Hrušovská zdrž – the first winter guests

Sunday – Monday, October 16.-17., 2011

Despite October is not a perfect time for birdwatching, we decided that we will try it. On Sunday and Monday we shortly visited water reservoir Hrušovská zdrž, which is a part of IBA Dunajské luhy, and which is the most important wintering place for water birds in Slovakia. During our visit we had a chance to witness the migration of White and Grey Wagtails (Motacilla alba, M. cinerea),  Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs) and also Black Redstarts (Phoenicurus ochruros). On the field we heard also Skylark (Alauda arvensis) singing shortly. Above the water flew several Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus). In the water we observed many Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo), Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and Coots (Fulica atra), but Tufted Ducks (Aythya fuligula) and Pochards (Aythya ferina) dominated as usually. We were pleased to see also Red-crested Pochards (Netta ruffina), and Gadwalls (Anas strepera). We also recorded first individuals of truly wintering species, e.g. Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus), Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), Scaup (Aythya marila) and even one female of Red-brested Merganser (Mergus serrator). On Sunday we were pleased in the end by flock of 73 Common Cranes (Grus grus). We suppose that this site will be more and more interesting for a birdwatcher in following days.

List of observed bird species:
unidentified Goose (Anser sp.) 1
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Gadwall (Anas strepera) 6
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) 6
Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) 5
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) 2
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) 1
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis / Podiceps ruficollis) 120
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) 50
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) 8
Great Egret (Ardea alba / Egretta alba) 1
Pygmy Cormorant (Microcarbo pygmaeus / Phalacrocorax pygmaeus) 1
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) 300
White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) 1
Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) 1
Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) 5
Coot (Fulica atra)
Common Crane (Grus grus) 73
Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) 55
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus / Larus ridibundus)
large gull (Larus cachinnans/michahellis)
Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) 2
Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major / Picoides major) 1
Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis) 1
Jay (Garrulus glandarius) 1
Common Magpie (Pica pica) 2
Rook (Corvus frugilegus) 10
Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) 15
Great Tit (Parus major) 4
Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus / Parus caeruleus) 1
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata) 4
Common Skylark (Alauda arvensis) 1
Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) 2
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 400
Blackbird (Turdus merula) 1
Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus) 2
Robin (Erithacus rubecula) 1
Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) 6
European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola / Saxicola torquata) 2
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 4
Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 10
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) 2
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) 150
Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) 4

number of observed individuals is mentioned only if we were able to count them, or make an estimation; “H” means that we heard it

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