Thursday 3 April 2014

New spring migrants from Africa

Common Crane Grus grus at Škocjanski zatok
First Narcissus poeticus of the season on the Karst
A few updates from the past couple of days. Škocjanski zatok NR this afternoon held a COMMON CRANE in the freshwater marsh which was the major highlight. Also quite interesting to see was a Marsh Sandpiper (scarce bird for the reserve), some Redshanks, Ruffs, Black-winged Stilts, Wood Sandpipers and 1 Black-tailed Godwit. The two Little Gulls were still present, as were also a couple of Garganeys and +100 Swallows over the marsh. Also Penduline Tits were heard in the reeds. Earlier in the morning I had my first Common Terns of the season flying over the town of Koper.
Yesterday evening I also had the first singing SCOPS OWL in Koper and a couple of Alpine Swifts over the town. Swallows are now a common sight and are seen on a daily basis. Crested Larks are sometimes heard singing around the car parks.
A few days ago I took a stroll on the Slovenian Karst and was pleased to see the first returning WRYNECKS in the vineyards (at least 3 birds were singing), along with singing Corn and Cirl Buntings and the local breeding Swallows darting over the village ponds.