Where to go
I can help you to organize your birdwatching experience in Italy. Some of the best areas are:
The 27 square kilometers of Orbetello Lagoon lie along an important migration route and are one of the most important wintering sites for waterfowl in the Mediterranean. Among the 200 species that have been observed here are such striking specialties as European Spoonbill, Pied Avocet, and Greater Flamingo.
The remains of an ancient lake still known to the Etruscans, Diaccia Botrona Marsh covers 1,300 hectares. In the last several years, the numbers of birds wintering here have greatly increased, with especially significant seasonal counts of Graylag Goose, Common Crane, Hen Harrier, Red-footed Falcon, Lesser Black-backed Gull, and Western Yellow Wagtail.
The 1,300 hectares of Bolgheri Marsh are separated from the sea by a long sandy strip covered by luxuriant forest. This is one of most important wetlands for waterfowl anywhere along the Tyrrhenian coast. Other important species using this area include Greater Golden Plover, Jack Snipe, Stock Dove, and Great Gray Shrike.
The land between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Amiata Mountains preserves an ancient landscape of woods, fields, and pastures. Specialties here include Short-toed Eagle, Lanner Falcon, Roller, and Lesser Gray Shrike.
This valley is widely considered Tuscany’s garden paradise. Drainage efforts began in the 16th century, completely transforming the valley into an important agricultural center rich in waterways, fields, olive groves, vineyards, and orchards. The valley’s diverse habitats attract wintering and resident birds such as Hen Harrier, Merlin, Greater Golden Plover, Northern Lapwing, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, and Redwing.
Archipelago Toscano National Park
It is the largest marine park in Europe, covering 56,766 hectares of sea and 17,887 hectares of land. It includes all of the archipelago’s seven main islands, which are scattered across the sea like pearls on a necklace and provide nesting grounds for Scopoli's and Yelkouan Shearwaters, along with European Shag and Northern Gannet. If you’re lucky, even Audouin’s Gull can be seen here.
The peaks of the Tuscan Apennines rise to an altitude of 2,000 meters, where alpine tundra and sheer cliffs offer refuge to many special birds, some of them quite scarce elsewhere, including Western Honey Buzzard, Golden Eagle, European Eagle Owl, Rock Thrush, Black Redstart, White-throated Dipper, Alpine Accentor, Wallcreeper, and Yellowhammer.
These areas are close to Florence, Lucca and Siena
Trasimeno Lake Regional Park
It preserves south-central Italy’s largest lake, set in an amazing landscape of hills and medieval villages. The lake hosts an extraordinary concentration of birds at all seasons; among the most interesting species are Common Goldeneye, Great Bittern, Purple and Squacco Herons, and Arctic Loon.
In the very heart of Italy, Monti Sibillini National Park is dominated an impressive mountain chain, the kingdom of the mythical Sibyl. Nature, history, and culture have created a unique landscape here, a very special place to observe Alpine Chough, Short-toed Treecreeper, Western Bonelli’s Warbler, Alpine Accentor, and Snow Finch.
These areas are close to Perugia, Assisi and Orvieto
With a surface area of some 550 square kilometers, is the largest wetland in the Mediterranean Basin, characterized by vast shallow ponds called valli, where local residents have raised fish from ancient times. In the course of the year, the lagoon hosts more than 100 species, among them Black Swan, Red-crested Pochard, Velvet Scoter, Horned and Red-necked Grebes, Red-throated Loon, Pygmy Cormorant, Common and Spotted Redshanks, Little Stint, European Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Short-eared Owl, and Bearded and Penduline Tits.
Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park
It's on the southeastern flank of the Italian Alps, preserves a landscape of extraordinary natural importance. Pastures, impressive forests, and spectacular cliffs host such desirable bird species as Black Grouse, Rock Ptarmigan, Golden Eagle, Western Honey Buzzard, Little Owl, Alpine Swift, Black Woodpecker, Common Raven, Alpine Chough, Crested Tit, White-throated Dipper, Black Redstart, Northern Wheatear, Alpine Accentor, and Water Pipit.
These areas are close to Venice
The Po Delta and Valli di Comacchio
They are both part of an expansive regional park whose extraordinary fossil dunes, pine forests, salt pans, and lagoons are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the more than 180 species recorded in the park are Taiga Bean Goose, Ferruginous Duck, Greater Scaup, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Smew, Great Bittern, European Spoonbill, Arctic Loon, Eared and Great Crested Grebes, Greater Flamingo, Common Ringed Plover, Jack Snipe, Temminck’s Stint, Little and Great Black-backed Gulls, and Great Gray Shrike.
These areas are close to Bologna and Ravenna