We decided to return to a place we had been years ago with my birding friend, Tamás Zalai. Then we targeted to find the wintering Pine Buntings around Viareggio, Italy and we succeeded to find some birds. Today we woke up early morning to drive to this lovely coastal town with full of Mediterranean feelings.
With the first morning lights, as we approached the coastline, I saw several flocks of Western Cattle Egrets. Spring progressed well close to the Mediterranean Sea coastline and it was a pleasure to see green leaves and feel warm whiffs.
Western Cattle Egret. © Gyorgy Szimuly
In Viareggio we had to wait until our hotel room was prepared so decided to visit the sandy beach. Kea has seen the sea for the first time and apparently enjoyed it. It was too early to swimm but it was fun to collect shell pieces.
Kea and me at the sea. © Andrea Szimuly
Beautiful road to Torre del Lago. © Gyorgy Szimuly
Images of the Viareggio coastline. © Gyorgy Szimuly
On the sea I could see some Great Crested Grebes and some Mediterranean Gulls were flying by with a few Black-headed Gulls. In the afternoon I picked up my Swarovski bino and drove along the shoreline to southeast direction and visited the Pine Bunting area. It was just west to Torre del Lago at the coast line. The coastline was scattered mainly by Common Juniper bushes. The only “exotic” species I could hear and see was some Sardinian Warbler. The gorgeous red eyering was seen pretty well on a singing male. I love to see these Mediterranean warblers. They are so attractive. In this habitat European Blackcaps, Common Chaffinches, Common Chiffchaffs, European Robins, Song Thrushes, European Blackbirds and European Greenfinches were singing endlessly. Over the sea about 200 Mediterranean Gulls were swimming with Yellow-legged Gulls and a few Black-headed Gulls. Here a flock of drake Garganey were chasing each others. It was strange to see them on the sea as normally we see them on freshwater in Hungary.
As spring migration has just started I was not expecting to find more local speciality and returned to the hotel. I was, however, surprised to see two Common Swifts in late afternoon just next to the harbour of Viareggio. They arrived quite early event to this warm Mediterranean part of Europe. I have no idea if this is a regular timing or they were really too early. I should not say that the promenade was full of the recently split Italian Sparrow (from House Sparrow).
Italian Sparrow was abundant in the town (this image was taken by a Nikon V1). © Gyorgy Szimuly
Evening lights in Viareggio, Italy. © Gyorgy Szimuly