Aves Ichnusae III (I-II) 2000

                  VOLUME 3 (I-II) 2000

Articoli e Note/ Papers & Notes
- Distribuzione e nidificazione dell'Airone guardabuoi Bubulcus ibis in Italia. M. Grussu, M. Passarella, M. Fasola & M. Della Toffola
- Nuovo svernamento in Italia del Falco pecchiaiolo Pernis apivorus. A. Corso, G. Consoli & C. Cardelli
- L'activité de l’Association des Amis du Parc Naturel Régional de Corse. R. Judais-Bolelli & G. Faggio
- Primi dati sulla presenza del Gufo reale Bubo bubo in Sardegna. M. Grussu, A. Mocci Demartis, M. Semenzato & P. Siménov
- Ibrido tra Gabbiano corallino Larus melanocephalus e Gabbiano comune Larus ridibundus in Sicilia. A. Corso, R. Ientile & D. Aliffi
- Lo svernamento della Cutrettola Motacilla flava in Italia. A. Corso, A. Ciaccio & V. Cappello
- Presenza di Falco cuculo Falco vespertinus in febbraio in Italia. M. Sanna
- Contingente record di Cicogna bianca Ciconia ciconia in Sardegna nel maggio 2000. G. Ruzzante, G. L. Stemmler, G. Floris & G. Paulis
- Status recente della Cicogna bianca Ciconia ciconia in Sardegna. M. Grussu & M. Sanna
Recenti avvistamenti/ Recent records around the Region
Periodo: aprile 1999 - marzo 2000 / April 1999 - March 2000. A cura di
M. Grussu
Hot Spot - La Riserva Naturale WWF di Monte Arcosu (Inglesiente).G. Paulis
Progetti e Ricerche/ Projects and Researches
Novità e commenti/ News and Comment
Recensioni/ Reviews
Foto di copertina/ Cover photograph: Airone guardabuoi Bubulcus ibis in abito invernale. Golfo di Oristano, Sardegna, 1997./ Cattle Egret in winter plumage. Gulf of Oristano, Sardinia, 1997 (Mauro Sanna).

 Airone guardabuoi/ Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
(Alessandro Alberton)


Marcello Grussu*, Menotti Passarella, Mauro Fasola & Mauro Della Toffola
Status, distribution and breeding population of the Cattle Egret in Italy up to 1999.
We examine the evolution of  the population of Cattle Egret in Italy. The species was considered accidental in Italy until the 70's. In 1982 the first regular winterings took place in Sardinia and in 1985 the first breeding (1-2 pairs) was recorded in the south of the Island near Cagliari. Afterwards the species has begun to winter regularly also in northern Italy and to breed in Piedmont (since 1989), Lombardy (since 1992), in Emilia-Romagna and Veneto (since 1993) and in Tuscany (since 1997). Breeding may have occurred in Sicily (1998). The breeding population in Italy is progressively increasing. In 1999 there were 945-960 pairs in 20 colonies. The main breeding population is in Sardinia with about 650 pairs (which correspond to 70.4% of the whole population in Italy, in 3 colonies) and in the western Po Valley (Piedmont and Lombardy) with 154 pairs (5 colonies). In the area around the Po Delta there are 96-106 pairs (9 colonies), while in Tuscany 25-30 pairs (3 colonies) were recorded. The species breeds in colony together with other herons, with the Glossy Ibis, the Sacred Ibis, the Great Cormorant and the Eurasian Spoonbill. The nests are usually on trees, but in Sardinia some colonies are on the ground, on reeds beds, and even in marine islets. The breeding season is slightly wider than for other Mediterranean areas, as some adults were seen with their bare parts brightly coloured at the beginning of September (Sardinia) and fledglings by the middle of the same month (Po Valley). The species is recorded more and more frequently also beyond the breeding period when there is an influx of individuals from the west (France, Spain?). In a great part of Italy the largest groups are recorded during the winter. In this season a population of about 1500 individuals  is spread on the western Po Valley (3-400 individuals), on the Po Delta (about 450 individuals), in Sardinia (about 350 wintering individuals), on the coastal strip of Tuscany (some hundreds of individuals) and of Latium (about 350 wintering individuals). Sightings in other Regions are rare and irregular. Unlike the rest of Italy, in Sardinia the wintering population of Cattle Egret is less numerous than the breeding one. It is thus possible that part of the Sardinian Cattle Egret population is migratory.
(*)(GOS – C.P. 160/C - 09045 Quartu Sant'Elena/ Cagliari)

