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A Report from

Sardinia and Corsica 25th of July-7th of August 2012,


Anders Hangård, Norway (

This was primarily a family-trip with my wife and two children (8 and 11 years) to get some sun and warmth away from the disasterous summer we have had in Norway this year. I still managed to sneak in some birding to secure all the endemic species and subspecies. We arrived late in the evening 25th of July at Alghero airport, picked up our rental car and drove for three hours south to Flumini, just east of Cagliari. It is always a good tactic to get away from the masses around the most popular charter places. Our hotel, Hotel Setar, in Flumini was fine with a big swimming-pool that the kids enjoyed very much. It was just east of Cagliari and near good places like Molentargius marsh (10 min) and the two nearby mountains, Monte Degibbi (30 min to the north-east) and Monte Arcosu (45 min to the west).


26th of July: Quartu
27th of July: Molentargius
30th of July: Monte Arcosu
31st of July Molentargius
31st of July: Monte Degibbi

26th of July: Quartu:

On the way to the beach, we stopped on the main road (Viale Lungomare Del Golfo) and saw about 300 Flamingo. Later we saw thousands of them in surrounding areas. There were also some waders on migration resting on the mudflats, including 4 Curlew Sandpiper and many Little Stint. An Audouin´s Gull flew by, while Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Avocet, Black-winged StiltLittle Tern and Slender-billed Gull were abundant.

27th of July: Molentargius

Encouraged by the short stop near Molentargius the day before, I snuck out in the late afternoon to look for it. I had read it is great for birding, but difficult to find. I found it easily, though, following my GPS for streetname: "Molentargius". My best bird here was a Spotted Redshank migrating south overhead, but since I`m Norwegian, and somewhat bored with this bird, I enjoyed the many species of herons and excellent views of Gull-billed Tern more. There is a human waste-facility there, that attracts the gulls and terns, because of all the flies that eat of the waste. My first Bee-eaters and only Cetti`s Warbler of the trip, was there as well.

30th of July: Monte Arcosu

After spending a couple of days of quality time with my family in the sun, it was about time to try for the first target of the trip; Marmora` Warbler. I parked the car at the tourist centre at 7 AM and walked the main road westwards. (You can drive on the same road after 9 PM, when it opens). The dense forest on the hill-sides was thick with all kinds of singing birds, while Crag Martins, Alpine and Pallid Swifts controlled the airfield. My only Goshawk of the trip was here. During my four-hour-walk I noted 1 Dartford Warbler, 4 Marmora` Warbler, 50 Blackcap, 50 Sardinian Warbler, 5 Subalpine Warbler and 50 Firecrest.

31st of July: Molentargius

I got up early to experience Molentargius by morning and was pleased to find it more producing than in the afternoon. My first good bird flew across the road at sunrise near the easternmost watchtower. Then it perched on some ruins just metres away from the car. A Little Owl! Luckily, I remembered to put my binos in the passenger-seat and got good views of it before it took off. I parked the car here and spent two hours from this place. It was frustrating to find that the gate to the watchtower was closed, so I had to find a spot where I could see as much of the lake as possible, which I eventually did. A lot of ducks, herons and egrets were flying around including 2 Gadwall,  2 Garganey, 30 Pochard, 2 Purple Heron, 2 Night Heron, 2 Squacco Heron and 4 Cattle Egret. An adult and a juvenile Black Tern were fishing for food in the lake along many other terns, and I had a short glimpse of an adult Purple Swamphen.

31st of July: Monte Degibbi

On the way back from Molentargius, I decided to try for butterflies on the highest mountain near Cagliari, named Monte Degibbi (ca 1200 m.o.s) (Drive towards Burcei, and you will find it). I got the Sardinian Meadow Brown here (endemic). There were not many birds around, but Marmora`s Warbler was common. Other birds included Peregrine Falcon (endemic subsp.), Hawfinch, 12 Bee-eater, 2 Spectacled Warbler and Great-spotted Woodpecker (endemic subsp.)


4th of Aug: Col de Sorba
6th of Aug: Haut Asco
6th of Aug: Etang D`urbino

We were somewhat disappointed on the arrival on Corsica by the expensive and low hotel-standards over the entire island. We stayed on Les Pavillons in Favone, which was very expensive with small rooms and a small swimming-pool and no AC nor refrigerator! Everything else also was twice the price as Sardinia (Norwegian prices). We tried to find another hotel, but there was nothing better to find anywhere! Luckily, the birding, and especially the scenery, with great landscapes and many new butterflies, made the trip to Corsica worth while.

