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Birding in the time of Coronavirus

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Old Wednesday 18th March 2020, 14:24   #26
gerald762
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The Police and Guardia Civil are doing the enforcing, I don't know what protection they have as I haven't been out!
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Old Wednesday 18th March 2020, 16:45   #27
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Another quiet day today. I heard a Green Woodpecker from the balcony and also saw a Black Redstart singing from the rooftop opposite. At the back the usual Siskins (down to a dozen from about 60-80), Coal, Marsh, Blue and Great Tits, Chaffinches, still a couple of Brambling (presumably passing), Blackbird, Tree Sparrow, Collared Dove, and Chiffchaff (heard only). Plus the Co(r)vids of course !
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Old Wednesday 18th March 2020, 16:48   #28
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Originally Posted by 3Italianbirders View Post
Another quiet day today. I heard a Green Woodpecker from the balcony and also saw a Black Redstart singing from the rooftop opposite. At the back the usual Siskins (down to a dozen from about 60-80), Coal, Marsh, Blue and Great Tits, Chaffinches, still a couple of Brambling (presumably passing), Blackbird, Tree Sparrow, Collared Dove, and Chiffchaff (heard only). Plus the Co(r)vids of course !
Can I ask you where roughly you live? The variety of birds you see is, well, already bigger than any of my experience in Italy ever :) I guess you are somewhere in a hilly area?
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Old Wednesday 18th March 2020, 17:00   #29
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Can I ask you where roughly you live? The variety of birds you see is, well, already bigger than any of my experience in Italy ever :) I guess you are somewhere in a hilly area?
Southern Tuscany, Mount Amiata. Halfway up the mountain at 850 metres. . You are right, Italy is certainly not a prime birding destination, but it can have its moments. You need to know when and where to go. Anytime between June 15 and the end of September will be pretty dead almost anywhere, with a few notable exceptions. Also wildlife is very shy because it's used to be shot at . Also, it's a crowded country with a poor tradition of enjoying the outdoors (apart from beaches that is). Most of the birders we met through Birdingpal enjoyed their time here, but you do need a bit of luck and local knowledge.
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Old Wednesday 18th March 2020, 17:12   #30
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Southern Tuscany, Mount Amiata. Halfway up the mountain at 850 metres. . You are right, Italy is certainly not a prime birding destination, but it can have its moments. You need to know when and where to go. Anytime between June 15 and the end of September will be pretty dead almost anywhere, with a few notable exceptions. Also wildlife is very shy because it's used to be shot at . Also, it's a crowded country with a poor tradition of enjoying the outdoors (apart from beaches that is). Most of the birders we met through Birdingpal enjoyed their time here, but you do need a bit of luck and local knowledge.
Ha! I somehow always thought Tuscany is much more in the north, silly me! I googled your mountain and the landscape is really nice. If we ever come back to normal, I will probably resume my work trips to Bologna and now I have a nice idea of a side trip, as this is not far by the fast trains nowadays.
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Old Wednesday 18th March 2020, 19:11   #31
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No "active" birding for me, I haven't done much anyway for a year or more. But the onset of the Dawn Chorus wakes me every morning and it's fantastic to hear the birds at 5am, doing what they do and oblivious to the anxieties of humans. The local buzzards are full-on as well, but I haven't heard our local GSW drumming for a few weeks.
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Old Wednesday 18th March 2020, 20:34   #32
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Ha! I somehow always thought Tuscany is much more in the north, silly me! I googled your mountain and the landscape is really nice. If we ever come back to normal, I will probably resume my work trips to Bologna and now I have a nice idea of a side trip, as this is not far by the fast trains nowadays.
Fingers crossed for the landscape. They are chopping down our woods at an alarming pace. There are also plans to build another geothermal power plant (it would be the third in the area)...

