Wednesday 27 January 2016

Boat trip to the lagoon of Grado

A solitary Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus. Increasingly common in the last years, with flocks of up to 900 birds in the Grado-Marano lagoon.
Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus - up to 60-70 were present. A scarce species in winter in Friuli Venezia Giulia (NE Italy), confined to the sandy beaches of the Grado-Marano lagoon. 
Flock of about 20 Sanderlings Calidris alba. A species found in the same areas as the previous, but is only a scarce winter and passage visitor; usually in small numbers. I've seen them in Friuli Venezia Giulia just a couple of times.
Shelduck Tadorna tadorna - part of a large flock of +100 birds.
Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus - we scored all European grebe species, including a Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena.
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis - one of the many (+30) observed on the sea and lagoon.
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus - very common. On the gull front also a nice adult Herring Gull Larus argentatus; another species not seen so often.
Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus (observed all three cormorant species together).
Grey Plovers Pluvialis squatarola and Dunlins Calidris alpina on a dam. These two species along with Redshanks Tringa totanus and Curlews Numenius arquata were very numerous.
Birders at sea.
A Little Owl Athene noctua resting in the evening on the wall of a power station. Nearby was also a roost of 3 Long-eared Owls Asio otus.

On Sunday a friend invited me to take part in a boat trip around the lagoon of Grado (north-east Italy), some 60 km away from Trieste. The most interesting birding spots of the lagoons, extending between Grado and Marano, are only accessible by boat, so this was a perfect occasion to see some less common species and to be in the field with my birding friends. Above are some of the birds we had, including the highlights.