The colors of spring in Sicily

I spent two weeks in south-eastern Sicily leading 2 different groups, for Naturetrek, mainly focused on birding, but I couldn’t avoid to be rapt by the beauty of the flora, the reptiles and the insects I saw.

This corner of the island offers to naturalists a number of very interesting wetlands and reserves, but shows obviously as well the contrasts among the beauty of the environment and the struggle to maintain it.

I met there Nino Patti, Paolo Galasso, Fabio Cilea and the other LIPU volunteers that can be all considered true heroes of the Conservation of Biodiversity, because they keep fighting, managing their reserves, despite the attacks of poachers, corrupted local administrations, abusiveness and criminals that often invade the protected areas with caterpillars or hunting dogs, throwing garbage, threatening them of death, even setting fires to the birding hides and to the Mediterranean maquis, as happened recently in Saline di Priolo.

It means that the battle against the illegality and insensibility about wildlife of people is far to be won, but on the other side can be important to visit the area to provide some help and to make them feel less alone in their fight.

This photo-report, a concentrate of my two weeks that shows how much magnificent is Sicily in its many colorful aspects, is dedicated to these wonderful brave people.

Island Blu-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura genei)
Sky Stone-crop (Sedum caeruleum)
Gull-billed Terns (Gelochelidon nilotica)
Baton Blue (Scolitantides baton)
Field Gladiolus (Gladiolus italicus)
From the left: Redshank (Tringa totanus), Curlew Sandpipers (Calidris ferruginea), Broad-billed Sandpiper (Calidris falcinellus), Greenshank (Tringa nebularia), Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) and Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), female
Megachile sicula sicula
Bug Orchid (Anacamptis coriophora fragrans)
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina)
Six-spot Burnet (Zygaena filipendulae)
Common Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)
Velvet Ant (Mutilla cf. europaea)
Crown Dasies (Glebionis coronaria)
Small-flowered Serapias (Serapias parviflora)
Omphalophana serrata
Sicilian Cream-spot Tiger (Arctia konewkaii)
Thistles mix (Galactites tomentosa, Carduus sp.)
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis)
Mating Ragusa’s Nine-spotted Moths (Amata kruegeri)
Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis), male
Eastern Dappled White (Euchloe ausonia) on Purple Milk Thistle (Galactites tomentosa)
Oyster Thistle (Scolymus grandiflorus)
Three-horned Stock (Matthiola tricuspidata)
Blue Hound’s Tongue (Cynoglossum creticum)
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
White Ramping Fumitory (Fumaria capreolata)
David against Goliath: Kentish Plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus) facing a Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus)
Long-lipped Serapias (Serapias vomeracea longipetala)
Painted Frog (Discoglossus pictus pictus)
Giant Loopers (Ascotis selenaria)
Honeywort (Cerinthe major)
Tree Germander (Teucrium fruticans)
Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), juvenile
The ancient tuna factory of Vendicari and the Swabian tower
Small-flowered Serapias (Serapias parviflora), apochromatic
Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala), male
Serin (Serinus serinus)
The waves against Capo Murro di Porco
Italian Viper’s Bugloss (Echium italicum)
Light-house of Capo Murro di Porco
Wavyleaf Sea Lavender (Limonium sinuatum)
Sicilian Rock Partridge (Alectoris whitakeri)
Elder-flowered Orchid (Dactylorhiza sambucina)
Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus)
One of the dark solidified lava flows of the Etna slopes
Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia)
Pimelia rugulosa rugulosa
Barbagallo craters
Black volcanic rocks and white snow
Dead leaves of Downy Oak (Quercus pubescens)
Black Vetch (Vicia melanops)
Yellow Morel (Morchella esculenta)
Painted Frog (Discoglossus pictus pictus)
Turkish Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
Phtheochroa duponchelana
Phoracantha recurva
Notocelia uddmanniana
Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta)
Linaria reflexa
Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea)
Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum)
Sicilian Snapdragon (Antirrhinum siculum)
Garden Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum agg.)
Rhodanthidium sticticum
Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus)
Purple Salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius)
Sombre Bee Orchid (Orchid fusca sabulosa)
Ophrys sicula
Ophrys oxyrrhynchos biancae
Broad-leaved Anemone (Anemone hortensis)
Ophrys incubacea
Man Orchid (Orchis anthropofora)
Beaked Spider Orchid (Ophrys oxyrrhynchos)
Naked Man Orchid (Orchis italica)
Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea var. grandiflora)
Common Fumitery (Fumaria officinalis)
Canthophorus melanopterus
Long-lipped Serapias (Serapias cf. vomeracea vomeracea)
Long-lipped Serapias (Serapias cf. vomeracea longipetala)
Italian Festoon (Zerynthia cassandra)
Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin)
Italian Wall Lizard (Podarcis siculus)
Mediterranean Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris)
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Blue Rock-thrush (Monticola solitarius)
Oppium Poppy (Papaver somniferum)
Bee-eaters (Merops apiaster)
Duomo square of Syracuse
Eastern coast of Ortigia
Barbary Nut (Moraea sisyrinchium)
Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii)
Hare’s Tail (Lagurus ovatus)
Spiny Starwort (Pallenis spinosa)
Hairy Sea Heath (Frankenia hirsuta)
Gorse Orb-weaver (Agalenatea redii)
Sicilian Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus siculus)
Etna Pansy (Viola aethnensis)
Erysimum aetnense
Rock Pansy (Viola parvula)
Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)
Short-toed Treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla)
Ruby Tiger (Phragmatobia fuliginosa) in the lava of Etna, at about 2900m of altitude
Evergreen Rose (Rosa sempervirens)
Italian Sainfoin (Hedysarum coronarium)
Striped Hawk-moth (Hyles livornica)
Mallow Bindweed (Convolvulus althaeoides)
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii)
Sicilian Pond Turtles (Emys trinacria)
Granelli beach
Steppe Buzzard (Buteo buteo vulpinus)
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
Nosed Grasshopper (Acrida ungarica)
Common Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Bear’s Breeches (Acanthus mollis)
Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)
Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus)
Synaphe moldavica
Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)
Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) on Purple Milk Thistle (Galactites tomentosa)
Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena)
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria aegeria)
Italian Arum (Arum italicum)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) vs Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Bordered Straw (Heliothis peltigera)
White-speck (Mythimna unipuncta)
White-speck (Mythimna unipuncta)
Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus)
The far shape of Etna from Cava Grande
Dyer’s Alkanet (Alkanna tinctoria)
Mediterranean Hartwort (Tordylium apulum)
Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans cantillans)
Pale Yellow Dandelion (Urospermum dalechampii)
Sicilian Wall Lizard (Podarcis wagleriana)
Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata)
Pink Rock-rose (Cistus creticus)
Scotch Marigold (Calendula cf. officinalis)
European Greenfinch (Chloris chloris)
Spottless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
Sicilian Jay (Garrulus glandarius jordansi)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Pseudococcyx tessulatana
Four-spotted Moth (Tyta luctuosa)
Marbled Coronet (Hadena confusa)
Knot-grass (Acronicta rumicis)
Moorish Gecko (Tarentola mauritanica)
Common Wood Pigeons (Columba palumbus)
Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)
Eastern Mosquito Fish (Gambusia cf. holbrooki)
Swabian tower and “tonnara” of Vendicari
European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
Ocellaed Skink (Chalcides ocellatus tiligugu)
Evergreen Birthwort (Aristolochia sempervirens)
Mastic (Pistacia lentiscus)
The Crucifixion of Saint Andrew of Caravaggio (Palazzo della Soprintendenza ai Beni culturali of Syracuse)
Duomo facade, Syracuse
Lampyris ambigena, larva

Luca Boscain

2 thoughts on “The colors of spring in Sicily

  1. complimenti, una serie impressionante di belle foto e specie interessanti. soprattutto ammiro l’attenzione per la fauna cosiddetta minore (in primis le farfalle notturne) e la flora!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grazie mille! Poco a poco sto provando ad espandere i campi di interesse e le soddisfazioni non mancano!!


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