Andrea Corso*, Giuseppe Consoli & Carmela Cardelli
New wintering record of European Honey Buzzard in Italy.
A first-winter bird of European Honey Buzzard of the brown morph has been observed several times between December 1999 and early January 2000 at Siracusa Salt-Pans (Southern Sicily). This is the second wintering record for Italy; one more has been recorded in 1997 in Lazio. Interesting, all those records are concerning first winter birds observed in wetlands. This is probably related to food sources. The species normally eats wasps but during winter it may feed on frogs and earthworms. The bird previously reported in 1997 has been in fact observed several times resting at ground on flooded fields or along shores of the wetlands appearing to be searching food.
(*)(Comitato Italiano Rarità - Via Camastra, 10 - 96100 Siracusa)

Rosy Judais-Bolelli* & Gilles Faggio*
The “Association des Amis du Parc Naturel Régional de Corse”.
The "Association des Amis du Parc Naturel Régional de Corse" established in 1972, is a Non Governmental Organisation working on nature conservation in Corsica Island. Major aims are knowledge and conservation of wildlife, as birds (inventories, ringing, databases….), rare or endemic flowers, reptiles, amphibians and cetacean. It manages 18 important natural areas. It includes two specialised groups: the "Groupe Ornithologique de Corse" (Corsican Ornithologists' Club) and the Conservatoire Régional des Sites de Corse (Natural Heritage trust). We search after groups or individuals working in the Mediterranean area on the same topics to elaborate projects on similar or complementary activities, such as researches and management.
(*)(Résidence Pietramarina, Toga - 20200 Bastia/ France)

Marcello Grussu*, Attilio Mocci Demartis, Massimo Semenzato & Pavel Siménov
First data on the Eagle Owl in Sardinia.
We report the data on the first findings of Eagle Owl in Sardinia. An adult individual of the nominal subspecies with the mark "Nuoro, 15th October 1946" was found in a private collection in northern Italy. Another individual was seen flying over the sea 5 miles from the south coast of Sardinia on 11th July 1991.
In winter 1988-89 in Cagliari an individual of Eagle Owl was caught alive with strings around the tarsi; it had flown away after being taken in captivity. After some weeks, in the same town an individual (possibly the same one found previously free) was found drowned in water tank. Considering the phenology and the distribution of this species in Europe we think that at least the bird checked over the sea is a wild individual.
(*)(GOS – C.P. 160/C - 09045 Quartu Sant'Elena – Cagliari)

Andrea Corso*, Renzo Ientile & Daniele Aliffi
Field observation of an hybrid between Mediterranean Gull and Black-headed Gull in Sicily.
On 28th March 1999 we observe and photographed an odd 1st winter gull on the beach of Marina vecchia di Avola (south of Siracusa). This gull showed visibly characters intermediate between Mediterranean Gull and Black-headed Gull. The general structure and shape, as well as the general plumage color and pattern were similar to that of the former, while legs and bill were just like the latter. The bill was in fact reddish with a blackish tip, it was also slender, more delicate and curved than the Mediterranean's, being exactly like a Black-headed's. Legs were also reddish-orange, not black or blackish-brown as in the Mediterranean Gull. Plumage features were fitting a Mediterranean Gull, though possibly the marks on the wing-coverts and tertials were a little bit paler, less dark. After a careful study the bird cannot be in our opinion nothing else than a hybrid, as we propose. It is the first record in Italy but there are already some similar reports from many European countries.
(*)(G.S.R.O. - Via Camastra, 10 - 96100 Siracusa)

