Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Discover the ZEISS Digital Nature Hub

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.

Abruzzo and Gran Sasso National Parks, Italy, July 2020

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Monday 3rd August 2020, 20:22   #1
3Italianbirders
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020
 
3Italianbirders's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tuscany - Italy
Posts: 684
Abruzzo and Gran Sasso National Parks, Italy, July 2020

We spent 5 days in Abruzzo, a region in central Italy with three National Parks and a couple of regional ones. It also happened to be one of the areas in Italy that had been less affected by the COVID pandemic and thus presumably safer, although we weren’t planning to spend a lot of time in crowded places.

We had one avian target, White-Backed Woodpecker, hopes for the two great carnivores that inhabit these parts: Wolf and Brown Bear, and also expected to see the resident alpine species, such as Snowfinch, Alpine Accentor etc. We stayed in a small town just outside the Gran Sasso National Park and travelled twice to the Abruzzo NP in the south of the region, spending the remaining three days in the Gran Sasso area, where the scenery is truly breathtaking.

To cut a long story short, we dipped on both carnivores, despite having detailed inside information and not for lack of effort (including dawn jaunts in recommended sites). In the hamlet of Gioia Vecchio, in the Abruzzo NP, we also met two French birders who had seen a pack of 7 wolves a few hours before in a place which is usually recommended for bears and where we spent a couple of hours on two different days, seeing (twice) the only Golden Eagle of the trip and the only Raven.

We did see White-backed Woodpecker at the third attempt, thanks to the detailed information received by several of our fellow EBN-Italy members who know the area well.

The first day we tried twice in the same beech wood on the border with Lazio, the next region to the west, but it was fairly empty although we did hear Bullfinch.

We returned the next day and tried instead a trail departing from the town of Pescasseroli, the “hub” of the NP, in a gorge with huge beech trees and meadows full of wildflowers. We walked for a while along an almost dry stream with puddles full of tadpoles, marvelling at the scenery, at the carpet of wild strawberries underfoot and at the abundant birdlife (Red-backed Shrike, Cirl Bunting, Nuthatch, various Tits, and a fantastic male Bullfinch found by the teenager, a first for me in Italy). We first heard a White-backed Woodpecker without managing to see it but then it flew across the trail as we were heading back. Tick! 3 happy birders grinning all the way back to the car.

Other interesting sightings in the Park were Yellowhammer, a delicacy for us, 4 Griffon Vultures, a few Honey Buzzards, and Crag Martins in the splendid Sagittarius Gorges.

The Gran Sasso NP is completely different, a majestic plateau snaking for kilometres between rocky peaks going up to 3000 m., the access roads climbing through a landscape of grassy hillocks with mind-blowing views opening here and there.

The prize bird here was Snowfinch, with a few pairs nesting at the end of the road at 2000 metres around the ski station and the observatory buildings. Here we saw also Water Pipit, Wheatear (together with Red-backed Shrike probably the most abundant species of the trip), Black Redstart, House Martins (!) and White Wagtail. Along the plateau lots of Skylarks Linnets and Quail (which we also saw - it must have been 20 years since I had seen one!), more Wheatears and a large flock of Red-billed Choughs. Here we also had a couple of flyover Alpine Accentors.

Along the access roads and various tracks, the only interesting mammal of the trip, a Weasel, then more Wheatears, Red-backed Shrike, Yellowhammer, Rock Sparrow, Hoopoe, Cuckoo, brief views of Alpine Accentor, an unexpected Marsh Harrier, Kestrels, Sparrowhawk and, on the last day, a few Rock Buntings, which were a good way to end our brief holiday.

Unfortunately we dipped on Rock Thrush, despite looking in all the right places and again, not for lack of effort on our part: one reason to go back!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Averla-piccola.jpg
Views:	26
Size:	524.1 KB
ID:	733651  Click image for larger version

Name:	Culbianco.jpg
Views:	27
Size:	619.6 KB
ID:	733652  Click image for larger version

Name:	Zigolo-giallo.jpg
Views:	27
Size:	318.3 KB
ID:	733653  

Last edited by 3Italianbirders : Monday 3rd August 2020 at 20:27.
3Italianbirders is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 3rd August 2020, 20:24   #2
3Italianbirders
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020
 
3Italianbirders's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tuscany - Italy
Posts: 684
Snowfinch galore!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Fringuello-Alpino-1.jpg
Views:	30
Size:	569.7 KB
ID:	733654  Click image for larger version

Name:	Fringuello-Alpino-2.jpg
Views:	26
Size:	590.2 KB
ID:	733655  Click image for larger version

Name:	Fringuello-Alpino-3.jpg
Views:	17
Size:	379.5 KB
ID:	733656  Click image for larger version

Name:	Fringuello-Alpino-4.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	437.3 KB
ID:	733657  Click image for larger version

