A large group of Mediterranen Shags was observed by the Slovenian coast between Koper and Izola around noon today (9th October). Around 350 individuals was floating just nearby the coast and was probably following a flock of fish. Numerous gulls, mostly black-headed (Larus ridibundus), were accompanying them. A similar scene was observed on the same place last Thursday, 5th October, when a group of Shags followed a flock of see neadles (Belone belone).
Another group of around 200 Shags was observed on 21st September morning on a sea wall infront of the marina near the town of Izola, and on the same day, a group of 39 individuals, at sea near cape Ronek. Three days later, on 24th september, around 200 individuals formed a very dense flock on the water near road between Koper and Izola.
Occurence of large groups of Mediterranean Shags in Slovenian sea has started in September, according to data available to us. During the regular monthly monitoring of seabirds at sea, which is being implemented since June (last census was done in the beginning of September), such large groups have not yet been observed. For reference, in the middle of September there were 1241 individuals roosting at the Slovenian communal roosting sites, and the largest number, 1485 individuals, was counted in July. The individuals at the communal roosts represent the majority of Mediterranean Shags roosting in Slovenia.
Occurence of such large groups of Mediterranean Shags during the day is an interesting phenomenon in Slovenian sea, also for the designation of new marine Natura 2000 sites. Therefore you are kindly invited to report on your observation of large groups (counting more than 10 individuals) of Mediterranean Shags in Slovenian sea or in the wider area of the Trieste Bay. Send the data to the e-mail address: email@example.com, and include at least the following information: date and time of observation, number of individuals, their behaviour and other possible facts, e.g. accompany of gulls or other sea birds, following flock of fish, etc.
We thank you kindly for your contribution!