The second wave: immature Little Gulls

This evening I visited the fishponds with Dani to find some year list “new comers”. The 1st pond was quite exciting by the flock of tiny Black Terns. They were hunting together with 2 Whiskered Terns, 2 White-winged Terns and and a few Little Gulls. The group contained only immatures. Adults have left already the area and they already reached their Scandinavian breeding grounds. On the lake two gorgeous Ferruginous Pochard joined the resting Common Pochards.


Immature Little Gulls were missing from the first wave of Little Gull migration this spring. © György Szimuly

On the pond 3 the island became slightly larger and the number of Common Terns have increased. Many pairs formed and they started to build and decorating their nest hollow. It was fantastic to listen the loud territorial song of Great Reed Warblers mixed with the softly tinkling song of Common Reed Buntings which apparently started to raise the second clutch.


Great Reed Warbler were dominantly singing. © György Szimuly

Before we left the fishponds we saw a female Little Bittern and a singing Common Whitethroat.

Ferruginous Pochard 2
Northern Lapwing 1
Little Gull 13
Common Tern 20
Black Tern 45
White-winged Tern 2
Whiskered Tern 2 

Among the feeding Barn Swallow flock I saw an all rufous-orange bellied male bird with a complete breast band. Breast band and throat colour looked to be very dark. Was this a probable Hirundo rustica savignii, the resident Egyptian subspecies? They should not be migrating, as far as I know. I found in the literature that 10% of Italian H. r. rustica birds are having “reddish” underparts. Anyone have a comment please share it here.


Year list is at 203 by now. I’m still waiting for some late migrants like the European Bee-eater, Red-backed Shrike and Lesser Grey Shrike.


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