Thursday 30 October 2014

Limestone Wallcreeper

The true limestone bird
Winter habitat of the Wallcreeper in the Glinščica/Val Rosandra nature reserve
Yesterday I went to the Glinščica valley (Val Rosandra) on the outskirts of Trieste. My target was the WALLCREEPER Tichodroma muraria which I almost immediately found, when I began scanning the limestone cliffs. It remained on view for a few minutes, showing off the beautiful crimson colours in its wings, before it suddenly disappeared. Shortly afterwards I located two ALPINE ACCENTORS Prunella collaris feeding on the grassy turfs under the cliffs.
These two species are usually found together in the winter months along the limestone cliffs of the Karstic edge. Both belong to the same breeding habitat in the alpine region and share the wintering sites as well. So it's always good to find both species on the same day.
Another very interesting sighting was that of a calling, fly-by BEARDED TIT Panurus biarmicus. Despite my effort I couldn't locate the bird. Bearded Tits are rare winter (and passage) visitors to the wetlands I use to visit in Italy and Slovenia, so I was pretty amazed to get this species on visible migration, outside its expected habitat.
Showy Crested Tits Lophophanes cristatus were performing in the pines as usual
One of the several Wrens Troglodytes troglodytes wintering in my local patch
Today I also had a female Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus in the garden, which was a nice change after the many (daily) sightings of Goldcrests Regulus regulus in the past weeks.