When somebody visiting Venice ask me about where to go birding, especially in autumn and winter, I usually suggest to go further than the Laguna di Venezia, leaving Veneto for the gulf of Trieste, in Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
The Po delta is at about the same distance from Venezia and is much more known among the birders, but in between October and January hunting makes the area rather awful, because tens of thousands of birds are still around, but they become incredibly shy with the shots and you can rarely get good photo opportunities.
The coasts along the gulf of Trieste, instead, host some amazing protected areas, and the hunting pressure seems to be limited to the far inland, giving to the birders an unforgettable experience, as I’ve already showed in a couple of other posts (link1, link2)
The young Vincent, from France, followed my suggestion so we went birding there during the last day of 2019, observing thousands of birds belonging to about 80 species, 7 of which were lifers for my French friend.
Usually the best attraction are the flocks of thousands of geese in which not rarely appear rarities, but this time the about 2,300 White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons) were to far to scan properly looking for the Lesser White-fronted and the Red-breasted Goose reported before Christmas seemed to be vanished.
Therefore we concentrated on sea-watching, taking advantage from the perfect weather conditions with no wind at all and lovely sunshine.
We didn’t loose the opportunity to twitch the two other present rarities: 2 Bewick’s Swans (Cygnus columbianus bewickii) and a gorgeous Hume’s Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus humei).
It came up a glorious last day of the year!