Friday, 19 June 2015
Sicily Holiday: Birds, beasties & Montalbano's Sicily
A trip to Day 1: At the airport, several, 5 Italian Sparrows seen under the eaves of the airport building. On the Coach trip transfer from Catania airport just outside Catania industrial works on the edge of town was a big marshy area on one of the pylons was a massive nest complete with 2 White Storks standing atop. At the Eureka Palace hotel from walking from the coach to an ornate rectangular marbled pool of water, a Red- veined Darter perched on the marble surface. A coach stop at a service station revealed 2 Painted Ladies posing well on some ornate bushes. Walking out later outside the entrance gates was a portico, perched on the sunny leafy area was a male Italian Wall Lizard. Walking around the grounds a Marbled White seen briefly on a bush plus a Painted Lady butterfly. In the evening overlooking a horse race track we saw many c30 Spotless Starling fly into the stands roof plus several Swallows and a Red- rumped Swallow fly past too. Several, 8 Serins seen and especially heard around the pines of the hotel perimeter fence and 1 or 2 singing from bushes in the large car park beyond. Day 2: Before breakfast, a Fox seen on the racetrack. At Syracuse ancient Greco site by the theatre, a lighting rig revealed a male Italian Sparrow. In the historic baroque town of Noto, many screaming Swifts flew overhead. In the evening at the Hotel, the Italian Wall Lizard was seen again plus 2 other seen too. After dark 4 Moorish Geckos were seen by the entrance gate on the walls and the lighted tops, one posed briefly for the camera before scuttling off. A White Wagtail seen on the roof of the hotel Day 3: before breakfast, 2 Fox seen on the racetrack. A visit to the former fishing village of Marzamemi, on the outskirts, a marsh revealed 8 Black- winged Stilts, a fishing Common Tern and flying in over the harbour was a fine Caspian Tern that with big red bill flew right overhead and inland. Finally in the harbour a fine Auduouin's Gull flew around and dived and retrieved discarded fish from fishermen throwing away discarded fish scraps from their morning's catch. The "barn" in the village was a scene filmed for the "Inspector Montalbano" series.