Sunny Sunday at the Morava River

Sunday, March 2, 2014

We met on a nice sunny Sunday morning at the Bratislava main train station to head to the area of Devínske jazero, a floodplain of the Morava River. A large number of participants joined our group also at our final destination. At the railway stop Devínske jazero, where we got off the train, we noticed House Sparrows (Passer domesticus), but we were soon attracted by call of a Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola). We admired him through spotting scope. We registered also the first flying Great Cormorants and geese. We heard familiar voice of Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) and Greenfinch (Chloris chloris), which we also observed. As we mowed on we heard Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), and all of us have the opportunity to watch it from a close distance. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor) appeared after a while. At nearby trees fed Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) and from background Great Tit (Parus major) was calling with its familiar call: „ti-ti ta, ti-ti ta“. We heard also Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs) and saw two chasing Ravens (Corvus corax).

On the parking place at the railway crossing we met the last participants of our walk and right there we had the first opportunity to observe Red Kite (Milvus milvus). Among raptors only kites have forked tail, thanks to which they can be easily identified. At the brook Malina (Malina in Slovak means Raspberry) swam four Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) and at surrounding trees were Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and Fieldfares (Turdus pilaris). Male Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) was perched at reed near Malina. Lower parts of White Stork nest was already occupied by Tree Sparrows (Passer montanus). Few Coots (Fulica atra) were diving on the oxbow lake just behind the stork nest. Great Egrets (Ardea alba) and Common Buzzards (Buteo buteo) flew above our heads. Blue sky in this area is always worth to check. We noticed large flocks of Black-headed Gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) and Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus). After a while a bird of prey was spotted soaring high in the sky by one of the participants. It was a majestic Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca), that was later accompanied by its partner. While observing the pair of eagles a Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) crossed the path.

We approached the bank of the Morava River. Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) and Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) were hidden in the overgrowth. On our return way we observed Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea), flyover of Great Egrets and Mute Swans. Pleasant sunny weather, big interest of the participants and several sightings of amazing birds such as Eastern Imperial Eagle or Red Kite gave us big boost of energy to our following activities. We will try to find the first returning Barn Swallows on this season’s first bike trip on March 29 and guided walk on March 30. It will be followed by a bike trip Forest steppe – hidden gem at Danube on April 5 and flower walk at Devínska Kobyla on April 6.

List of observed species (52):

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
Bean Goose (Anser fabalis)
Greylag Goose (Anser anser)
White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Teal (Anas crecca)
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Great Egret (Ardea alba / Egretta alba)
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Red Kite (Milvus milvus)
Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)
Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)
Coot (Fulica atra)
Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus / Larus ridibundus)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia)
Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)
Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor / Picoides minor)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major / Picoides major)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)
Common Magpie (Pica pica)
Rook (Corvus frugilegus)
Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix)
Raven (Corvus corax)
Great Tit (Parus major)
Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus / Parus caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)
Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)
Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris)
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)
Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola / Saxicola torquata)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)
Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris / Chloris chloris)
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)
Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

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