Andrea Corso*, Andrea Ciaccio & Valerio Cappello
The wintering of Yellow Wagtail in Italy.
In the January 1995, at Lentini Lake (Siracusa, Southern Sicily) is accerted the first wintering record of Yellow Wagtail for Italy with four birds of the race flava observed. Afterward that record, regular wintering has been documented in Southern Sicily (Lentini Lake, Simeto River mouth, Siracusa and Augusta Salt-Pans, Longarini and Cuba marshes). In total have been recorded 25 individuals in December-January up to winter 2000-2001. Of these, at least 11 birds (44%) were identified as belonging to the flava race while only two as cinereocapilla; the other were not surely assigned to any race though suspected to be flava as well (due to the call). In detail, 3 birds have been recorded in winter 1995-96 and 1996-97, 5 in 1997-98, 8 in 1998-99, 2 in 1999-00 and 4 in winter 2000-01. Outside Sicily, exist in Italy only two wintering record in Emilia Romagna region (1 bird, winter 1998-99 and 2-3 birds, winter 2000-01) and one in Lombardia region (2 birds, winter 2000-01), and very few sparse winter records (Lazio and Calabria) that however are occasional. In Sicily, there has been a positive trend with an increasing of the birds observed until the winter 1999-2000. This seems to be real since the relevant areas of wintering are extensively and uniformly covered each season and with same efforts each winter. A possible factor influencing such increasing may be found in the climatic factors: in fact winter has been every year milder, less rainy and with warmer temperature.
(*)(Comitato Italiano Rarità - Via Camastra, 10 - 96100 Siracusa)

Mauro Sanna
Record of Red-footed Falcon in Italy in February.
On 10th February 2000 in the pond of S'Ena Arrubia (39°49' North, 8°34' East) in the central area of the Gulf of Oristano(Sardinia), a male of Red-footed Falcon was seen. It was the first winter record of this species in Italy. In the Western Palearctic the species was previously seen in winter in central Europe (Germany), in East  Europe (Crimea, Macedonia, Turkey) and in Tunisia.
(Gruppo Ornitologico Sardo - Via Longobardo, 28a - 07040 Li Punti/ Sassari)

Gianpaolo Ruzzante*, Gret Lutz-Stemmler, Giuseppe Floris & Giovanni Paulis
Record number of White Stork in May 2000 in Sardinia.
In May 2000 several  groups of White Stork were recorded in Sardinia in the areas of Sulcis, Baronie and Gallura; single individuals were sighted in other areas. The largest group was seen on 10th May in the northernmost part of the island at Capo Testa/Santa Teresa di Gallura, where 5-600 individuals stayed for some days. We assume that 600-700 individuals of White Stork were in Sardinia in May 2000. This is a record number in Italy where a maximum of 250 individuals at the same time (Sicily) and of 400 individuals during the whole spring (Straits of Messina) were previously recorded.
(*)(GOS - C. P. 222 - 09045 Quartu Sant'Elena/ Cagliari)

Marcello Grussu* & Mauro Sanna
The status of the White Stork in Sardinia.
The presence of the White Stork in Sardinia was irregular until the 80's, but afterwards  sightings became more frequent. At present the species is regular migratory (March-June and July-October). The most important period of migration is spring. Migratory groups vary from a few dozen to over 650 individuals per annum. In May 2000 a group of 5-600 individuals was recorded in the north of the island, while we reckoned migratory groups of 650-700 individuals during the whole spring. In Italy these are record numbers, never registered before. In Sardinia single individuals of the species  irregularly winter, but in winter 1987-88 a group of at least 5-6 individuals stayed on the plain of Campidano. Some attempts at nest building were also noticed, while in 1993 a pair built its nest in the Campeda area (north of Sardinia) but the eggs did not hatch.
(*)(GOS - Via de Candia, 47 - 09045 Quartu Sant'Elena/ Cagliari)

                                      Gufo reale/ Eagle Owl Bubo bubo 
                                             (Alessandro Alberton)


