Sunday, April 24, 2011

Corsica Day 4 Restonica Valley

Had another go at trying to photograph the skittish Citril Finches around the Villa

One of a few Italian Sparrows hanging around the farm buildings. Surprisingly shy birds, not allowing close approach and when this occured they flew quite a way into the middle of a dense tree and hid.

Off to the famous Restonica Valley today. On the way up there was more of those peachy Woodpeckers

Because of the mild winter we were able to get up to the main car park. From here it was a very rocky footpath including some clambering to get further up to the snowline.
About half way up we were entertained by some local Alpine Choughs.

Did some scanning for Alpine Accentor and Rock Thrush but with no joy

There were a few Water Pipits about

All of the Robins so far on this trip had been very elusive, nothing like the birds at home. Apart from this one which had obviously become habituated to people on this the most popular walk in Corsica.
It must have also been one of the highest, hanging around the snowline at over 5000 feet.

These birds come by the scientific name of E. r. sardus apparently with a slightly more saturated breast colour which wasnt obvious on this bird

Back down the valley this Coal Tit was showing well. These are also a sardus based on the nominate ater but with a less grey more buff brown flank. Also more extensive black on head area producing a thinner head/nape stripe

Decided to drive to L'lle-Rousse on the coast. Spotted this badius (without the primary patch) Woodchat Shrike on the way, the only one of the trip. Also sometimes called Balearic Woodchat Shrike being present also on the Balearic Islands but I expect if you looked closely enough you could probably make a case for racially differentiating the Corsican and Sardinian birds!

Hooded Crows much more confiding at L'lle-Rousse

Another thought, if you dont mind driving on narrow and bendy roads (though there are a few largers straighter ones) Corsica is certainly an amazingly diverse place. We went from high alpine to very hot and dry conditions complete with Cacti to sandy beaches and rocky coastlines in half a day.