Friday, April 29, 2011

Sardinia April 15-23 2011

From the plane coming into Cagliari the flocks of European Flamingo are visible - must be one of the few bird IDs possible from 2000 ft!

It took ages to get to the Molentargius area due to confusing signposts etc (hooded crow (whose pale zones are very white here, rather than the grey I am used to), tree sparrow and kestrel from the car), and when we got there all the lake and marsh area were behind big wire fences. There are some hides, but no obvious way to get thru the wire to access them. But we got out of the car, and could see a colony of Cattle Egrets through the bushes (making a lot of frog-type noise). A Yellow-Legged Gull (photo) and then a Spoonbill flew past. We saw a Woodchat Shrike on a wire and a Sardinian Warbler (photo) hopping about (heard first). Shelduck flew over, and then unmistakeably a Slender-Billed Gull!

Driving on, we finally got to the sea front road along Stagni di Quartu and pulling over (not ideal safety!) In addition to Flamingoes at close quarters we had super views of a Black Winged Stilt, Greenshank, Avocet and a Spotted Redshank. A Gull Billed Tern overhead.

Then the long haul to Dorgali, glimpsing a variety of birds of prey. At Dorgali, blackbird, jay, hoopoe, great tit.

Next day we headed down to the coast at Casa Golonne. Around the car park of the nice little aquarium we found Collared Dove, Dartford Warbler, Calandra Lark (and shrike (photo) and sardy again).

By the sea, Whinchat then along the back of the beach Wood Warbler - bright yellow neck and clean white underneath. On the way back up to the car Buzzard, Serin (photo), Goldfinch and Sparrowhawk. A shearwater out at sea.
During the journey to Olbia, Greenfinch, Alpine Swift, House Martin.

Up in Porto Cervo, lots of Blue Tit, a wren. In the evening Leo and i headed up the hill and found Whitethroat, Linnet and Cirl Bunting (photo).

Mon morning, Red Kite overhead plus Wren, Great Tit, a pair of Blackcaps checking out a spiders web. Jackdaw. Sparrowhawk high above the hotel on Tue am.

We went on a Little Bustard hunt to the area around Tula - where the Fatbirder summary said they were common. It is a farming area on a high plateau and felt just right. Unfortunately we didnt see any of the little Bs, but we did see Corn Bunting (photox2), Stone Curlew (photo), Spotless Starling, Rock Dove, Stonechat, Marsh Harrier.

On the way back we detoured to San Teodoro and the Cinta beach, a magnificent blustery crescent with a large Stagno behind it. Great and Little Egret, Grey and Purple Heron (photo), Kentish Plover and Sanderling.

From the ferry back from Maddelena to Palau, Lydia (who had earlier seen a likely Pine Marten on Caprera) spotted a squadron of Mediterranean Shearwaters.

On our final day we saw some Barbary Partridge on the edge of the motorway after Olbia. We broke the journey at Cabras near Oristano. There is a good dirt road along the edge of the large Stagno with lots of birds, though no list additions.  A last minute trip to the Cagliari sea front yielded Dunlin and last of all great views of a Pied Flycatcher.
(52, 7/8 lifers)