Aves Ichnusae II (I-II) 1999


           VOLUME 2 (I-II) 1999

Articoli e Note/ Papers & Notes 
- La  nidificazione del Fenicottero Phoenicopterus ruber roseus in Sardegna. M. Grussu 
- I Limicoli svernanti in Sicilia orientale: aggiornamento 1996-1999. A. Corso 
- Indizi di nidificazione del Pettazzurro Luscinia svecica cyanecula in Sardegna.  N. Scala 
- Osservazione di un ibrido tra Gabbiano corallino Larus melanocephalus e Gabbiano comune Larus ridibundus in Sicilia. A. Corso, R. Ientile & D. Aliffi 
- Prima osservazione di Svasso cornuto Podiceps auritus in Sardegna.  M. Grussu 
- Ulteriore presenza invernale di Balestruccio Delichon urbica in Sardegna. F. Mascia 
-Avvistamento invernale di Aquila delle steppe Aquila nipalensis nel Golfo di Oristano (Sardegna occidentale). M. Grussu 
- Aquila anatraia maggiore Aquila clanga nel Sulcis (Sardegna Sud occidentale). M. Medda 
Recenti avvistamenti/ Recents records around the Region 
Periodo: agosto 1998 - marzo 1999 / August 1998 - March 1999. M. Grussu 
Hot Spot - La penisola di Stintino (Nurra). M. Sanna 
Progetti e Ricerche / Projects and Researches 
Novità  e Commenti / News and Comment 
Notizie LIPU / LIPU  Information 
Recensioni/ Reviews

Foto di copertina/ Cover photograph: Fenicotteri Phoenicopterus r. roseus adulti nello Stagno di Molentargius, Cagliari, primavera 1994./ Greater Flamingos, Stagno of Molentargius, Cagliari, Sardinia, spring 1994 (Roberto Meloni).

Cavaliere d'Italia/ Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
(Piero Basoccu)


Marcello Grussu
The breeding of the Greater Flamingo in Sardinia (Italy).
The breeding of the Greater Flamingo in Sardinia was assumed several times during the last century, but without any proofs. In 1975 in the Stagno of Molentargius/Cagliari the first breeding attempt was recorded. In the period 1979-1999 I studied the summer presence, the ecology and breeding biology of the Greater Flamingo in Sardinia. During my researches I analysed the subsequent breeding attempts of the species and the breeding colonies; 24 breeding attempts were recorded, they were related to 18 nest building cases without laying and to 6 findings of single deserted eggs. None of these attempts produced any chicks; 67% of these colonies (where a maximum of 220 nests were built) were found in the south, near Cagliari. Other attempts took place in the south-west coast, in the south-east coast and northwards in the Gulf of Oristano. Single deserted eggs were found in nearly all these areas. The first breeding was recorded in 1993 in the Stagno of Molentargius where about 1,750 pairs reared about 1,000 chicks. The breeding took place again annually in this wetland with 1-2 colonies whose population, between 250 and 5,000 pairs, reared a maximum of 4,000 chicks. In 1999 owing to anthropic disturbances the area of Molentargius was deserted after the beginning of laying. The population moved to the salt-pan of Macchiareddu, at a distance of 10 km, where 1,200-1,400 pairs reared 720-745 chicks. Data are given about habitat, ecology and breeding behaviour; about description and size of colonies, nests and eggs; about species in breeding association and their influence on the breeding of the Greater Flamingo in Sardinia. In the period 1993-1998 the breeding population on the island had always represented nearly the whole of the Italian population and the 9.5-11.1% of the western Mediterranean population. In the same period the wetlands near Cagliari there was a maximum of 21,000 individuals, that is the 25% of the Greater Flamingos of western Mediterranean. In Sardinia the settling of the colonies can also take place at the end of February; laying takes place between the end of March and the end of June; but some adults were seen building their nests at the end of November, too. The breeding success in the Sardinian colonies varied from 52.2% (1993) to 90.9% (1994), with intermediate values in the other years. In the period 1993-1999 about 15,400 pairs bred and about 10,700 were reared, with a breeding success of 70.1%. The main causes of loss among eggs and chicks and deserted colonies are human interference, the electrocution and the impact of high-tension cables.
(Gruppo Ornitologico Sardo – C.P. 160C - 09045 Quartu Sant'Elena/ Cagliari)