If you go to Bologna, especially in the first half of May then by all means go to the Po Delta NP. Of course depends on what species you are after!
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Old Thursday 19th March 2020, 19:15   #33
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Things are getting slower every day at the feeders: only three species of Tits and a few Siskins, but I still got a couple of good sightings when i went for a brisk walk/run (it won't be long before it won't be allowed any longer). By a derelict pond/artificial lake that was part of the old mercury mine I saw a Moorhen and then a Grey Wagtail. Soon after, there were at least 6 male Blackbirds engaged in a territorial dispute in the middle of the football pitch and a pair of smart Black Redstarts on the fence of the athletics track. Also two Wood Pigeons and the usual Corvids. When I got back I went to refill the feeders (which had been raided since I had last looked before lunch - unfortunately we don't see them from our windows) and going back and forth between the two tubes and the nearby trees were three pairs of Tits: 2 Marsh, 2 Blue and 2 Coal. two or three Siskins also put in an appearance, while a few Chaffinches were flying between the Pine trees further away.
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Old Friday 20th March 2020, 19:31   #34
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Another slow day. Usual Tits and Siskins at the feeders, Blackbirds, Chaffinches and Tree Sparrows about and Black Redstart singing from the rooftop opposite. G thinks he may have seen a Swallow. From tomorrow stricter measures will be in place which mean we'll only be able to exercise close to home....
Attached below a couple of pics from yesterday which I had forgotten to post.
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Old Friday 20th March 2020, 19:57   #35
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Large Tortoiseshell, nice indeed! That species always classifies the day as a good one in my book :)
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Old Friday 20th March 2020, 20:03   #36
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Large Tortoiseshell, nice indeed! That species always classifies the day as a good one in my book :)
Thanks Jos, I knew I could count on you for ID (too lazy to look it up in the butterfly book)! it was in the local park, around the athletics track (see photo in earlier post), which has now been shut as with all parks in the country.
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Old Saturday 21st March 2020, 16:26   #37
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Another drive to my mother's provided some good sightings and a much needed break from staying indoors. This time I was also stopped at a checkpoint and asked to produce my paperwork which was deemed in order.

On the way out I had a brief glimpse of a Green Woodpecker crossing the road in front of me and soon afterwards a nice Buzzard sitting atop a tree. The usual Chaffinches and then my first Swallow of the year over a field. In a ditch, soon after that a Great White Egret, a tick for my C-19 checklist, and also a couple of Little Egrets. Crossing a small town several House Martins were zooming in and out of last year's nests.

Coming back, a Kestrel soaring just out of town (a c-19 tick as well, I had seen several before starting this thread and they are usually one of the commonest species). Approaching the town where I had seen the House Martins I saw a Short-toed Eagle and immediately afterwards a Red Kite. About a dozen Cattle Egret were grazing in a vineyard and then I heard Chiffchaff and Zitting Cisticola. Another Kestrel flew over as I was getting closer to home.

Other species included: Wood Pigeon, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaws, Serin and Stonechat.

The final surprise came in the afternoon as I was playing volleyball (well she was playing, I was trying and failing badly ) with the offspring at the back: 2-3 Long-tailed Tits in the Hazelnut tree by the feeders, not a C-19 tick as I had seen one on the 14th, but I had forgotten to write it in the checklist and here, although it was in my notes.

Finally, here's a picture of my mum's tiny triangular balcony, that I had mentioned a few days ago. You can just see the fat balls hanging from the clothesline and the "bird bath" in the corner.
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Old Saturday 21st March 2020, 16:38   #38
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It may be small, but I love your mum's balcony! Keep up the good work, I am thoroughly enjoying your posts!

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Old Saturday 21st March 2020, 17:48   #39
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Thanks Chris! It's small but it has a good view!
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Old Saturday 21st March 2020, 18:49   #40
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Thanks Chris! It's small but it has a good view!
Indeed it does. Serious potential for a few hours reclining in the hope of a passing raptor there
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Old Saturday 21st March 2020, 19:17   #41
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Indeed it does. Serious potential for a few hours reclining in thebhope of a passing raptor there
not enough space for a recliner! also my mum doesn't birdwatch, she is just a compulsive feeder of creatures (wild or not, the neighbour's cat will do).
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Old Saturday 21st March 2020, 19:21   #42
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Great read !

Another who loves your moms balcony and what a view!
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Old Sunday 22nd March 2020, 16:27   #43
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Pretty boring here in Spain. Only able to see the usual garden birds. Sparrow, goldfinch, sardinian warbler, stonechat and blackcap. Also the usual cattle egrets. The highlights of the day were a griffon vulture, unusually on its own, a pair of ravens, a black kite, a hoopoe and a black shouldered kite. I have had better days!
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Old Sunday 22nd March 2020, 17:20   #44
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And you call that boring?

