Tuesday, 24 May 2011
The Bee-eaters are back!
Today was very hot...up to 31 degrees C! This is quite exceptional for the season: I felt like being in July! Despite that..and the lack of any relevant species at Isola della Cona NR, I was delighted to watch the busy going ons at the local BEE-EATER colony. Two years ago an earth bank was created in the freshwater marsh for the Bee-eaters to nest. Last year only one pair chose it for nesting...but this year there are about 3 pairs! The fact is that this artificial bank is just few meters away from a screening, where you can watch the birds from a pretty close distance. So really gorgeous views! Above some pics of the birds.
The other highlight of the day were 2 Red Fox cubs playing out in the open on the wet grassland of the marsh. The adult (female I suppose) was also nearby and sometimes playied with them (Video1, video2).
If we get back to the birds: 1 male Red-backed Shrike (first of the year for me here in Italy), 1 Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, 3 Squacco Herons, 25-30 Lapwings, Black-winged Stilt, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Wood Sandpipers, 3-4 singing Melodious Warblers (see pic below), 1 male Garganey, several Cattle Egrets (quite common by now), 1 Sacred Ibis (still!), 2-3 Greenshanks, 3 Ruffs, Cuckoo, 1 Purple Heron, 2 imm. Night Herons, 1 Spoonbill, 3 Pochards (1m + 2 f), 12 Pygmy Cormorants in flock (seen flying around and landing).