A day of photography in along the gulf of Trieste

Bird-photography in Italy is not easy like in other countries: decades of hunting pressure made the birds particularly shy and hardly approachable. The reserves along the gulf of Trieste offer one of the best options in autumn and winter.

That’s why I chose to go there leading two American photographers: despite the bad light of a cloudy, but mild, day and some lacks of fortune in some places, the photo-harvest of the day wasn’t bad at all.

To go photograph is different than going birding, because birds that are further than a couple of tens of meters almost don’t exist, being definitely too far away.

The reserves of coastal Friuli-Venezia Giulia host some nice hides and blinds, even if they were not though for the photography, having most of the time the wrong perspective.

The first stops were particularly unlucky: we went in fact along the coast, hoping in divers, grebes and marine ducks, but there were no divers at all and all the other subjects were far away, with poor photo results.

Slavonian Grebe (Podiceps auritus)
Red-breasted Mergansers (Mergus serrator)
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) and Coot (Fulica atra)
Velvet Scoters (Melanitta fusca)

Then we moved to the Reserve “Foci dell’Isonzo” were there were hundred of ducks and Greylag Geese (Anser anser) in the renaturalized ponds.

Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca), male

Particularly pretty were a single individual of Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) and the whitish Camargue horses that were introduced in the area from France more than twenty years ago, in order to control the growth of aquatic vegetation.

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) and Greylag Goose (Anser anser)
Camargue horses
Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)

But was the arrival of a huge flock of thousands of White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons), scarried by an helicopter, to leave astonished in a concert of loud calls!

White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons)
White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons) swimming with a single Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)

From the Marinetta hide, the view was spectacular, with maybe 2-3 thousands of geese swimming together with ducks, cormorants and waders.

A sheet of birds
Gadwall (Mareca strepera), male
Eurasian Teals (Anas crecca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Mareca strepera), female
Northern Shovelers (Spatula clypeata)

Then all in one time the White-fronted Geese took off again, passing above the windows in a breath-taking flight!

White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons)

On the way back, we found again the horses grazing in peace in the water: with some pale sunshine, the view was remarkable.

Camargue horses
Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
Camargue horses
European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Distant flight of White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons)
Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus), female
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Camargue horse

We finished our day rather early, visiting after lunch the reserve of Valle Cavanata, but something had happened there and all the birds, including 30 elegant Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia), had moved far away from the hides: maybe because of the passage of some noisy tourist or, who knows, even because of the use of a drone… The only one nice subject was a lonely Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus).

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)

Luca Boscain

2 thoughts on “A day of photography in along the gulf of Trieste

    1. Devi assolutamente andarci, direi che per un birder italiano è imprescindibile! Consiglio di pianificare la visita quando ci sono anche un po’ di rarità fighe in giro a condire l’insalatona alata, perché per ora questo gennaio è un po’ povero! 😉


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