30. heinäkuuta 2017

Last days with car in Sardinia. 25.7-28.7.2017

on 25th we had nice morning at the beach and later afternoon we drove to the beautiful city called Bosa. I knew that on our way we are going to see some Griffon Vultures, because this road and mountains near it are the only place where this majestic raptor breeds in Sardinia.
Also the road from Alghero to Bosa is one of the most breathtaking I have ever seen.
After all we aw only eight Griffons, but that is cool. Only one came little closer for photos.

Griffon Vulture.

We had nice dinner in Bosa and place is really worth to visit, if you are visiting this area.

Vilma walking in Bosa.

Lots of lookout stops during the drive from Alghero to Bosa.

On 26th we had same kind of morning and afternoon was time to move around. We checked some capes along the western shoreline of the island and lots of beautiful places was found.
We saw lots of Kestrels, Spotless Starlings, Buzzards, Sardinian Warblers, different looking Lizards etc during our trip. For Vilma maybe the best moment was to see four horses. She was talking about those horses all night after that.


27th we had family trip to Stintino, which is a small city in the North-western end of the island.
The place is famous for many beautiful beaches and we wanted to see the one which is named the most beautiful in Italy, biacci della Pelosa.
We arrived at half ten and place was totally full.. We had luck to find a parking spot and from there was about 800m walk to the beach where you had a small patch, size of a stamp. We did not like that at all... So much people, so much noise, lack of a space and privacy. Place is a real beauty, but maybe when it is empty :)
Pretty soon we left and continued to the place where was supposed to be some Flamingos. There was not. Too many people, not birds. Holiday season is possibly the worst time to look birds in this kind of places. Some Stonechats, Swallowtail butterflies, Kestrels etc.
During the drive to Stintino I had many raptors, including some Marsh Harriers and one Lesser Kestrel. Also big flocks of Yellow-legged Gulls, Spanish Sparrows, Cirl Buntings and Turtle Doves.

Roadside Common Buzzard.

Yellow-legged Gulls.

Swallotail in Stintino.

My last day with car was 28th and I started very early. First I went to Capo Caccia, place where we visited together few days earlier. Place looked good and I wanted to check it.
During my drive I had to stop three times because Deers where running around and cross the road.
First I had two big males with great horns and then few females. Closer to Caccia I had very close Peregrine Falcon and smaller falcon, which I think was male Peregrine. Awesome birds.
When I finally arrived to Capo Caccia, the area where I wanted to visit was closed.. I walked around, took some photo of the view and moved a bit to area where I could walk around.


Nice sea view.

Later I found this Peregrine little bit further away.

I walked around the bushes and many Sardinian Warblers were flushes after I heard a call of Marmora´s Warbler! I was sure that there i some, but never saw it and call disappeared very soon...
A flock of Barbary Partridges were around and at least four juveniles this time.
Next place was Lago Baratz and this time I had my telescope with me.
I made some stops, but nothing interesting before the lake. I parked my car and noticed interesting looking butterfly near by.
Some kind of variation of Speckled Wood I guess.

Same species, different individual. 

I continued to the lake and checked it with my telescope. Not much new, but one White Wagtail, some Mallards, lots of Red-creasted Pochards, some Common Pochards, Little Grebes etc.

Phone scoped Pochards.

Shitty photo of Little Egret.

I watched the lake about 45 minutes, but nothing really interesting appeared.. Same Dragonflies around (Long Skimmer and Broad Scarlets) with one new species, Lesser Emperor! New species to my dragonfly list if I kept a record of them. 
I left and stopped near the visitor center of the lake and then I saw a little bird with orange-grey combination. I watched the bush/small tree and then I found it. Male Subalpine Warbler! Or should I say Motoni´s Warbler! Bird moved rapidly behind the leafs in small area. At this point I started to take my camera out of my backpack when bird moved in top of the bush and Tyrrhenian Spotted Flycatcher came and flushed the bird away. I got picture of smiling Flycatcher, but not this amazing new bird for me. I tried to relocate the bird, but I found only few Sardinian Warblers and more evil Flycatchers. :(

This bird did it..

Time was flying and I had about an hour time before I had to return my rental car. I choose to go near the airport, where I saw lots of birds last time. I still wanted to find something new. 
I arrived to the place I found last time and noticed big flock of Spanish Sparrows, few Serins, Greenfinches, Spotless Starlings, few Gold Finches and couple of Corn Buntings.

Spanish Sparrows.

Male Sardinian Warbler.

European Serins.

I drove a bit and soon I noticed small flock of European Stonechats and with them few Zitting Cisticolas! 

Zitting Cisticola.
Soon it was time to return the car. It is always sad, because car give you some many opportunities to do and go around. Now I have to watch some local birds and enjoy the time with my family. I will visit the Pinya Maria forest again some morning, so at least one more post coming from here. Now we have few days left before going back home. 
Almost all target species in my bag, I´m happy. 


25. heinäkuuta 2017

Some birding and day trip to beautiful Cagliari 23-7-24.7.2017

On 23rd I took whole morning for birds and that was really awesome. I started before sunrise and my target place was Porto Conte area and I was trying to get my self walking on a slopes of Monte Doglia (463m from sea level). I parked my car and started to walk on a sandy road upwards when I noticed a small animal walking. I stopped and raised my binos, Wild Boar piglet! I knew that if there is a small one, there has to be a bigger one too and took only few seconds when I saw the big one! I slowly turned around and walked back to my car. Phooh, those animals could be dangerous! I can handle a piglet, but the bigger one is in another weight class.
I continued driving and had few stops where I had flock of Barbary Partridges and some Yellow-legged Gulls..

