Sunday, 22 May 2011

Sardinia birds 2

There are a lot of suitable sites to watch birds in Sardinia but you have to travel to get a wide range of species. And travel takes time in Sardinia. We could only find 1 to 200000 scale maps (OS maps are 1 to 25000 in the UK) and these weren't that helpful by not showing all the roads!

When the map indicated that the route we wanted to take was going straight on through a town, we often found that due to chaotic one way systems, the actual route was far from straight forward. The lack of signs at major junctions was also not very helpful. And I don't recommend short cuts as you'll soon find yourself lost!

Wildlife tourism here is possible, it's just that signage, directions in literature and information are often hard to come by. Knowing enough Italian to ask for directions & understand them is essential!

Species such as Spanish Sparrow and Hooded Crow were very easy. But Crag Martin and Citril Finch took some travelling to find (slow going up & down those mountain roads) although this may have been just a result of the places we chose to travel to!

Above: A Woodchat Shrike.

Above: Spotted Flycatcher. Whilst sitting in the picnic/cafe area of a 'cultural location', a pair of Spotted Flycatchers were flitting around very close by. It was rude not to take a photograph!

Above: A Wheatear. I only saw this species above the tree line whilst walking up to the top of the highest mountain in Sardinia.

Above: Citril Finch. Again, only recorded above the tree line whilst walking up to the top of the highest mountain in Sardinia. It took us a long time to drive there, but once parked, it took only a minute to find these small finches.

Above: Funny story - the first species I saw on the holiday was a Starling. The plane had been on the ground less than a minute! But it was bothering me for several days. I kept on seeing Starlings but in my mind, I was questioning this ID. "They're a bit black" I was saying to myself. "They can't be blackbirds can they? No, I'm sure they're Starlings." But I'd not seen them up close because when I saw them, I/we were driving and they were at a distance. Anyway, when I finally looked up Starling in the book I found there was such a thing as Spotless Starling! My mind was easier but it still took a day or two to 'spot' one and confirm their spotlessness. The photograph (above) doesn't really show it very well.

Above: Hooded Crow. My holiday was punctuated with many shouts of 'what's that Edward?' My standard reply was - another Hooded Crow dad!

Above: Jackdaw. Whilst the hooded crow was common, this was only one of 2 Jackdaws seen (the other being at the same time as this one). The Hooded Crow (pictured above) and this Jackdaw were vying for position on the telegraph pole.

Above: Spanish Sparrow - this bird was one of many nesting in the roof of our hotel. They were everywhere and were by far the most recorded species on the holiday.

More to come yet!

1 comment:

nickgod said...

Great blog and photos. I think that Citril Finch is actually a Corsican Finch, which I read is now thought to be a separate species (see the brown back cf olivaceous back on the Citril finch).