Bullfinches and Lesser Redpoll in the Isonzo mouth

I’ve been once again in the area of low Isonzo river, one of the best ones in Italy for birdwatching, and I observed some finches that usually ar rather rare in the lowlands, but also some other interesting species of birds.

I started from the seafront of Marina Nova, where, among the common Great Cormorants, Black-necked and Great Crested Grebes, Great Egrets and Black-headed Gulls…

…I spotted 2-3 Slavonian Grebes, 1 Shag and 4 Red-breasted Mergansers.

Red-breasted Mergansers (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Mergansers (Mergus serrator)
Slavonian Grebe (Podiceps auritus)
Slavonian Grebe (Podiceps auritus)

Then I went to the lovely reserve of Isonzo mouth (“Isola della Cona”), where, even if it was pretty early in the season for winter birds, there was an amazing number of geese: there were mainly Greylag ones, but also 300-400 White-fronted.

Isola della Cona
Isola della Cona

Among them, I found 4 Bar-headed and one Barnacle Goose, probably escaped ones.

Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)

Other present birds were Mute Swans, Shovelers, Pintails, Gadwalls, Teals, Pygmy and Great cormorants, Lapwings, Snipes, Curlews…

Few birds of prey were around, with a couple of Common Buzzards and Marsh Harriers and a Sparrowhawk.

I had a beautiful view of a juvenile of Crane soaring.

Common Crane (Grus grus)
Common Crane (Grus grus)

So I walked along the trails heading to the “Cioss hide”, that faces into the tidal flats of the coast of Trieste gulf. In some bushes I heart the typical trumpet call of Northern Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pyrrhula): so I observed 2 different males, with their bright colours.

Northern Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Northern Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pyrrhula)

I was photographing them, when I heart a Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis flammea cabaret): few seconds and I localized the bird. As the Bullfinches, it was definitely not a shy bird!

Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis flammea cabaret)
Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis flammea cabaret)

Reading the check-list of the Isonzo mouth reserve, it should be the second observation of ever of Lesser Redpoll in the area!!

Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis flammea cabaret)
Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis flammea cabaret)

At the “Capanno del Cioss”, the wind was very strong, so I couldn’t see too much, if not wonderful scenaries.

Greylag Geese (Anser anser)
Greylag Geese (Anser anser)

In the sides protected by banks or vegetation, the clear sun managed to heat a little bit the surfaces, so I watched also few insects thermoregulating.

On the way back to the exit, I heart some more Bullfinches, but with the call of the local subspecies europaea, Penduline Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper, Nuthatch and Firecrest.

Finally, leaving Isola della Cona, I observed 3 very confident Curlews in a field.

Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata)
November 2017

Luca Boscain

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