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Sunday, 30 May 2010

Corsican Places

We have just returned from a successful holiday to Corsica. There were many avian and wildlife highlights. Top priority were the two endemic birds; Corsican Nuthatch and Corsican Citril Finch which were seen on a track off the Col de Sorba Allepo Pine woods and were seen without too much difficulty. As I walked along a track an unfamiliar green-grey bird flew up from a puddle and perched in a nearby Pine, this was the Corsican Citril Finch and 200 yards along the track near a clearing, I tape lured (but only playing the calls 3X) a pair of excellent Corscian Nuthatches who flew in I first saw the female and then the male responded with harsh calls and soon settled unperturbed they fed in the Pines directly in front of me. A further 2 pairs of Corsican Nuthatch were seen further along the track plus a solitary male which showed well. The "chup" calls of Corsican Crossbills eventually revealed one of their number perched in a pine.
On the hill opposite the "Le Chalet" restaurant a Jay, a pale Buzzard seen perched plus 4 splendid Bee-eater flew overhead. Plants seen included a Pink Butterfly orchid and several Green- Winged Orchids, all just past their best.
The next day a trip up the picturesque Restonica Valley, recalled scenery of the High Alps or the Pyrenees. 5 Corsican Citril Finches flew off as wwe parked the car. A difficult hour and a half hike (with Water Pipit and several Lizards seen on the way up) up to the top up to 1,500 feet up in thin air and having to shin up metal ladders skirting a sheer drop of 36 foot cliff face and clinging on to metal chains eventually saw me walking over to the very scenic Lac De Milo with a backdrop of distant mountains and snow. Up to 40 very tame Alpine Chough flew in and virtually fed from my hand! Amazing!

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