4th of Aug: Col de Sorba

This was a nice family-trip into the mountains to look for the last two endemic bird-species and also to visit the splendid city of Corte. Red Kites were numerous along the way, and I had to be careful not to look at them too long while driving the car to cause accidents on the narrow roads. After a nice cup of cappuccino and ice-cream in the nearby village, Vivario, we drove the D69 the last bit up the mountain to the ridge on Col de Sorba (1350 m.o.s). After an hour of searching the pine forest, we finally found a Corsican Nuthatch. We studied it closely with excellent views for all of us, and we learned it`s alarm call. Even the kids were excited by the moment! We heard two more on the way back to the car. Other birds included Golden Eagle (sitting in a tree), 3 Corsican Finch (1135 m.o.s), Sparrowhawk (endemic subsp.) and a Treecreeper (endemic subsp.). On the way down we stopped at 900 m.o.s and got good views and pictures of 7 Corsican Finch. A big flock of approximately 200 Alpine Chough came into view at long distance just east of the biggest mountain to the north while still on D69.

6th of Aug: Haut Asco

Unfortunately for me, where we lived, Haut Asco was the farthest away known breeding pair of Lammergeier from my hotel. Since the chances were the best there according to literature, I went there. According to heavy research on the matter of this very-sought-after vulture on Corsica, there are only eleven known breeding pairs. I brought several trip reports with me and after reading them, I found this place to give the best odds of seeing one. They breed on the most inaccessible mountain cliffs and are seldom seen. Their territories are huge, and hence you have to be very lucky to ever spot one. My hopes were not high. I got up at 4 AM and drove the 2,5 hours to the parking-lot at the ski-centre. The panorama-view at the p-lot was bad, so I climbed up the track to the west for 30 minutes and got a good 360 degree view of the summits.  The best chance is accordingly to look for them early in the morning when they patrol the mountain-tops scavenging for food, mainly mufflon carcasses.  I saw some mufflon, ruthlessly standing on top of the mountain, so no wonder the vultures seek them out up there. After two hours of searching, at 9 AM, two adult individuals appeared together from the south and with motionless wings went northwest searching the mountain-tops for food. Great! Other birds in or around the area: Golden Eagle, Alpine Chough, Mistle Thrush, Grey Wagtail and Corsican Finch. On the way back I spotted a Collared Pratincole while driving over a dried-out river east of Corte near Feo. When I stopped to see it more closely, a Woodchat Shrike (badius) and a family party of Supalpine Warblers, were also there.

6th of Aug: Etang D`urbino

I stopped by Etang D`urbino on the way back from the Asco-valley and accidentally found, for the French birding-community, my best bird of the entire trip. It was an adult Little Cormorant and very rare in France! It was sitting on a pole south of the road near the restaurant half-way out on the Etang. For the record, many French birders have contacted me about this, travelled far and successfully twitched this bird.


Sardinia: 90

Tachybaptus ruficollis, Molentargius
Podiceps cristatus , Molentargius
Calonectris diomedea diomedea , St Teresa di Gallura
Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis , St Teresa di Gallura
Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii , Pula
Ardea cinerea , Molentargius
Ardea purpurea , Molentargius
Egretta garzetta , Molentargius
Ardeola ralloides , Molentargius
Bubulcus ibis , Molentargius
Nycticorax nycticorax , Molentargius
Anas strepera , Molentargius
Anas crecca  , Molentargius
Anas platyrhynchos , Molentargius
Tadorna tadorna , Molentargius
Anas querquedula , Molentargius
Aythya ferina , Molentargius
Circus aeruginosus , Molentargius
Accipiter gentilis arrigonii , Monte Arcuso
Buteo buteo arrigonii , Monte Arcuso
Falco tinnunculus , common
Falco peregrinus brookei , Monte Degibbi
Porphyrio porphyrio , Molentargius
Gallinula chloropus , Molentargius
Fulica atra , Molentargius
Himantopus himantopus , Molentargius
Recurvirostra avosetta , Molentargius
Charadrius dubius curonicus , Molentargius
Charadrius alexandrinus , Molentargius
Tringa erythropus , Molentargius
Tringa ochropus , Molentargius
Tringa glareola , Molentargius
Actitis hypoleucos , Molentargius
Calidris minuta , Molentargius
Calidris ferruginea , Molentargius
Ichthyaetus audouinii , Molentargius
Larus michahellis , Molentargius
Chroicocephalus ridibundus , Molentargius
Chroicocephalus genei , Molentargius
Gelochelidon nilotica , Molentargius
Chlidonias niger , Molentargius
Sterna hirundo , Molentargius
Sternula albifrons , Molentargius
Columba livia , common
Columba palumbus , common
Streptopelia turtur , Molentargius
Streptopelia decaocto , common
Athene noctua , Molentargius
Tachymarptis melba , Monte Arcuso
Apus apus , common
Apus pallidus brehmorum , common
Merops apiaster , Monte Degibbi
Upupa epops , Molentargius
Dendrocopos major harterti , Monte Degibbi
Ptyonoprogne rupestris
Hirundo rustica , common
Delichon urbicum meridionale , common
Regulus ignicapilla , Monte Arcuso
Troglodytes troglodytes koenigi, Monte Arcuso
Cisticola juncidis , Molentargius
Cettia cetti  , Molentargius
Sylvia atricapilla pauluccii , common
Sylvia conspicillata , Monte Degibbi
Sylvia sarda , Monte Arcuso and Monte Degibbi
Sylvia undata , Monte Arcuso
Sylvia cantillans moltonii , Monte Arcuso
Sylvia melanocephala  , common
Muscicapa striata tyrrhenica  , common
Erithacus rubecula witherbyi  , common
Saxicola rubicola  , common
Periparus ater sardus  , common
Parus major ecki  , common
Cyanistes caeruleus ogilastrae  , common
Lanius collurio  , common
Lanius senator badius , Monte Degibbi
Garrulus glandarius corsicanus  , common
Pica pica galliae  , common
Corvus monedula spermologus , Molentargius
Corvus cornix  , common
Corvus corax , Molentargius
Sturnus unicolor  , common
Passer hispaniolensis  , common
Passer montanus  , common
Fringilla coelebs sarda  , common
Carduelis chloris  , common
Carduelis carduelis tschusii , common
Serinus serinus  , common
Coccothraustes coccothraustes , Monte Degibbi
Emberiza cirlus nigrostriata, common