Andrea Corso
The Waders wintering in south-eastern Sicily in 1996-1999.
Dates on the waders wintering in south-eastern Sicily have been already given by Corso (1995) concerning the winter 1990-1995. The present publication reports the censuses of the wintering waders in the period between 1996-1999 updating so the available notices. The area interested by the study is extended within the province of Syracuse, Catania and Ragusa. All the wetlands and the nearby coasts of the area have been checked in January of each winter considered. Several visits to each place  have been done. The counts given for each species refer to the addition of all the maximum counts for each species in each place. During the study 7,710 waders of 28 species have been counted; of these, seven were irregular. Eight are the most common species (70.6% of the total count): Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria (19.4%), Lapwing Vanellus vanellus (18%), Little Stint Calidris minuta (7.9%), Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus (7.5%), Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus (5.5%), Curlew Numenius arquata (4.38%), Dunlin Calidris alpina (4.33%) and Common Redshank Tringa totanus (3.3%). The first wintering records for Sicily of Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis, Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus and Dotterel Charadrius morinellus have been documented. Concerning the last one the wintering was also the first sure for Italy. Compared to the national situation, the area is one of the most important for Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus (on average 9 birds), Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius (7 birds), Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula (9), Kentish Plover (146), Sanderling Calidris alba (the most important at all with 19 birds on average), Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii (3-6 irregularly), Curlew (85), Spotted Redshank (107), Greenshank Tringa nebularia (2-4), Marsh Sandpiper (1-2 irregularly, very few in Italy in winter) and Turnstone Arenaria interpres (1-2 irregularly, very rare in winter in all Italy). In comparison with the dates already published for the area an increasing trend in both the number of species and number of birds have been noticed. This may well be also imputed to the increasingly mild weather condition of the winter in the last years with low rain and as consequence low water-level in the wetlands.
(LIPU - Via Trento, 49 - 43100 Parma)

Niki Scala
Sign of breeding of Bluethroat in Sardinia.
At the end of March 1997 a pair of Bluethroat of the race L. s. cyanecula has been observed in the area of the pond of Platamona (Sassari, north Sardinia). The pair showed several signs of breeding behaviour (food offers between the two members of the pair, transportation of materials intended for the construction of a nest inside a bush of Tamarix sp.). However, the nesting process was not completed. In fact, the pair abandoned the area in April, probably because of the reclamation work in the mentioned site.
(Gruppo Ornitologico Sardo - Frazione Preparetto, 58/110081 Castellamonte/ Torino)

Marcello Grussu
First record of Slavonian Grebe in Sardinia.
An immature individual of Slavonian Grebe was seen in October 11th 1998 in the freshwater area of Santa Gilla lagoon/Cagliari. The species had already been recorded in Sardinia during the last century but without the support of any convincing data; this is therefore the first record.
(Gruppo Ornitologico Sardo – C.P. 160/C - 09045 Quartu Sant'Elena/ Cagliari)

Francesco Mascia
Further winter presence of House Martin in Sardinia.
On January 8th 1999 in the built-up area of Elmas (southern Sardinia) an individual of House Martin was recorded. It was the confirmation of the winter presence of this species on the island, as well as one of the rare cases in Italy.
(Gruppo Ornitologico Sardo - Via Salomone 32 - 09030 Elmas/ Cagliari)

Marcello Grussu
Winter record of Steppe Eagle in the Gulf of Oristano (West Sardinia).
On January 10th 1999 an adult of Steppe Eagle was observed for a long time and at a short distance near the pond of Santa Giusta /Oristano. In western and central Europe the Steppe Eagle is an accidental species and it is very rare in winter. It was the fourth record in Sardinia and the tenth in Italy. The only previous winter record in Italy concerned an individual seen in Sardinia in 1901.
(Gruppo Ornitologico Sardo – C.P. 160/C - 09045 Quartu Sant'Elena/ Cagliari)

Maurizio Medda
One Spotted Eagle in the Sulcis area (south-western Sardinia).
A wounded Spotted Eagle with first winter plumage was found on January 17th 1998 in the Sulcis area near San Giovanni Suergiu (Cagliari). Once rehabilitated, it was set free in the same site by the middle of January 1999. In winter 1998-99 about 15 individuals of Spotted Eagle wintered in Italy. In Sardinia it was the fourth recording of the species, the last one being in 1970.
(Gruppo Ornitologico Sardo - Via Tiepolo, 16- 09121 Cagliari)
Fenicottero/ Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus r. roseus (MG)