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Sicily

Sicily is a wild, fascinating place, and, whilst birding is not easy, it can offer some incredible surprises! Sicily hosts the biggest Lanner population in Europe (100-120 pairs); 15-20 pairs of Bonelli's Eagle, Egyptian Vulture (a few, and declining); the most important Collared Pratincole colony in Italy (Biviere di Gela); and is the most important raptor-migration hotspot in the Southern Mediterranean. The only records of Amur Falcon in the Western Palaearctic have been reported from the Stretto di Messina, along with 20-30.000 Honey Buzzards, some individual Long-legged and Steppe Buzzards, Pallid Harrier, Siberian Peregrine and the occasionally Barbary Falcon.

The Eastern Coast: (Foce del Simeto, Saline di Priolo, Saline di Siracusa, Vendicari, Longarini) is a poorly known area, but really is a vagrant trap for migrants crossing the Western Mediterranean towards the Balkans. Isabelline Wheatear, Isabelline Shrike, Sociable Plover, Caspian Gull, Great black-headed Gull can be seen here (but is, of course, ia matter of luck) in May-June, this part of Sicily is also very scenic!

On the opposite side of Sicily, Riserva naturale dello Stagnone e saline di Trapani and near Palermo, the Riserva dello Zingaro are two beautiful areas well worth a visit.

If you need more information about the anti-poaching camp, please contact the contributor.

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Contributor

Maurizio Maudoc Sighele

maudoc@libero.it

Useful Reading

Uccelli e Paesaggio in Sicilia alle Soglie del Terzo Millennio

(Birds and Landscape in Sicily at the Threshold of the Third Millennium) M Lo Valvo, B Massa and M Sare - 371 pages, 28 b/w photos, 234 line figs & maps, tabs. Istituto di Entomologia Agraria 1993

ISBN: 34117

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Trip Reports

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CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2011 [04 April] - Brian Small & Andrea Corso

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…We walked onto the headland for a stroll and lunch, finding our first Eastern Black-eared Wheatears and close views of libbanotica Northern Wheatears…

2012 [04 April] - Brian Small

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…A couple of Isabelline Wheatears were found and on the flock of Yellow Wagtails we heard calls of a feldeggi, Black-headed Yellow Wagtail which sounds almost like a Citrine Wagtail. Also a couple of Stone Curlews were seen in flight and a Little Owl was perched on a stony wall far from us…

2012 [04 April] - Brian Small

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…At Priolo we had great views of Ferruginous Duck and Audouin’s Gull; at the Penisiola we saw c.15 Stone-curlews and amongst a small cattle flock various flava wagtails (Blue-headed predominantly, but also Black- headed and one Yellow), Short-toed Larks, and a couple of Tree and Tawny Pipits…

2014 [09 September] - Mike Neale

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Really just a species list...

2015 [04 April] - Dave Nevitt

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...There was a strong wind which ensured that most birds were keeping their heads down, but we found the common birds of the area - Sardinian Warbler, Italian Sparrows and, overhead, Common Swifts. A large raptor turned out to be a Booted Eagle, and we also saw two Marsh Harriers. Two Bee-eaters flew overhead calling, as Cetti’s Warblers and Nightingales serenaded us with their lovely songs.

2015 [04 April] - Nicola Scatassi & Mike Witherick

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This was Ornitholidays’ first ever tour to Sicily. Given the island’s location and the time of year, the tour was very much about bird migration, spring flowers and some ‘early’ butterflies.

Places to Stay

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Apartments & Villas

Accommodation

Holiday apartments in the historic center of Syracuse. A wide variety of tastes is catered for, each apartment has it own unique characteristics and features. All apartments are close to the sea and beach. The apartments are ideally located to enable you to explore Syracuse and its area…