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NW Sicily - April 2019 advice (1 Viewer)


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I'm planning a 2-week trip to Sicily in early/mid-April, staying in the north-west close to Trapani. Family trip so will mostly be opportunistic/casual birding from the villa garden and trips out to coast and archaeological sites.

Have scoured the web for trip reports, papers etc but just wondered if anyone had any general advice on:

Birds of the general countryside - habitat around potential villas is mostly olive groves, small-scale agriculture and grassland/herbage - what would one expect on a day-to-day basis in the open countryside?

Any key spots in the NW for more (my personal) sought-after species e.g. Calandra lark, Short-toed lark, Moltoni's warbler, Rock partridge, Lanner?

Any other general advice most welcome! Cheers!
I have been to Trapani twice, I don't remember the open countryside birding being that great though I did see Lanner from your list of wants. The saltpans are well worth a look.
you can get in touch with the EBN Italy Sicilian group. Here:
scroll down to the bottom of the table listing the various regional groups until you find Sicilia Birdwatching. Right-click on the name at the right and you will see the contact address for the group. They don't have their own website, although there might be something on FB.
The saltpans are a must and I also recommend the Zingaro reserve.
We went in June so it was too hot for serious birdwatching, but the place itself is stunning and we had been told there was a chance of Bonelli's Eagle (which we didn't see). Very good for Mediterranean maquis passerines, also Peregrine, maybe Lanner. You could also do a bit of seawatching.
Unfortunately the website is in Italian only, but both Rock Partridge and Bonelli's Eagle are listed as a possibility.
BTW don't ask the group for Lanner sites as they won't tell you. Unfortunately Lanner numbers are crashing throughout Italy (although Sicily is faring better than other places) and the sites are obviously kept secret. Some of them are also watched by volunteers 24/7 during the breeding season to try and prevent egg/chick "predation" by falconers.
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