Friday, April 15, 2011

Corsica trip

After arriving a day late to changeable weather it wasnt the greatest of starts.
Read a few trip reports before going, a couple of which were rather negative regarding the weather and locals so we were certainly a bit apprehensive when it also rained quite a bit the next day. However the next 5 days were glorious sunshine, stunning scenery and great birds.
We based ourselves in Corte in the middle of the island and more pertinently in the middle of the best birding area. Despite this still managed to notch up 1100km in the 6 days, and we are not talking motorway miles here! Most of the driving was not for the feint hearted with narrow roads, hairpin bends every few yards, overhanging rocks and steep drops. Not to mention the local drivers who come at you in the middle of the road and have a very blase attitude to over- taking with oncoming traffic and approaching bends not a problem.

Birding started as soon as we had found our Villa with around 35 Alpine Swifts swirling around quite overhead with 5 Crag Martins and a small group of Corsican Citril Finches feeding nearby on some rough ground. Early evening heard a Scops Owl singing.

Next morning a couple of Wrynecks were singing and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was hanging around. These birds are of the island race parroti with a rusty coloured staining. Also the red vent area is supposed to be a bit more saturated.

The predicted rain soon came and so we headed for the coast in the hope of some better weather. This didnt really materialise but as it was our first day and it was all rather new it didnt dampen our spirits, particularly when I spotted an adult male Red-footed Falcon sitting out the rain on a roadside wire.

Was off as soon as we slowed the car down.

All the Crows are Hooded in these here parts

Bedraggled Cattle Egret at Lake Biguglia

Local irbii Long-tailed Tits with a grey back and more extensive black on head making the crown stripe quite thin.

It did brighten up a bit later and there were a fair few migrants kicking about