Thursday, September 23, 2004

More than 20.000 Medgulls presently in the Po Delta

Hi all. Yesterday morning 22 august 2004 there were about 20.000 Mediterranenan Gulls in the Scardovary bay, Po Delta, NE Italy (counted by Adriano Talamelli, Alessio Farioli and Menotti Passarella). Many of them were unringed, so we suspect they are coming from the eastern populations. Minor numbers are present in both the salinas of the Delta, Cervia and Comacchio, spending the night there. Yesterday night a Mediterranean Gull with a black ring was caught during ringing activities at the Comacchio salina; it had been ringed as chick in 2002 in Ukraine with black ring and an Italian metal ring. During checking activities the black ring fall down broken, so a new blue one had been put . This recovery would confirm the eastern origin of the Medgulls wich are present with so huge numbers in the Po Delta for the first time. Normally good numbers of birds are typic for the month of August, while in September they are dramatically decreased and in winter there are only few birds.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Baltic Gull (or something similar) in the Po Delta ?





This gull in juvenile plumage was photographed in the Goro fishing harbour, Po Delta, NE Italy, on 17 August 2004. It was standing being smaller and paler than the other juvenile gulls present there, which were all Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis. The fourth picture shows at left a first summer moulting to second winter Yellow-legged Gull ringed in Italy as chick, and at right the mystery gull.
Is it simply a small and pale Yellow-legged Gull or something other ?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Earl Hartig's Moth ranging only in S Italy

The European Owl Moth or European Brahmin (Acanthobrahmaea europea) lives in Europe only in S Italy, and more precisely in Vulture, Lucania. It was discovered in 1963 by Fred Hartig. Its caterpillar eats esclusively phillyrea, ash-tree or liguster leaves. A nature reserve to protect this extremely rare moth was established in 1971, the first example in Italy of an area for the protection of a butterfly.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Collared Dove in danger in Italy !

Just before to go to holiday, the deputies of our Regional Assembly deliberated to add, for the first time in Italy, the Collared Dove to the list of the game birds to bag in the Emilia-Romagna region, NE Italy, while Italian Sparrow, Tree Sparrow and Starling were add to the list in the same way. A serious threat to the former species is to be expected since people considered so far the Turtles as 'domestic' birds, feeding them largely in the main town of the region. As a consequence, it will be so easy to kill by hunters huge numbers of them in the surroundings of towns and villages. The new law permits to kill, starting from 1st September, 50 Turtle Doves for each Italian hunters !
The same public body is among the co-financers of the Po Delta Birdwatching Fair, the second edition of which is to be held in 2005:
Why not remember to the deputies that is a nonsense to promote a birdwatching fair and contemporarily to permit to kill unarmed birds ? The following is a list of emails of the deputies that voted to permit the slaughter, please feel free to write them all you want !,,,,,,,,,,,

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

An American straggler in Venice


From 13 February to 19 March 2004 an adult winter moulting to adult summer Ring-billed Gull, second for Italy if accepted, was observed and photographed by Stefano Castelli (the founder) and other italian birders not far from Saint Mark's Square, the very heart of Venice, the Italian town beloved by Americans (web-footed or not !). Ring-billed Gull is very rare as vagrant in the Mediterranean.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Flamingo chicks before the ringing; Po Delta, 2002.

The population of Flamingos in the Mediterranean, has increased recently, especially in Spain and Italy. However, the Flamingo is still a sensitive and vulnerable species since it only breeds at a very limited number of sites. Also, breeding success is very variable and is closely dependent on the type of ground they choose, climatic conditions, and the impact of terrestrial predators and disturbance. Flamingo chicks are regularly ringed with alphanumerically coded colour rings legible from un to 300m away.

Ringing Flamingos in the Po Delta (women team)

The Comacchio salina is a shallow, hypersaline lake inside the Comacchio lagoon, Po Delta, NE Italy. It is of great importance as a breeding area for many species of waterfowl, notably Flamingos, Spoonbills, Shelducks, Avocets, Black-winged Stilt, Slender-billed Gulls, Little Terns, Sandwich Terns and Lessere Crested Terns. The salina is protected as a Regional Park and Ramsar Site. Flamingos start to breed in NE Italy in 2000, when a small colony was found in the Comacchio salina, Po Delta. Since then, chicks have been color-ringed, with a total of 1120 so far (66 birds were ringed in 2000, 116 in 2001, 346 in 2002, 195 in 2003 and 397 this month.)

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Red-footed Falcons in the Po Valley

Red-footed Falcons colonized recently N Italy and now they are breeding in the Po Valley, from the surroundings of Parma to the Po Delta, where their presence favoured also the recent breeding record of Lesser Kestrel too. The Falcons breed on trees, using nest abandoned by Magpies or Crows; the photo shows 2 young birds in a nest on an electric pylon (courtesy of Michele Mendi from Parma).

Lesser Crested Tern breeding in Italy

It breeds in subtropical coastal parts of the world mainly from the Red Sea across the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific, and Australia, with a significant population on the southern coast of the Mediterranean. The Australian birds are probably sedentary, but other populations are migratory, wintering south to South Africa. The Mediterranean birds move west in autumn, and are very rare vagrants to Europe, although this species has bred in pure or mixed pairs (with Sandwich Tern) in Italy, Spain and England. This is a large-medium tern, but it is the smallest of the yellow-billed crested terns. It most resembles Crested Tern. In Great Britain, France and the Netherlands, it has also been confused with Elegant Tern, both species being extreme rarities in these countries. This is a powerful tern, similar in size and general appearance to a Sandwich Tern. Its long sharp bill is orange, while its upperwings are grey and its underparts white. The summer adult has a black cap, and black legs. There are two other yellow-billed terns within the range of this species. Royal Tern in Africa is much larger, and has a white rump and tail. Crested Tern in the Indian and Pacific Oceans is darker and has a more robust cold yellow bill.

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