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Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Waders in Tirol !!!

Yes, I was shocked. Yesterday I heard that a whole pile of waders had been spotted by some birders along the Inn, just west of the Innsbruck Airport.

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Evidently, the cold, snowy weather over the weekend forced the migrating waders to take a break and weather out the weather. And they happened to find a half decent spot along the Inn in Völs. At the moment, the city is in the process of redirecting the Inn about 80m to the West, so there is a lot of up-turned soil and large ponds. It was in these ponds, and along the Inn itself that birders have seen, amongst others:
Little Stint (Zwergstrandläufer), Dunlin (Alpenstrandläufer), and Curlew Sandpiper (Sichelstrandläufer).

(I did actually take this photo, but it was in Spain)

Andreas Schwartzenberger and I went out this morning only to find not a single wader was about. Not even a Common Sandpiper (Flussuferläufer).
But lots of Grey Wagtails (Gebirgstelze).
We did, however, find a good number of Sand Martins (Uferschwalbe) and Barn Swallows (Rauchschwalbe) feeding over the river (the first is rather unusual in Tirol) and a pair of Sparrowhawks (Sperber) chasing some Jays about (Eichelhäher).

Because of the lack of activity along the Inn, we headed off to my local patch, the pond in Inzing (Gaisau). There were still some Willow Warblers (Fitis) and Chifchafs (Zilzalp) hanging about, but a lot fewer than last week. A good number of (mainly juvenile) House Martins (Mehlschwalben) were also flying about - a new bird for my Gaisau list.

The highlight was probably hearing the Water Rail calling. This bird is extremely shy and it seems, especially so here in Tirol. The bird called from the patch of low reeds/sedge just to the North of where the train track crosses the water (last week we also heard one calling from the waters-edge reeds on the northern edge of the main pond).

Another new tick for Gaisau was the Little Grebe (Zwergtaucher) - I looked out for it all Summer and never found a single one. This morning there were at least two and I suspect they may overwinter in the Gaisau pond.

This is how you get to Gaisau /Inzing Pond:

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