My “Big year 2018” in Veneto and Italy

In the 2018 I took part to the national Big Year of Italy and to the regional Big Year of Veneto, the Italian region where I live. A Big Year is a kind of race among birders that decide to compete in the number of observed species of birds during 365 days.

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The usual wonder to visit the lake Cerknica, among ice, woodpeckers and geese (Slovenia)

Are exactly 20 years that I visit regularly, at least once a year, the Cerknica lake (Cerkniško jezero in Slovenian) area and everytime I think: “What a wonderful place, I always discover something new, I always get new fun!”

This time wasn’t different when I visited the lake and the neighboring mountains with a friend of mine, Federico Pino, because I managed to add to my World list of birds the rare and stunning White-backed Woodpecker!

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Yellow-billed Diver and other rare birds along the Gulf of Trieste

Recenly I went twice to the area of the Gulf of Trieste (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) to twitch some rare birds that, earlier than usual, came there at the end of autumn: Yellow-billed Diver (Gavia adamsii), Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis) and Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus).

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Autumn in Istria (Croatia)

During the first half of October I visited the peninsula of Istria, in Croatia, leading a Naturetrek group together with the knowledgeable Paul Tout. It was a rather special time to be there, having still the enthomological tail of summer, but also signs of migrations and beginning of winter concerning the birds. Continue reading “Autumn in Istria (Croatia)”

Pelagic birding in the lake of Garda

The lake of Garda (“lago di Garda“) is the largest of Italy and, together with other big lakes at the foothill of Alps, can often offer some interesting observations. Many times the birds move offshore, so can be hard to see them even by telescope: to rent a boat and navigate far from the coasts can be a productive choice to have an idea about what’s happen in the centre of the lake. Continue reading “Pelagic birding in the lake of Garda”

Hard mountain life and wild nature in Ushguli (Georgia)

The village of Ushguli (უშგული in Georgian), in the high Caucasus, is considered  the highest continuously inhabited settlement in Europe, lieing at about 2,100 m of altitude on the foothill of Shkhara (5,201 m), the highest mountain of Georgia. Like other communities of the Svaneti, here as well the most representative arctitectures are the medieval towers that gained to the region the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue reading “Hard mountain life and wild nature in Ushguli (Georgia)”