|Ural Owl Strix uralensis sat nicely on a tree.
|The perfect place to wait for dusk - in Brown Bear's kingdom.
While driving back home we also had a Tawny Owl Strix aluco on some roadside pines, but most interesting was the encounter with a BADGER Meles meles running at the side of the road and then squeezing itself under a fence. This was by the way my third ever (alive) Badger.
On Sunday I had some business work in Monfalcone, so I went to check the Lisert wetland for two hours or so. The brackish marsh held an adult WHOOPER SWAN Cygnus cygnus - which is a long-staying individual of unknown origin. It bears no rings and earlier this summer it was recorded in several other nearby wetlands, so it is capable of flying. Moreover its shy behaviour suggests a wild origin. Anyway a summering record of a Whooper Swan is very odd, as these birds are quite rare in winter as well.
The area also held a few migrants in the form of a nice Wryneck Jynx torquilla, 3 Pied Flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca, a Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix, Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, a Hobby Falco subbuteo and a flock of noisy Bee-eaters Merops apiaster (+20) mobbing a Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus. A Water Rail Rallus aquaticus singing from the reedbed was also cool to hear after a long time. The buoys at sea held the usual flocks of Common Eiders Somateria mollissima (17) and several Sandwich Terns Sterna sandvicensis.
On the botany front, I couldn't miss the speciality of the area - Cephalaria leucantha (aka "Scabiosa trenta") which grows quite commonly along the rocky coast from Trieste to Monfalcone, especially at the side of the main road near the latter. See here why this plant is so interesting.
|Cephalaria leucantha - Julius Kugy's legendary plant.