Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday, 22 March - A Sarajevo Canton First?

     The weather moderated a little today with temperatures "soaring" up to 8C, and for a while the sun came through the overcast to create a Spring-like feel in the city.
     Checking out two of my favorite Sarajevo Spring-birding sites today, both within about a half kilometer of each other and in the vicinity of the confluence of the Bosne and Miljacka Rivers, produced four Bosnian firsts for me: about 50 Graganey (Anas querquedula), 2 Black-crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax), 4 Black-tailed Godwits (Limosa limosa), and 9 Ruffs (Philomachus pugnax). Three Black Redstarts (Phoenicurus ochruros) was a new cantonal first for me.
     I'm astonished that Ruff is not listed in Ptice Kantona Sarajevo, by Kotrošan et al (2010), so this may represent a Cantonal first record. The Night-Herons are apparently unrecorded before April; their appearance in late March, therefore, is not that much of a surprise. Because of it's recent history, birding here and elsewhere in Bosnia is certain to significantly contribute to what is known about bird distribution and abundance. It's what makes being in the field here exciting.  
     Also of interest were 2 drake and a hen Shoveler (Anas clypeata), a female Eurasian Marsh-Harrier (Circus aeruginosus), at least 45 Common Cranes (Grus grus), a Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), 3 Common Redshanks (Tringa totanus), 25 Black-headed Gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) and over 100 Fieldfares (Turdus pilaris).

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