The Oasi Celestina is a very small (12 ha) oasis managed by LIPU in the Reggio Emilia province that protects a couple of freshwater lakes and some patches of reedbeds, reforestations and meadows.
Three days ago the very bright Luca Bagni found there a mega rarity with less than 10 observations in Italy: an amazing Dusky Warbler (Phylloscopus fuscatus)!
It’s a Siberian species of bird that usually spends its winters in South East Asia, so his big found has attracted a lot of birdwatchers and twitchers from most of Northern Italy, including me and my friends. I observed the bird just 3 times in more than 4 hours, always for not more than 10 seconds and well in the deep of branches and leaves… I managed to take only one record shot:
All my efforts to have a better view, without the use of the playback (I don’t like to stress birds that I know will be already enough disturbed by photographers), were fruitless… However I observed more than 35 species of other birds including: 60-70 Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis), 1-2 Great Egrets (Ardea alba), 9 African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus), 1 Greenshank (Tringa nebularia), 1 Little Owl (Athene noctua), some Skylarks (Alauda arvensis) and Tree Pipits (Anthus trivialis), 2-3 Chiffchaffs (Phylloscopus collybita), 1 Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus), tens of Long-tailed Tits (Aegithalos caudatus), 1-2 Siskins (Carduelis spinus), 1-2 Serins (Serinus serinus) and 5 Hawfinches (Coccothraustes coccothraustes).
With a rather warm sun I also observed few species of butterflies: Common Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), etc.
But the most interesting ones were mammals: we found a very cute juvenile of Coypu (Myocastor coypus) with the coat almost white (albino or leucistic) and apparently blind:
…but also, above all, an incredibly small dead individual of Etruscan Shrew (Suncus etruscus), also known as Etruscan Pygmy Shrew or the White-toothed Pygmy Shrew. It’s famous to be the smallest mammal of the world, with an average weight of about 1.8 grams. Beeing still “fresh”, I seize the opportunity to take pictures with the ruler of the mobile phone and with some “almost alive postures”.