Spanish Sparrows

To: "'robert morris'" <>, "'M. Hunter'" <>
Subject: Spanish Sparrows
From: "Dick Jenkin" <>
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2014 12:16:23 +1000
Hi Michael and Rob

Yellow-legged Gulls were everywhere in Sardinia and Rome and Venice.

We also spent 4 days on San Pietro Island just off the south west coast of
Sardinia and saw a few Black-headed Gulls, 32 Slender-billed Gulls , but the
absolute highlight was seeing a lone Audouin's Gull as we circumnavigated
the island on an old lugger. Where we moored beneath some cliffs for a swim
and lunch there were about 12 Eleonora's Falcon hawking out from the cliffs.
Continuing on around the island  we came across 5 in total Mediterranean
(Yelkouan) Shearwaters as well. Not sure if this is the current correct
taxonomy for this species?

Dick Jenkin

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
robert morris
Sent: Sunday, 15 June 2014 7:57 AM
To: M. Hunter
Subject: Spanish Sparrows


You should check the swifts as Pallid swift also breeds all over Sicily.

Re. sparrows - there are 2 breeding taxa Italian and Spanish. There are
c3-400,000 pairs in Italy mainly on Sardinia and Sicily.

So you're probably seeing both Spanish and Italian Sparrows. Your seagulls
are probably yellow-legged but you may get the odd black-headed &

Rob Morris
Sent from my iPad

> On 15 Jun 2014, at 6:48, "M. Hunter" <> wrote:
> Hi All, particularly Mediterranean birdos.
> We are on a trip to Sicily, birding has been very incidental, and what 
> birds there are are generally very shy, although Swifts, my all time 
> favourite European bird, are a till screaming and streaming around the 
> cities in large numbers, otherwise House Sparrows, European Starlings, 
> domestic pigeons, Wood Pigeons some doves, Greenfinches and 
> Goldfinches, occasional Buzzards and Kestrels,  Jackdaws at the 
> ancient temples, the odd Seagull and tern
> However, our travels took us to an isolated building called Castello di
Donnafugata in south-eastern Sicily, near Ragusa, and it has been colonised
by large numbers of very noisy Sparrows, which looked extremely similar to
the Spanish Sparrows we once chased up in Northern Spain, large, big bills,
brown crowns, different plumage pattern on the back, sounded like noisy
House Sparrows. Distinctly different from the still common House Sparrows in
Sicilian towns.
> Is there a known population of Spanish Sparrows at Donnafugata, did I see
Spanish sparrows, how did they get there,etc?
>                            Cheers
>                                   Michael

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