Thursday 6 March 2014

Cranes over Koper

Part of a massive flock of Common Cranes Grus grus, migrating over the Sinai peninsula in October 2009
More Crane passage today as the weather remains dry, sunny and windy. Just before midday, while walking in the town of Koper (Slovenia) I was lucky enough to spot 5 COMMON CRANES circling above the buildings and heading west. A few minutes of good urban birding!
A quick look at Škocjanski zatok NR yesterday revealed spring's first waders in the form of 1 Ruff and 2 Lapwings on the grazing marsh. The water levels are now quite high even in the freshwater marsh and wildfowl is the more obvious element at the moment. Lots of Wigeons, Teals, Shovelers and also 6 Gadwalls (uncommon here). But still no Garganey (even if one was reported last week). Pygmy Cormorants are numbering at least 6 birds and there are also 3 Cattle Egrets on site. Also watched the display of a pair of Great Crested Grebes in the lagoon. Pretty much everything else is in spring mode (Little Grebes calling, Chiffchaffs singing in the blooming hedges ect). The warden told me there's a Scaup somewhere in the lagoon, which is probably the first record for the reserve. The Bearded Tits are also still around, but not so straightforward to see.
Earlier this morning I also had the pleasure to watch a flock of showy Siskins drinking water from a puddle near Sežana - one of my few sightings of the species this winter.