Thursday, 5 May 2016

Brief trip to Italy

Last weekend Karen and I headed to Italy for three days of predominantly relaxation. Staying on the Amalfi coast, we had a day visiting the ruins at Pompeii (decent, but the five hours Karen orchestrated was a bit excessive!) and then just relaxed the next couple of days along the coast from Sorrento to Amalfi. To sum it up, the birding was tough albeit casual.

Italian Sparrows were nice to see. They were everywhere, and sounded like Spanish Sparrows; and all the males looked like this: -
male Italian Sparrow Pompeii, Italy 30th April 2016
There was little else at Pompeii, bar a couple of Hoopoes, a Blue Rock Thrush and an almost infinite number of Serins. Around the town of Amalfi, there was a good opportunity to have a look at the state of the local Yellow-legged Gulls; a lot of non-breeding birds about as well as a few adults.

Yellow-legged Gulls (adult and 1st-summer) Atrani, Italy 1st May 2016
After heading back along the coast to Praiano late afternoon, we walked back through the town and I managed some good views of a couple of Icterine Warblers and a short while later, a couple of Bee-eaters calling away on the hillside and a Spotted Flycatcher in the wood near the hotel.

Icterine Warbler Praiano, Italy 1st May 2016 - note the long wing projection with eight unevenly spaced primary tips beyond the tertials
On our final morning, there wasn't too much else about. Serins and Sardinian Warblers scratching about, and a brief Western Bonelli's Warbler in one of the pines. And that was that - a very pleasant three days away though if anyone's looking for a good birding spot, I'd probably not recommend the Amalfi coast...




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