Tuscany – birding in the Renaissance
A tremendously varied environment of Mediterranean scrub, mountain forests, marshes, beaches, and pastures, the magical landscapes of Tuscany are a veritable paradise for birders. Here, nature reigns almost undisturbed, with the region’s traditional human activities evolving in harmony with its rich environmental heritage.
In spring, the extensive marshes attract Ferruginous Duck, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, and such sought-after migrants as Collared Pratincole, Temminck’s and Little Stints, Curlew Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, and Whimbrel.
Both Woodchat and Red-backed Shrikes are common breeders, and there are even a few pairs of Lesser Gray Shrike.
Winter brings Graylag and Greater White-fronted Geese, Hen Harrier, Common Crane, Eurasian Golden Plover, Jack Snipe, and Great Gray Shrike. On the waters of the Mediterranean, Red-breasted Merganser, Common and Velvet Scoters, Black-throated Diver, Yelkouan and Mediterranean Shearwaters, and Northern Gannet can be seen. The forests host the Black woodpecker, the Goshawk and the Eurasian Treecreeper. The Tuscany’s many other notable species include Dipper, Montagu’s Harrier, Short-toed Eagle, Stone Curlew, Great Spotted Cuckoo, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Lanner, and Red-footed Falcon. The majestic Red Kite has been reintroduced and can now be seen soaring and gliding over the entire area.
The most impostant birding sites of Tuscany are easily reached from Florence, Pisa, Volterra, Lucca, Siena, San Gimignano and Rome.