Bird Pictures and sightings on Hvar 2018

This year has already brought in some new species for me on the island starting with a Peregrine on the airfield on January 1st. January sees me with a total of 33 species although I am awaiting exact confirmation of two species included in this number. 

January has been really mild in comparison to that of last year and there are six species seen last year in the cold spell that haven't appeared this year. The water levels at the small pond I visit are quite low. It will be interesting to see in the next two months how much this affects returning waders.

Buzzard - Dol - SRJ 2018
January Selection - SRJ 2018
January 2018 - SRJ

You should just be able to make out a ring on the left leg of this Kestrel, being very obliging for the camera.

There has been lots of activity in the month of February. Most notably Blackbirds feeding on Ivy berries almost everywhere, certainly the most obvious.

That said without doubt the most numerous on the island by far are the Chaffinch. I am continually looking to see a Brambling amongst them but it has failed me this year.

Starling - SRJ - 2018

Early February continued much as January had left off. Nothing new to note however since February 22nd this has marked the arrivals. 10 Lapwings appeared on the airfield on 22nd (14th last year). Possible because of the weather the numbers have increased to at least 60 but they tend to be scattered far and wide with about 20 being at the airfield most days. Amongst them I picked up a solitary Grey Plover. A first for me on the island. Starling numbers increased significantly and the waders started to arrive. Initially a couple of sandpipers were in and out, not seen since but up to 8 Ruff have been at the pond regularly and occasionally (since the snow has melted) four or five can be seen at the airfield. February heralded the first sign of Spring with snow on the ground and near freezing my first Swallow. I have seen two more since. Also a brief visit of Blue Rock Thrush which was a lot earlier than last year. Finally a small flock of Cranes touched down briefly in fields near the pond for a few minutes and no sooner landed headed off in the direction of Jelsa. There were also 6 Teal at the pond but so wary of any movement it seems impossible to get a picture.

Crane - SRJ - 2018
Ruff - SRJ - 2018
Sparrowhawk - Blackcap - Kestrel - Lapwing - Kingfisher - Golden Plover - SRJ 2018

March has been very wet here, 150mm. That said it continued to bring the species in but not in any great numbers. Also I did notice some of the waders were visiting flooded fields whereas last year they were only coming to the pond I visit.

Not a great picture but good enough for a record. My first Roller, seen on two occasions here in May

SRJ - May 2018
Red Backed Shrike - SRJ - June 2018

Have been a bit fortunate with the Red Backed Shrikes this year as there have been three nests each within 50 metres of the house. I wished I had the same results with Golden Oriole. They have been regularly coming to a fig tree in my garden but capturing a picture is not quite so easy.

This year I planted some sunflowers primarily to harvest food for the birds in the Winter. But delighted to say it has brought in some Greenfinch in recent days so managed to get a decent shot at last!

Greenfinch - SRJ - Jun 2018

Another first for me on the island................

Squacco Heron - SRJ - May 2018