Mediterranean raptor watching opportunity

To: "michael hunter" <>, "Hugo Phillipps" <>
Subject: Mediterranean raptor watching opportunity
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 09:46:50 +1100
At 12:39 PM +1100 27/2/01, michael hunter wrote:
Thanks for this information Hugo,
                                                  Until now I was under the
impression  that there are no birds at all in Italy, they having been shot,
trapped or otherwise captured and eaten, and apart from in the Alps, have
never noticed any birds on several passages through that country.
                                                   Is it true that Italy is
the only country in the world not to have organised bird tours because there
are none to see?

Gee Michael, I must have gone on the only bird tour in Italy last
year! But we, also found that birds weren't all that great in the
places we visited in Italy. One morning early my husband, James, went
for a stroll, and returned saying that there was a group of people
gathering near a boat, and that they all had binoculars, and let's go
and see what they're going to do. It was a boat outing organised by
LIFU (Like Birds Australia), and they were going out on the Lago del
Massaciuccoli to look at birds. We spontaneously paid for a couple of
seats, and we were even assigned an interpreter for the morning. The
interpreter sat by us as we listened to the introductory dissertation
in baffling Italian with instant translation. The young man, Marco,
was in our terms a conscript, but in Italy they can elect to do
non-military community work. Marco applied for environmental work,
and was spending a year as the dogsbody at the LIFU centre at Lago
del  Massaciuccoli. He was having a great time, and, happily, spoke
English beautifully.  He also happened to be teaching computer skills
in his spare time to the granddaughter of Puccini, who lived nearby.
I was in heaven hearing all his Puccini tales.

The reedy lake is partially a reserve, and is significant for
migrating birds. Marco told us that Italy has a dreadful track record
with birds, but we already knew that. There were quite a few of birds
on the lake, but we didn't see any of the so-called target species
that day.

Actually, in our two months in Europe last year we had the feeling
that the noose is tightening for birds, and whenever we sought help
in finding birds, people kept sending us to reserves. Birding outside
reserves wasn't great. Mind you, it was March and April, perhaps a
bit early for some species.


Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Qld
26º 51'    152º 56'

Ph (07) 5494 0994
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