December 2009

Observation in December yielded a large variety (12 species) of water birds. The most numerous were the coots and wigeons, with 2,152 and 512 observed respectively. There was also a significant presence of two species of swan, the mute and the whooper.

The most notable observations of water birds involved a ferruginous duck and two pygmy cormorants, both species threatened with global extinction.

The four species of heron seen in October were also here in December, indicating the suitability of the Sani wetlands for this particular type of bird. It was significant that the bittern was relatively easily seen, despite its retiring nature.

Nine different species of raptor were observed. Most of them were fairly easily found and could be observed from close up. The most important sightings were of an eagle owl, the largest nocturnal raptor, in the pine forest, and an adult long-legged buzzard.

It was among sea birds that perhaps the fewest species and smallest populations were observed. Nevertheless, sightings of the black-throated diver were quite frequent, in the sea and at a short distance from the shore.

A significant variety of passerines was observed.

The rich mosaic of habitats to be found in the wetland (pine forest alternating with areas of water and marsh or reeds, land planted with grain, olive trees) provides suitable conditions for a significant number of different species. For example, in the reeds we often find the moustached warbler and the reed bunting; among the pine trees flocks of blue tits and coal tits, as well as firecrests, and in the cultivated areas corn buntings and a flock of stock doves.

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