite close views (pics above). The first one for the season... and actually the best bird of the day. Not much else around: 2 Kingfishers, 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Water Rails, 1 adult female Marsh Harrier, 1 Great Egret among the many Grey Herons, a Reed Warbler in the reedbed, along with lots of Chiffchaffs and a Penduline Tit. 2 migrant Black Redstarts (females) were flycatching in the big car-park of the industrial harbour. Nearby a Roe Deer buck was grazing on a wasteland within an industrial estate.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Change of weather

Škocjanski zatok NR: quite a challenge counting birds this morning in rainy and windy conditions. Fortunately I didn't get all the heavy rain showers (that came in the afternoon), but got soaked anyway. Nothing very special on the bird front, despite the right weather conditions for strange migrants. Two Black-necked Grebes in the brackish lagoon were the highlight (pics above). One was is winter-ish plumage, the other wearing remnants of the summer plumage (with a prominent red eye). The other species included: total of 300 Coots, 48 Shovelers (now finally gaining back their nice white colourings), 6 Curlews, 4 Reed Buntings, total of 435 Teals (now the most numerous duck), 3 Snipes, 1 Green Sandpiper (calling), 1 Whinchat (still on the grazing marsh), 2 singing Water Rails, 25 Greenshanks, 1 female Pintail (in the freshwater marsh), 14 Great Egrets, 2 Ruffs (dropped down into the freshwater marsh; later seen also in the lagoon), 22 Wigeons, 1 female Pochard, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 7 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Penduline Tit (heard), 1 Meadow Pipit (overhead), 1 female GARGANEY (still here!?), 1 Dunlin (winter plumaged bird in the lagoon), 1 Blackcap and 1 Grey Wagtail. Also the long-staying juvenile White Stork was in the area.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Bluethroat for tea time

Škocjanski zatok NR: at mid afternoon (16.20hrs) I finished my university affairs in Koper and was soon on the reserve doing some birding on the way home. A bit of autumn bird movement here too. The best I could get was a Bluethroat that I glimpsed on the edge of the big reedbed area. It took off from the ground at the base of the reeds, then landed again nearby. Before it disappeared into the thick vegetation I glimpsed a big, prominent supercillium, reddish tail sides and its characteristic hopping on the ground. Nice! So they're still around...
I didn't have the scope with me so I couldn't identify more distant waders. Other birds included: 25 Greenshanks, 500-2000 Starlings (especially on the grazing marsh), 1 Green Sandpiper, 3 Water Rails (1 "histerically" hopping and flapping the wings on the reedbed's edge... not very camouflaging!), 3 Skylarks (flew overhead), several Penduline Tits, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Snipes, small flocks of Reed Buntings (back to the wetland after a while), Linnet, 1 Reed/Marsh Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Tree Pipit (overhead), about 20 Shovelers, 2 Pygmy Corms, 1 Lapwing, 2 JACKDAWS (landed in the freshwater marsh), 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Meadow Pipit (overhead), 1 Serin, 5 Stonechats and 2 Whinchats on the wired fencing by the grazing marsh.
Above pic is from Hungary (taken in May 2011)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Divača & Vremščica with autumn bird-influx

Today I decided to take a stroll on the Karst in the area of Divača (SLO). Still sunny and very hot with not much wind.
Quite a lot of birds around, including many typically autumn species and some firsts-of-the-season. Loads of Chiffchaffs and Robins a bit everywhere. At Ležeški Gabrk (Divača's airfield) I got: Song Thrush (lots!), 2-3 singing Woodlarks, Mistle Thrush (very common), 2 Dunnocks, 7-10 Cirl Buntings (also singing), flock of 125 Woodpigeons heading west (at 08.56 am), many Skylarks, several Tree Pipits (passing overhead), 1 Hawfinch, 1 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (calling), Wren, 4 Goldcrests, 6 Ravens, 1 female GREY-HEADED WOODPECKER (uttering a very odd call, especially in flight - never heard before!), 2 female Common Redstarts, Serin (heard overhead), several Meadow Pipits (first of the season!), total of 7 Stonechats (both sexes - see first 2 pics above), Siskin (small flock passed overhead), 2 Northern Wheatears (on the airfield), 6 Linnets, Tree Sparrow, 1 Sparrowhawk and 1 juv Whinchat.
On the upland grasslands of mount Vremščica, the situation was a bit different. By now all the Tree Pipits have been replaced by Meadow Pipits - flying around in small flocks. Needles to say there was no sig of Dotterels: too late into the season and ...I didn't even looked for them! The highlight here was a nice ringtail HEN HARRIER, hunting the pipits and Skylarks on the grassland. Another first-of-the-season! At least 7 Northern Wheatears were still around, along with another female Common Redstart, 2 Stonechats and 2 Woodlarks. Also a calling BULLFINCH was of interest (from the nearby beech woodland). Few other raptors, just the usual Buzzards, 2 Kestrels and 1 Sparrowhawk. Also here Chiffchaffs were very abundant.
Common Redstart - female:

Mistle Thrush - "zrrrrrr":

Donkeys on the Vremščica: