Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Tuscan treasures

A city break to Florence and Pisa was not without wildlife interest. Plus it rained heavily on Sunday afternoon and through the night causing the Arno to rise dramatically.

The first birds we saw on arrival were swifts but with the dull conditions id was a bit tricky. On call and flight they seemed to be more like Pallid to me. In the sun a couple of days later some were definitely Pallid Swifts but I still think there may have been Common Swifts present as well.

The Arno held Little Egrets, Gery Herons, Mallard, Black-headed and Yellow-legged Gulls, White Wagtail, Hooded Crows, Kingfishers, Starlings, Moorhen, increasing numbers of House Martins and Swallows and at least one Common Sandpiper.

In the town Serins were very common, especially around parks, Feral Pigeons, Italian Sparrows, Blackbirds and Blackcaps were the other common birds. A Peregrine flew in to perch just below us when we were on the top of the Campanile.

In and around the Boboli Gardens and Piazalle Michalangelo areas were Redstarts, Sandinian Warblers, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jackdaw, Robin, Firecrest, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Short-toed Treecreeper, Woodpigeon, Kestrel, Great Spotted Woodpecker and surprising numbers of Nuthatches. Pheasant and Green Woodpecker were heard from the surrounding countryside.

Butterflies included Swallowtail, Cleopatra, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and unidentified whites. Many Italian Wall Lizards were basking on the hedgerows in the Boboli Gardens, while smaller numbers of Common Wall Lizards tended to be on the ground or other bare surfaces. Two Egyptian Grasshoppers were also a treat.

Italian Wall Lizard Podarcis sicula

Common Wall Lizard Podarcis muralis

Egyptian Grasshopper Anacridium aegyptium

Italian Sparrow Passer (domesticus) italiae

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Serin Serinus serinus

Canon Powershot SX10

1 comment:

kirstallcreatures said...

Great pics of the lizards, Linda