Tuesday 29 April 2014

Spring migrants on the Karst

Hoopoe Upupa epops from the car
Female Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio
Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris
Ringtail Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus
Iris illyrica
Onosma javorkae
Trifolium rubens
Stipa eriocaulis (grass)
Spent the past two days strolling around on the Karst in search of migrants. The weather has been quite variable, with regular rain showers as well as sprouts of sun. Yesterday was "harrier day" at the airfield of Divača and nearby areas. At least 5 ringtails were around. I could only identify 3 MONTAGU'S HARRIER (including a transitional male) and a Hen Harrier for sure. Two female Marsh Harriers were also on passage. Other highlights yesterday included a showy Hoopoe, Wheatear (3), Stonechat (2), Whinchat (4), Cuckoo (2), Common Whitethroat (4), Tawny Pipit (3) and Corn Bunting. 
Today I checked Campo Carri in the hope of finding a Woodchat Shrike (it's the perfect date), but the situation was not very lively with migrants. And the weather was quite unstable with rain showers coming and going. However I heard my first Golden Oriole of the year, saw the first Red-backed Shrike (female), a few Wheatears, 1 Whinchat, 3 Tawny Pipits and 1 Wood Warbler. Raptors included a distant male Goshawk and a nice SHORT-TOED EAGLE watched hovering over the hilly karstic countryside for most of my stay.
A final stop at the cliffs of Mt.Grisa produced a singing male SUBALPINE WARBLER in the bushes by the road. Another nice year's first to round up the day.