Tour At A Glance

Cost:

1399.00

Deposit:

400.00

Single Room Supplement:

100.00

Tour Code:

Fairly relaxed with occasional early starts and late finishes. The slopes of Mount Etna are steep, uneven and vary from hard lava to loose shingle. We do not approach the summit but may get to 2000 metres elevation.

Group Size:

Seven Plus leader

Woodchat Shrike European Serin

Sicily - Spring Migration

Date: Tour not currently operating
Leaders: Paul Roberts

Itinerary

 

DAY ONE
Fly UK/Catania and make the two hour transfer to Siracusa. Our flight schedule should allow us to bird en route for Crested and Greater Short-toed Larks, Stone Curlew, Spotless Starling and Black-eared Wheatear on the grasslands of the Magnisi Peninsola, while the salt pans could hold migrant Curlew Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Green and Wood Sandpipers, along with Little and Sandwich Terns and resident species such as Slender-billed Gull, Water Rail and Black-winged Stilt. Hopefully, we will also have time to become acquainted with the grounds of our accommodation.
 
DAYS TWO - SIX
We will fully explore the best birding locations in the south and south east of the island, taking in such sites as Maddalena Peninsola – an area of dense vegetation, the Golfo di Siracusa and the migrant trap of the Capo Murro di Porco. We will almost certainly return to the most productive sites on more than one occasion. Passerines such as Pied and Collared Flycatchers, Whinchat, Wood, Sardinian, Subalpine, Spectacled, Great Reed, Moustached and Icterine Warblers, Penduline Tit, Yellow Wagtail, Tawny and Red-throated Pipits, Common Nightingale, Isabelline, Black-eared and Northern Wheatears are sure to catch the attention of newly arrived Woodchat Shrikes, while offshore, Audouin’s, Mediterranean and Yellow-legged Gulls should be present and both Yelkouan and Scopoli’s Shearwaters could be present. Waterbirds such as Squacco, Purple and Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Bittern, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, should all be present, while raptors could include Osprey, Montagu’s and perhaps even Pallid Harriers. On one day, we will take a trip inland to Cava Grande degli Iblei otherwise known as the Italian Grand Canyon, where we hope to find Sicilian Rock Partridge, Lanner, Blue Rock Thrush, Tree and Rock Sparrows, Red-rumped Swallow and Zitting Cisticola, while parties of Alpine, Pallid and Common Swifts wheel overhead and Common Ravens soar over the chasm.  All this and a wide array of wildflowers too. One thing is for sure, it will be exciting to see what each day brings.
 
DAY SEVEN
Today, we venture further afield and enjoy a visit to the base of Europe’s highest volcano Mount Etna, which can be seen for many miles away. The cone sits at 3,329 metres, making for a spectacular and immense backdrop to our birding in this area. We will try again here for the incredibly wary and difficult to find Sicilian Rock Partridge, as well as the local races of Common Crossbill and Long-tailed Tit. Firecrest, Short-toed Treecreeper, Common Nuthatch, Cirl Bunting and Golden Oriole may also be present in the dense oak woods and scrub, while overhead we will keep a look out for soaring Common Buzzard, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel, Golden Eagle and Lanner.
 
DAY EIGHT
If time permits, we will do some local birding around Siracusa or visit the ancient town of Ortigia – a UNESCO World Heritage Site before transferring back to Catania for our onward flight to the UK, where the tour will conclude.

 

 

Additional Information

 

WHATS INCLUDED
Return flights London/Catania, seven nights’ accommodation, meals from dinner on day one to breakfast on final day, transport, services of leaders and reserve entrance fees.
 
NOT INCLUDED
Travel to/from London airport and any overnight stay that might be involved, travel insurance, drinks, gratuities and any items of a purely personal nature.

 

 

Tour Reports

 

2013

 

Testimonials

 

" We both really enjoyed the holiday. The accommodation and food were excellent, the birding produced several lifers and the wild flowers on the road verges and butterflies were also fantastic to see. The group size was perfect and the trip was certainly value for money too" S E & A L St Albans.

 

 

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