April 2010

During the month of April a total of 90 species of birds were inventoried, three of them for the first time, raising the total species count to 203.

April is the breeding season for water birds and we were able to confirm breeding by the mallard, the coot and moorhen. We also saw signs of nesting by the pochard and the rare ferruginous duck – sightings we hope to confirm in the next sample-takings.

A total of five heron species were sighted with significant populations (e.g. little egret and squacco heron. There was also a significant presence of purple herons, and it is likely these birds are nesting in the reeds. The presence of the glossy ibis confirmed the importance of the water meadows in the Sani wetlands.

This was a month of particular variety for wader species (14) and populations. There was a significant presence of large populations of ruffs, greenshanks, wood sandpipers and little ringed plovers. Also frequently sighted were the green sandpiper, common sandpiper, march sandpiper, Kentish plover, little stilt and curlew sandpiper. Among the month’s highlights was the sighting of a spur-winged plover.

A total of 8 species of raptors were observed, including most notably a male Montagu’s harrier, two hobbies, a long-legged buzzard and a short-toed eagle.

Among the passerines the presence of migratory species was significant, including a nightingale, a lesser whitethroat, a whitethroat and many flocks of whinchats, yellow wagtails and wood warblers. Along the edges of the pine forest where it borders cultivated land we made frequent sightings of the red-backed shrike, the woodchat shrike and the lesser grey shrike.

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