The end of winter in Valle Vecchia and Brussa of Caorle

Valle Vecchia and Brussa are possibly the best birding area nearby Venice, together with the Po delta. At the end of winter, these grounds show the beginning of the migration turn over in a spectacular way, with flocks of hundreds of birds!

The private hunting reserves of Valle Zignago, Valle Perera and Valle Franchetti become in the recent winters a regular wintering site for interesting species like eagles and geese and all these species can often be spotted in the drained lands of Brussa.

Every winter some Greater Spotted Eagles (Clanga clanga), and much more rarely single individuals of White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), are observed on the edge of these “valli”, feeding mainly on carrions of Coypus (Myocastor coypus).

Thousands of White-fronted and Greylag Geese (Anser albifrons and A. anser), that in Italy are fully protected, usually come to feed on the green cereals fields and among them, almost every winter, can be spotted rarer species like Red-breasted (Branta ruficollis), Lesser White-fronted (Anser erythropus) or Tundra Bean Goose (Anser serrirostris).

Valle Vecchia is instead a protected area where some environmental restorations created suitable habitats for birds like freshwater ponds, reed-beds, groves and meadows, together with the pre-existent long-shore pinewood.

On the eastern edge of Valle Vecchia, extends the brackish water lagoon of Porto Baseleghe, a great tidal habitat that attracts thousands of ducks, waders and gulls, even if birding there is not easy because of long distances and telescope is often required.

During my visit of yesterday, I’ve explored the fields of Brussa, the some ponds of Valle vecchia, the pinewood and I had a look to the Porto Baseleghe lagoon, collecting the following photos.

Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus)
A flock of about 250 Common Cranes (Grus grus)
Common Cranes (Grus grus)
Hybrid of Canada Goose possibly with Greylag Goose (Branta canadensis x Anser sp.)
Greylag Geese (Anser anser)
Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)
One of the dirt roads that go through the Brussa area
Coypus (Myocastor coypus)
White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons)
White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons)
African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus)
Pygmy Cormoran (Microcarbo pygmaeus)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula), male
Mix of ducks. From the left: Common Pochard (Aythya ferina), Coots (Fulica atra), Northern Shovelers (Spatula clypeata), Red-crested Pochards (Netta rufina), Tufted Ducks (Aythya fuligula) and Gadwalls (Mareca strepera).
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina), male
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus), male
Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)
Coal Tit (Periparus ater)
Common Ringed Plovers (Charadrius hiaticula)
Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
The Porto Baseleghe lagoon with in the background the Alps covered by a recent snowfall
Mixed flock with Dunlins (Calidris alpina) and a couple of Sanderlings (Calidris alba)
Mix of waders with Dunlins, Grey Plovers and Sanderlings
Southern Scabious (Scabiosa triandra)
Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)
Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus)
White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons)
Common Cranes (Grus grus)
Common Cranes (Grus grus)
African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus)
White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons)
White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons)

Luca Boscain

4 thoughts on “The end of winter in Valle Vecchia and Brussa of Caorle

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