Sunday 25 August 2013

Forest birding in Slovenia

Yesterday's evening was spent in the dinaric forests of Slovenia around Mašun. A gorgeous adult BLACK STORK (above) was the first in a series of excellent birds seen in the afternoon. At the stork's site an unexpected Tawny Owl put on show in complete daylight as it perched on a maple tree in front of its nest-hole (or roost) in a church's wall.
The open fields and meadows held the first Wheatear of the autumn as well as lots of migrant Whinchats which are now very common.
The forest of Mašun itself was also alive with migrants, which were mostly Spotted and Pied Flycatchers (3rd above), Wood Warblers and Chiffchaffs and a single Common Whitethroat, all flitting through the high canopies of conifers and beech trees. Among them was also a rather unexpected Icterine Warbler. Supporting cast in the forest also included 3 Nutcrackers, a Black Woodpecker, Honey Buzzard, Coal, Crested and Willow Tit, Firecrest and Raven.
In the evening a pair of URAL OWLS performed a duet song at very close distance, while another female was calling far away in the forest. The commonest mammal was as always Edible Dormouse, but two Foxes and a few Roe Deers were also seen.

Local patch: yesterday in the morning I was alerted by the screaming gulls and crows of the presence of a raptor. So I looked out of the window and to my amazement found, not the usual Buzzard, but a female Goshawk soaring above the suburb. It then proceeded in direction of Trieste, leaving behind the cloud of noisy gulls and crows.