Corsica: 65

Tachybaptus ruficollis; Etang D´Urbino;
Podiceps cristatus; Etang D´Urbino
Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis , common
Phalacrocorax pygmaeus, Etang D´Urbino
Ardea alba, Etang D´Urbino
Egretta garzetta , Etang D´Urbino
Anas platyrhynchos , Etang D´Urbino
Pernis apivorus , common
Milvus milvus , common
Gypaetus barbatus , Haut Asco
Accipiter nisus wolterstorffi , Col de Sorba
Buteo buteo arrigonii, common
Aquila chrysaetos , Haut Asco
Falco tinnunculus , common
Falco subbuteo , Etang D´Urbino
Falco peregrinus brookei , Haut Asco
Fulica atra , Etang D´Urbino
Glareola pratincola , Feo
Tringa ochropus , Etang D´Urbino
Actitis hypoleucos , Etang D´Urbino
Larus michahellis , common
Chroicocephalus ridibundus , common
Columba livia , common
Columba palumbus , common
Streptopelia decaocto , common
Tachymarptis melba , Haut Asco
Apus apus , common
Apus pallidus brehmorum , Haut Asco
Jynx torquilla tschusii , Etang D´Urbino
Dendrocopos major harterti , Haut Asco
Ptyonoprogne rupestris , Haut Asco
Hirundo rustica , common
Delichon urbicum meridionale , common
Motacilla cinerea , Col de Sorba
Regulus regulus , Col de Sorba
Troglodytes troglodytes koenigi , Col de Sorba
Turdus viscivorus, Haut Asco
Cisticola juncidis , Etang D´Urbino
Sylvia atricapilla pauluccii , common
Sylvia cantillans moltonii , Feo
Sylvia melanocephala , common
Muscicapa striata tyrrhenica  , common
Erithacus rubecula witherbyi   , common
Saxicola rubicola rubicola  , common
Aegithalos caudatus irbii  , common
Periparus ater sardus  , common
Parus major corsus  , common
Cyanistes caeruleus ogilastrae  , common
Sitta whiteheadi, Col de Sorba
Certhia familiaris corsa , Col de Sorba
Lanius collurio , common
Lanius senator badius , Etang D´Urbino
Garrulus glandarius corsicanus , common
Pyrrhocorax graculus , Col de Sorba
Corvus cornix , common
Corvus corax , Haut Asco
Sturnus unicolor , common
Passer italiae , common
Fringilla coelebs tyrrhenica , common
Loxia curvirostra corsicana , Col de Sorba
Carduelis chloris , common
Carduelis carduelis tschusii , common
Serinus serinus , common
Carduelis corsicanus , Col de Sorba
Emberiza cirlus nigrostriata, common


Sardinia: 18
Cacyreus marshalli
Colias croceus
Papilio machaon
Lycaena phlaeas  
Carcharodus alceae
Pieris rapae
Aricia agestis
Argynnis pandora
Charaxes jasius
Limenitis reducta
Vanessa cardui  
Rhodometra sacraria
Coenonympha corinna , Monte Degibbi
Maniola jurtina
Maniola nurag , Monte Degibbi
Pyronia tithonus  
Hipparchia aristaeus

Corsica: 24
Colias alfacariensis
Colias croceus
Iphiclides podalirius
Papilio hospiton , Col de Sorba
Papilio machaon
Gonepteryx cleopatra
Gonepteryx rhamni
Lycaena phlaeas  
Pieris rapae
Pontia daplidice
Argynnis elisa , Col de Sorba
Leptotes pirithous
Argynnis pandora
Plebejus argus corsicus, Col de Sorba
Polyommatus icarus  
Charaxes jasius
Limenitis reducta  
Vanessa atalanta  
Vanessa cardui  
Zeuzera pyrina
Coenonympha corinna , Col de Sorba
Hipparchia aristaeus
Hipparchia neomiris , Col de Sorba
Brintesia circe

Anders Hangård, Norway (


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