Really grim here today. The grey sky and chilly wind didn't help. heard a Blackcap sing this morning. At the feeders the usual suspects: Siskins and Tits (all the above 4), Blackbird, Chaffinch . Further restrictions on travel are looming, but a cold spell is forecast, which might increase traffic at the feeders.
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Old Monday 23rd March 2020, 17:00   #45
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We woke this morning to a chilly blue sky and a howling north-easterly gale. temperatures well below freezing overnight and up to 4-5 C in the daytime. Luckily our feeders are somewhat sheltered and were not blown away like it can happen sometimes.

G had topped the feeders just before lunch and I went to check them in the early afternoon, as an excuse to get out. They were already half empty as Siskin numbers have gone up again, around 30-40. I filled them and then sat with my binoculars in the car (for warmth) for an hour or so. I tried the 5 minute challenge a few times, but never managed to get more than 6 species at a time, although I got 11 altogether: Siskin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Marsh Tit, Greenfinch, a very welcome Hawfinch, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Magpie and Hooded Crow. Definitely better than I expected!
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Old Tuesday 24th March 2020, 06:01   #46
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I logged on to the Dog Rescue site where i got my current Staffie/Jack Russell cross, Hettie, from - they usually have upto a dozen or 15 animals to be rehoused and they do so very quickly but there is now a waiting list.

I hope these people realise that a Dog is for life and not just for the duration of the Coronavirus

Good Birding -

Laurie

Attached: Hettie 5 minutes ago...
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Old Tuesday 24th March 2020, 12:06   #47
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We woke this morning to a chilly blue sky and a howling north-easterly gale. temperatures well below freezing overnight and up to 4-5 C in the daytime. Luckily our feeders are somewhat sheltered and were not blown away like it can happen sometimes.

G had topped the feeders just before lunch and I went to check them in the early afternoon, as an excuse to get out. They were already half empty as Siskin numbers have gone up again, around 30-40. I filled them and then sat with my binoculars in the car (for warmth) for an hour or so. I tried the 5 minute challenge a few times, but never managed to get more than 6 species at a time, although I got 11 altogether: Siskin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Marsh Tit, Greenfinch, a very welcome Hawfinch, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Magpie and Hooded Crow. Definitely better than I expected!
Blue skies and very chilly March winds here too and also busy at the feeders.

Nice moment with the Hawfinch - All you need is just one slightly off piste bird and the day is good!
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Old Tuesday 24th March 2020, 12:43   #48
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Essential journey to the nearby egg farm this morning (me only, plus some extra for two nearby neighbours). Heard a singing Chiffchaff, Skylark and spied a bounding away Yellowhammer. Overhead, calling and circling Buzzards, hovering Kestrel and home to a male Sparrowhawk sitting atop a feeder pole. No vapour trails in the clear blue skies, nor practising military fast jets today, no traffic noise - just birdsong and gentle breeze with a cuppa.
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Old Tuesday 24th March 2020, 13:54   #49
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So we are on lockdown as well! Not that I have been outside in the last week anyway, because of my own health issues (not corona related).

We have a rather limited selection of species to see frok our window, but they at least come very close, as we have a feeder directly on the window. Blue and Great Tits come here for sunflower seeds and Tree Sparrows come to look through them for anything else, throwing most of the seeds around in the process, which then makes a mess on the window sill which in turn attracts feral Pigeons and occasionally Collared Doves. Jackdaws and Magpies come to drink in our mini-garden from a reservoir which my wife fills by warm water in the morning as it freezes overnight. Only other visitor are Starlings, Wood Pigeons and very rarely a Chaffinch. Rooks seem to have already left for spring.
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Old Tuesday 24th March 2020, 17:14   #50
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Tree Sparrows come to look through them for anything else, throwing most of the seeds around in the process
The terrible Siskins do that here! If you look at the photos in the first post we have tied those plastic saucers that you put under potted plants underneath out tube feeders precisely to prevent the spillage. Still they manage to throw a lot of seeds on the ground.
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