Name:	Fringuello-Alpino-5.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	637.6 KB
ID:	733659  

3Italianbirders is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 3rd August 2020, 20:25   #3
3Italianbirders
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020
 
3Italianbirders's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tuscany - Italy
Posts: 684
The full checklist:

1. Cormorant
2. Grey Heron
3. Great White Egret
4. Little Egret
5. Mallard
6. Honey Buzzard
7. Black Kite
8. Griffon Vulture
9. Marsh Harrier
10. Sparrowhawk
11. Buzzard
12. Golden Eagle
13. Kestrel
14. Hobby
15. Peregrine Falcon
16. Pheasant
17. Quail
18. Moorhen
19. Coot
20. Yellow-legged Gull
21. Woodpigeon
22. Collared Dove
23. Turtle Dove
24. Cuckoo
25. Scops Owl
26. Swift
27. Hoopoe
28. Green Woodpecker
29. Great Spotted Woodpecker
30. White-backed Woodpecker
31. Woodlark
32. Skylark
33. Crag Martin
34. Swallow
35. House Martin
36. Tawny Pipit
37. Water Pipit
38. White Wagtail
39. Grey Wagtail
40. Wren
41. Alpine Accentor
42. Robin
43. Nightingale
44. Black Redstart
45. Common Redstart
46. Stonechat
47. Northern Wheatear
48. Blackbird
49. Mistle Thrush
50. Zitting Cisticola
51. Whitethroat
52. Blackcap
53. Bonelli’s Warbler
54. Chiffchaff
55. Coal Tit
56. Blue Tit
57. Great Tit
58. Nuthatch
59. Red-backed Shrike
60. Jay
61. Magpie
62. Red-billed Chough
63. Hooded Crow
64. Raven
65. Starling
66. Italian Sparrow
67. Rock Sparrow
68. Snowfinch
69. Chaffinch
70. Serin
71. Greenfinch
72. Goldfinch
73. Linnet
74. Bullfinch
75. Yellowhammer
76. Rock Bunting
77. Cirl Bunting
78. Corn Bunting
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Fanello.jpg
Views:	16
Size:	685.9 KB
ID:	733660  Click image for larger version

Name:	Gracchio-Cor.jpg
Views:	22
Size:	388.0 KB
ID:	733661  Click image for larger version

Name:	Passera-lagia.jpg
Views:	18
Size:	683.4 KB
ID:	733662  Click image for larger version

Name:	Spioncello.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	571.9 KB
ID:	733663  Click image for larger version

Name:	Zigolo-muciatto.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	670.7 KB
ID:	733664  

3Italianbirders is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 11:16   #4
MKinHK
Mike Kilburn
 
MKinHK's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 4,693
Sounds like a nice trip but I’m surprised at the low diversity of warblers.
__________________
Hong Kong:Kloss's Warbler, Chinese Barbet, Common Cuckoo (481)
Greater China: Glossy Ibis, Japanese Night Heron, Kloss's Warbler (976)
Lifer: Cackling Goose, Ridgeway's Rail, Kloss's Warbler
MKinHK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 13:46   #5
Jos Stratford
Beast from the East
 
Jos Stratford's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Exile in Eastern Europe
Posts: 16,691
Nice locality, and very nice photos of Snow Finch 👍
__________________
For photographs and articles, Lithuania and beyond, click here for my website
Jos Stratford is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 2009 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 19:35   #6
3Italianbirders
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020
 
3Italianbirders's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tuscany - Italy
Posts: 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKinHK View Post
Sounds like a nice trip but I’m surprised at the low diversity of warblers.
I hadn't thought about it, but probably we didn't really visit suitable habitats, especially in the Gran Sasso area. Had we spent more time in the Abruzzo NP we might have added a couple of species: the French birders we met had seen Subalpine Warbler in the next valley.

I should probably add a few landscape pics!
3Italianbirders is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 20:01   #7
foresttwitcher
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: The Chilterns
Posts: 2,029
Nice trip and photos. Looking forward to the landscape pictures. I like the idea of a visit to Abruzzo.
__________________
Pete.

Can't see the birds for the trees!
foresttwitcher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 20:34   #8
opisska
Jan Ebr
 
opisska's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Warszawa
Posts: 1,985
So that's where you went after all! My friend has been in Gran Sasso area and his photos were stunning, so that must have been great. I always thought that eventually there will be a chance to visit with work (considering the huge particle research lab in the Gran Sasso massive itself) but it never happened.

