The island of Elba and the Chianti Region: 15.3.-27.3.97

(Tim Herfurth, Bismarckstr. 27, 23564 Lübeck, Germany)

I am totally aware of the fact that both areas are not "birding hot spots" and that this cant be called a "birding report". Still I think that some short notes can be usefull for somebody travelling the area, wanting to know what you can expect.

I visited the area for reasons such as drinking good wine, eating good food, walking in the vineyards visiting places of interest such as Siena or San Gimmignano and seeing as many birds as possible.

The Chianti Region:

We stayed in a village called Greve which you can find between Florence and Siena. The area is dominated by Olive Trees, vineyards and little forests. Within a short distance out of Greve you should easily find following species:

Little Owl, Wryneck, Stonechat, Crested Lark, Woodlark, Sardinian Warbler, Cettis Warbler, Fan-tailed Warbler, Short-toed Treecreeper, Serin, Corn Bunting, Cirl Bunting

The island of Elba:

We just stayed 4 days on Elba. Piombino is the place wehere the ferries leave. The bus system on the island is very poor so you should bring your own car. As we were travelling Italy without a car we hired one, which is normally very expensive. (L.90 000 per day) We found somebody in Capoliveri who offers some small Fiat Panda for L.45 000. (ask for Roberto Taxi in Capoloveri, Tel. 968533) If it is not too far he brings you the car around.

Many species such as Little Owl, Wryneck, Blue Rock Thrush, Dartford and Sardinian Warbler, Cettis Warbler, Cirl Bunting, Serin can be seen everywhere on the island. We also saw a Barn Owl in the hills above Lacona.

1)Poggio - Monte Capanne

Monte Capanne is the highest mountain on Elba. You can walk there from Poggio which is a little village in the western part of Elba. For a walk up the top you should need 3-4 hours return. The track is well marked in red and white

This was the only place where we saw Mamoras Warbler. We saw 3 of them around the timberline about half an hour before the peak.

( also: Dartford and Sardinian Warbler, Water Pipit, Blue Rock Thrush)

2)Costa dei Gabbiani

From Capoliveri take the road (dirt road after 200m) to the direction of M.Calamita and Poggio Turco. After a rather long drive along the coast you will the a sign "Costa del Gabbiani".

Later on you will see a barrier on your right and 2 minutes later some sort of tourist resort with a car park and information. They can give you a detailed map of the area which you can only do on foot when not staying in the resort. (park your car at the barrier)

At the coast there is an impressive colony of Yellow-legged Gulls.

Hoopoe, Dartford Warbler and Blue Rock Thrush are common.

3)Ferry Piombino - Elba - Piombino

23.3 :Corys Shearwater 25+ (all birds where seen within the

27.3 :Corys Shearwater 10 first 30 minutes from Piombino)