One Barbary Partridge from the flock.

I continued again and this time I stopped when I saw a small Sylvia-warbler crossing the road. I watched the place and suddenly I had male Marmora´s Warbler and maybe two juveniles near me.
I must say that I panicked and took randomly photos of birds and almost all of my pics are crap..
Birds disappeared quickly and I never found them again... Had the call too, so no Dartford´s Warblers.

This is possibly one of the juveniles. 

Adult bird. 

As you can see, not so good stuff...
I tried to relocate the birds but all I found was more and more Sardinian Warblers and big spiders.

Huge spider. About 4cm long and net was about 1m wide.

Juvenile Sardinian Warbler.

And again.

After this place I went to check what time the nature reserve opens the doors, but that was at 10 aclock so too late for me.
I made some stops and then decided to check Lake Baratz about 20km from there.
Nice flock of Spotless Starlings on my way and when I stopped, I noticed some cape named Belvedere Porticciolo. Another Marmora´s Warbler, some Red-veined Darters, some lizard and great views.

Belvedere Porticciolo.

Southern Gatekeeper.
Red-veined Darter female.

Red-veined Darter male.

Spotless Starlings.

Lizzard sp.

I finally arrived to Lake Baratz and it was super hot already. I walked to the lake and noticed huge numbers of Dragonflies going here and there. I think that there must be around 2000 Long Skimmers patrolling around the lake. Impressive sight. Lone Broad Scarlet male among the Skimmers.

Long Skimmer male.
Broad Scarlet male.

From the lake I found huge numbers of Coots, some Common Pochards, lots of Red-crested Pochards, Little Grebes, Grea Crested Grebes, Little Egrets, lone Marsh Harrier, Grey Heron and Squacco Heron. I have never seen so many Red-crested Pochards in one place.
Also Cetti´s Warbler around. Great place!

Distant Red-crested Pochards.

Squacco Heron.

It was so hot, and because I forgot my waterbottle into my car, I had to leave. I continued back towards Alghero and I drove about 20 different small roads before I finally found my first Balearic Woodchat Shrike! Bird was sitting on a wire and when I stopped it disappeared... Great.
Anyway, great tick for the future.
Finally my last place was near the Fertilia airport. I drove a small road and noticed big butterfly. Quickly out and amazing Swallowtail butterfly near me. For a second I dreamed about the Corsican Swallowtail, which is ne of the rarest butterflies in Europe, but this was "just" normal Swallowtail.



Later we had great day as a family and we visited Capo Caccia near Fertilia and had gelatos after god food.
Yesterday we had reat day in Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia. It took about three hours to drive there, but it was really worth it.

Streets of Cagliari.

Some old monument. 
We visited all the famous sites and this was maybe one of the day trips ever.
During the drive I had two Woodchat Shrikes, two Red Kites, lots of Kestrels and Common Buzzards.
After spending the day in beautiful city, it was great the end it with this view near our hotel.

Home beach.

Today we are going to see little city called Bosa and tomorrow maybe Stintino area.
More stuff coming later.


22. heinäkuuta 2017

First few days in Alghero, Sardinia. 19.7-22.7.2017

So, we arrived to Alghero last Wednesday around midday. Sunshine, 35 degrees and heat is what we were looking for, and we found it.
I´m always thinking about birds when we travel and this time I red about local endemic species like Marmora´s Warbler and Corsican Citrilfinch. Molton´s Warbler, Tyrhenian Spotted Flycatcher and Balearic Woodchat Shrike are interesting too, and new species to my list of course.

Without the pole this pic is perfect. It shows Country, Island and county in same picture. 

First few days we have mostly been at the beach. Vilma is enjoying the sun and water, Sanni loves sunbathing and I´m just looking around if I could find some birds from the city and from the beaches.
Our hotel is near a famous Maria Pia forest and behind that is awesome beach. I checked the forest one day when my ladies were asleep and easily I found lots of Tyrhenian Spotted Flycatchers, Sardininan Wablers, Firecrest, some Chaffinches and other common birds.
I took an effort to photo the Flycathers and here is some pics of this clearly larger subspecies.

Look at that bill! It looks more like a Shrike than Flycatcher. 

In Finland Potted Fly is small bird, here it is clearly bigger and stronger looking bird.



There has been lots of discussion about giving the full species title to this subspecies and I must say, without being any kind of expert, that at least in here, it is different birds than "normal" Spotted Fly back home.


Somekind of Lizzard in the forest.

Clear blue ocean behind the trees.

Outside my targets I have seen hundreds of Spotless Starlings, lone Alpine Swift, lots of Tree Sparrows, Italian Sparrows, three Bee-Eaters, lone Shag and lots of Yellow-legged Gulls.
From the butterfly world I have seen Hummingbird Hawk Moth, some small Blues, some fritillarys, lone Cleopatra Butterfly and somekind of big moth flying.
From Dragonflies there has been Blue-eyed Hawker and some species of Darter family.

I found this juvenile Woodpigeon from the park. Funny looking fellow. 

Finally yesterday I got my rental car and tomorrow morning I´m heading to Porto Conte natural park area to find my missing Marmora´s Warblers and other goodies.
More stuff later.