Saturday 12 April 2014

Stalking Cuckoos

Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
Grim and cloudy day but still good enough to be on the Karst enjoying some spring sights. I'm still in a Cuckoo mood as they are now singing from almost every woodland. This morning I heard 7 of them; 6 were relatively close to each other. A bird in particular was especially collaborative while singing and catching caterpillars from an exposed perch (above). A singing Hoopoe on the top of a bush was a similar thrilling sight. Other good birds included 2 Wrynecks, 1 male Common Redstart (year's first), 4 Northern Wheatears, 1 Grey-headed Woodpecker, Rock, Cirl & Corn Buntings plus Yellowhammer and loads of commoner species.
Singing Hoopoe Upupa epops. Note the inflated throat.
Male Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
Male Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
A flock of +20 Common Swifts above the local patch, earlier this morning was a welcome sight. My firsts were seen just yesterday in the late afternoon on the cliffs of Mt.Grisa, where among the several Alpine Swifts I also had 1-2 Pallid Swifts migrating past. On the vis-mig front a flock of about 70 Curlews was of note and a female Marsh Harrier was seen flying above the sea. Nightingale is now regularly heard singing in the patch (from the house) as well.
Two days ago I had my first Wood Warbler of the year, singing in a patch of woodland, together in a chorus with Willow Warbler and Chiffhcaff. The same evening I also had a double chorus of Scops and Tawny Owl.

And to round up with some flowers...
Paeonia officinalis
Iris illyrica