The snowfinches on flowering meadow are simply outrageous :)
__________________
Birds: world 2170, WP 565, gWP 602, bird photos | Mammals: 260, mammal photos | Herps: 110, herp photos
opisska is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 5th August 2020, 08:07   #9
3Italianbirders
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020
 
3Italianbirders's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tuscany - Italy
Posts: 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by opisska View Post
So that's where you went after all! My friend has been in Gran Sasso area and his photos were stunning, so that must have been great. I always thought that eventually there will be a chance to visit with work (considering the huge particle research lab in the Gran Sasso massive itself) but it never happened.

The snowfinches on flowering meadow are simply outrageous :)
Jan, I hope you get to go! I think the lab is practically underneath the Snowfinches . And if you go let me know and I can provide some info on off the beaten track places to bird.

And I promise to post landscape pics asap!
3Italianbirders is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 5th August 2020, 08:57   #10
3Italianbirders
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020
 
3Italianbirders's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tuscany - Italy
Posts: 684
1) the valley of the wolves (which we didn't see) in the Gran Sasso area
2) the plateau at Campo Imperatore, Gran Sasso NP
3) Looking for White-backed Woodpecker in Abruzzo NP
4) More of the same
5) The enchanted forest near Pescasseroli, Abruzzo NP
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	gran-sasso1.jpg
Views:	23
Size:	671.3 KB
ID:	733750  Click image for larger version

Name:	gran-sasso2.jpg
Views:	27
Size:	624.4 KB
ID:	733751  Click image for larger version

Name:	abruzzo1.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	720.7 KB
ID:	733752  Click image for larger version

Name:	abruzzo2.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	810.8 KB
ID:	733753  Click image for larger version

Name:	abruzzo3.jpg
Views:	24
Size:	1.08 MB
ID:	733754  

3Italianbirders is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 5th August 2020, 09:00   #11
3Italianbirders
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020
 
3Italianbirders's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tuscany - Italy
Posts: 684
1 to 4: views from the approach roads to Campo Imperatore in the Gran Sasso NP
5) another view of the plateau
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	gran-sasso3.jpg
Views:	14
Size:	654.4 KB
ID:	733755  Click image for larger version

Name:	gran-sasso4.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	518.2 KB
ID:	733756  Click image for larger version

Name:	gran-sasso5.jpg
Views:	15
Size:	765.6 KB
ID:	733757  Click image for larger version

Name:	gran-sasso6.jpg
Views:	12
Size:	509.0 KB
ID:	733758  Click image for larger version

Name:	gran-sasso7.jpg
Views:	18
Size:	498.2 KB
ID:	733759  

3Italianbirders is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 5th August 2020, 09:02   #12
Dutchbirder64
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Almere, The Netherlands
Posts: 33
Great photos of the scenery.
Dutchbirder64 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 5th August 2020, 21:19   #13
foresttwitcher
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: The Chilterns
Posts: 2,029
Stunning landscapes, thanks for posting.
__________________
Pete.

Can't see the birds for the trees!
foresttwitcher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 5th August 2020, 21:48   #14
Torview
Registered User
 
Torview's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dartmoor.
Posts: 2,354
Great photo`s, really taken me back, I was there in 2006, really enjoyed Campo Imperatore seeing Golden Eagle after climbing out of Castel Del Monte, was in Pescasseroli in a thunder storm.
Torview is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 6th August 2020, 14:55   #15
wolfbirder
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Wolverhampton
Posts: 6,999
Looks a stunning place!
__________________
Nick Moss
Favourite birds:- Pallid Harrier, Hen Harrier, Monty, Gyr, Great Grey Owl, Snowy Owl, Wryneck, Blue-Cheeked Bee-eater, Sib Rubythroat, Firecrest, Nightjars, Hawfinch, Bearded Tit, Smew, Divers, Pom Skua, Warblers especially colourful American ones.
wolfbirder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 6th August 2020, 15:49   #16
3Italianbirders
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020
 
3Italianbirders's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tuscany - Italy
Posts: 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torview View Post
Great photo`s, really taken me back, I was there in 2006, really enjoyed Campo Imperatore seeing Golden Eagle after climbing out of Castel Del Monte, was in Pescasseroli in a thunder storm.
ha! We got a thunderstorm in Pescasseroli too! You can see the storm clouds gathering in the 4th photo.
3Italianbirders is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

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
Raptor ID, Abruzzo, Italy CreamyGoodness Bird Identification Q&A 4 Saturday 5th October 2013 13:46
RFI - Abruzzo National Park, Italy VC65_Birder Italy 12 Sunday 6th June 2010 14:59
Brown Bears in Abruzzo National Park, Italy VC65_Birder Vacational Trip Reports 0 Monday 31st May 2010 17:07
Finding Bears and Wolves in Abruzzo, Italy VC65_Birder Mammals 0 Sunday 21st February 2010 21:00
IDs - Abruzzo National Park, Italy John Fordham Bird Identification Q&A 9 Sunday 1st July 2007 09:00

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.13383794 seconds with 30 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 07:22.