Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

A weekend in northern Tuscany

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 09:12   #1
3Italianbirders
Registered User
 
3Italianbirders's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tuscany - Italy
Posts: 262
A weekend in northern Tuscany

We spent an enjoyable weekend (again without the offspring) with some of our fellow EBN Italy members in the area just north of Pisa, at the northernmost tip of Tuscany.

We got up at 3am on the Saturday morning in order to meet the others at Marina di Vecchiano at 7am for a bit of seawatching. This wasn’t very productive, at least for the local standards (it is a well known spot for pelagic species), but we did have good views of Grey, Ringed and Kentish Plover along with a couple of Sanderlings. A few Swallows passed by heading south. Also Little Egrets, Grey Heron, Cormorants, Yellow-legged and Black-Headed Gulls, a poorly-looking juvenile Flamingo and a lone individual of Mediterranean Gull. Birds of prey were few: mostly Kestrels, a couple of Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and a Hobby or two. But the most astonishing sight was a majestic male Fallow Deer going for a swim among the rolling waves until only its head was visible. We had good binocular and scope views, but unfortunately it was too far away for a photo or a video.

After a lunch of epic proportions we drove just inland to an area of fields criss-crossed by dirt tracks where the nicest sightings were an early Great Northern Shrike and a late Squacco Heron. Some of us also had fleeting views of one or two Red Avadavats. Also, in a grove near our hotel, a few Red-billed Leiothrix.

The next morning the group was booked for a private tour of a fenced-off part of the Migliarino - San Rossore Regional Park, a mix of wooded and flooded areas. The vegetation here was especially amazing, but the birdlife somewhat elusive. Species of note were a Crested Tit, probably the highlight of the trip (at least for us), Firecrest, Hobby and Song Thrush. We searched in vain for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker but had instead Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker. Also quite a few Damselflies, apparently (according to Jos ) Winter Damselflies and more Fallow Deer.

Driving back towards home we stopped at the Diaccia Botrona Ramsar site near Grosseto, not going into the wetland itself but just driving around the surrounding fields, which can host several species of birds of prey, and in winter Cranes and Geese. Actually it was pretty dead, although we did see an Osprey and also added Crested Lark to the list.
3Italianbirders is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 10:13   #2
rollingthunder
Registered User
 
rollingthunder's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: stourbridge west midlands
Posts: 4,237
Very nice little jaunt particularly the ‘lunch of epic proportions’

Laurie -
__________________
Chance favours the prepared mind
rollingthunder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 12:40   #3
Nutcracker
Stop Brexit!
 
Nutcracker's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 18,681
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Italianbirders View Post
... an early Great Northern Shrike and ...
Great Grey Shrike, since the split of Northern Shrike as a separate species!


Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Italianbirders View Post
... a Crested Tit, probably the highlight of the trip (at least for us),...
Is that a difficult bird in Italy? I've seen them around Lago Maggiore.
Nutcracker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 13:13   #4
3Italianbirders
Registered User
 
3Italianbirders's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tuscany - Italy
Posts: 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollingthunder View Post
Very nice little jaunt particularly the ‘lunch of epic proportions’
Actually, so was the dinner too!
3Italianbirders is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 13:16   #5
3Italianbirders
Registered User
 
3Italianbirders's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tuscany - Italy
Posts: 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
Is that a difficult bird in Italy? I've seen them around Lago Maggiore.
It's easier up north but expanding southwards. A few individuals have been recorded in southern Tuscany (where we live) too, but we haven't managed to see one here yet. We have hopes for our feeders since we have a pine copse at the back!
3Italianbirders is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 21:04   #6
Nutcracker
Stop Brexit!
 
Nutcracker's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 18,681
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Italianbirders View Post
It's easier up north but expanding southwards. A few individuals have been recorded in southern Tuscany (where we live) too, but we haven't managed to see one here yet. We have hopes for our feeders since we have a pine copse at the back!
Thanks! Hope you get one soon
Nutcracker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 07:07   #7
rollingthunder
Registered User
 
rollingthunder's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: stourbridge west midlands
Posts: 4,237
As you have the virtually undivided attention of our resident pedant i might as well chip in fwiw

You say ‘Pine copse’. A copse is an area of coppiced trees from the French ‘couper’ - to cut. Broadleaf trees and shrubs are cut to ground level on a rotation from 3-15 years the resulting regrowth yielding different dimensions of wood for a range of utilities. A common woodland management system in Northern France and the UK (what have the Normans ever done for us?) was the ‘coppice with standards system. Hazel was generally the coppiced shrub species with Oak as the standard. Oak was left in situ to grow on and then thinned per acre and Hazel plus the other species present were cut accordingly. The areas were known as ‘coops’. This system is still widely practiced particularly on woodland nature reserves. The material can be used for a range of products from hurdles to charcoal but either firewood or deadwood habitat is the most common. The upper brash is left in ‘windrows’ to provide temporary habitat until regrowth is established. The coops are usually a random plan of an acre here and there and the subsequent ‘patchwork’ effect ensures a range of lighting conditions prevail so as to link associated areas throughout the wood.

In a crowded country such as the UK where natural ‘scrub’ habitat is increasingly scarce the coppice habitat is a good substitute and indeed 5-8yo regrowth has been a favourite of our Nightingales for a long time. Locally in Worcestershire virtually all the returning Nightingales used this habitat and i have spent many hours over the years involved with training people to manage accordingly. Changing climate might favour the return of Nightingale to our area as despite favourable management they have declined as has our remaining Marsh Warblers. Elsewhere in optimum Nightingale continental and Mediterranean areas the species does not need this treatment and i suspect they also benefit from people not having the British ‘tidy’ mentality with every house having a strimmer!

I have only explained all this as ‘copse’ is technically a misused term and the actual etymology is more interesting. Pines do not regenerate in the same way as broadleaf species and people are merely referring to a collection or a group of trees

Laurie -
__________________
Chance favours the prepared mind
rollingthunder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 08:01   #8
3Italianbirders
Registered User
 
3Italianbirders's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tuscany - Italy
Posts: 262
of course I meant grove, or whatever you call a bunch of pine trees. Not a native speaker and got the two mixed up. We do have coppicing here too.
3Italianbirders is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 11th October 2019, 05:59   #9
rollingthunder
Registered User
 
rollingthunder's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: stourbridge west midlands
Posts: 4,237
Grove will suffice: a group or clump

I wasn’t being a pedant (i leave that to others) just taking an opportunity to explain the history behind the word.

Laurie -
__________________
Chance favours the prepared mind
rollingthunder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cat in Tuscany colincurry Mammals 3 Friday 6th September 2019 16:00
Northern Tuscany jaguar231 Bird Identification Q&A 3 Sunday 12th June 2011 09:04
Northern Spain weekend - El Paneron (Belchite), Los Monegros, Pyrenees 26-28/3-10 wolfbirder Vacational Trip Reports 8 Wednesday 31st March 2010 15:25
Info Wanted - Lucca and Northern Tuscany 21/04 to 25/04 bitterntwisted Italy 4 Sunday 10th May 2009 07:41
Hello from Tuscany Stana Say Hello 13 Saturday 26th January 2008 22:32

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.14357305 seconds with 23 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 06:59.