Spend a fantastic birding-week in Sicily!

A journey that indulges in nature, history, archeology and the art of cooking – led by Italian Leica birding ambassador Andrea Corso. Take part and discover Sicily, the islands of birds, orchids and archeology.

We will observe some of the rarest birds in Italia (Marbled Duck, Lanner feldeggii, Sicilian Rock Partridge, Tawny Pipit, Richard’s Pipit, Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Moltoni’s Warbler, Italian Subalpine Warbler, Isabelline Wheatear, Pallas’s Gull and many more). Leica Birding ambassador Andrea Corso offers field lessons of bird identification, as well as on dragonflies and reptiles. Participants will also learn about Sicilian history, archaeology and culture and get to taste the great Italian food.

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We’ll discover all of the wonderful Sicilian orchids from Monti Iblei, including numerous endemic species, observe rare reptiles (including one endemic lizard) and amphibians, butterflies and dragonflies. We will visit UNESCO World Heritage sites on a journey through 7,000 years of history (e.g. Ortigia, Palazzolo Acreide, Pantalica Necropolis and the Valley of Anapo and Vaca Grande del Cassibile, etc.). We will have fantastic Italian food, taste Arancini and cannoli pistachio and discover all kinds all delicious island specialties.

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We will visit the largest European volcano, Etna, as well as the oak forests of the Regional park of Nebrodi and the huge plains of Catania, the most popular site in Italy for wintering birds of prey, reaching some mythical coastal sites such as various wetlands of Siracusa (Vendicari, Cuba , Longarini) and headlands like Maddalena Peninsula and Capo Murro di Porco and Capo Passero.

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We will stop for a luxurious coffee and cannoli  break and/or ice cream in small ancient squares of the mountain villages of Etna (all built in lava stone) and visit the historic center of Syracuse. It has one of the most beautiful historical centres in Italy and Piazza Duomo will leave you speechless.

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The guide, in addition to knowing the Sicilian nature in its entirety, will be pleased to show you areas of archaeological, historical and cultural interest as well as give you tips on bird identification.

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Information

When
10-16 April 2017

Where
All around South-Eastern Sicily. Meeting point will be Catania Airport (flights by participants)

Costs
990,- Euros for those with at least a pair of binoculars or telescope Leica Sport Optics
1100,- Euros to holders of non-Leica instruments
Meals are included (Sicilian food cooked by chefs of the highest level). Accommodation in a very beautiful and characteristic rural hotel, mini bus 9 seats or two cars depending on the number of participants, petrol, specialized guides, some evenings with discussion about species identification, information material. Not included are the flights, drinks (except water), souvenirs, insurance, extras. Single supplement 150,- Euros.

Please note: appointment at Catania Airport at 18.00 (6 pm) on April 10, 2017. The date and time of meeting at the Airport are binding to avoid inconveniences to the group.

Food and Wine
The highlight of every trip to Sicily is the excellent cuisine. It is considered among the best in Europe. It is simple, traditional and often comes with a modern twist. The menu offers dishes for every palate, for omnivores as well as for vegetarians and even vegans. The hotels were chosen both for their strategic position in relation to the areas of greatest ornithological interest as well as for the high-quality cuisine,

Target Species
A total of around 120-140 bird species. Many interesting species such raptors (including the European most endangered and rarest one, Lanner Falcon feldeggii). The rare and shy endemic Sicilian Rock Partridge, the Sicilian Long-tailed Tit, Sicilian Marsh Tit, the still unnamed Etna Crossbill and much more.

Along the cothousands of waders, gulls, terns (including Audouin’s Gull and possibly Pallas’s Gull), many migrant passerines such as wheaters of several species, Richard’s Pipit, many taxa of Yellow Wagtails, all the Subalpine Warbler-complex taxa, etc. Over the sea, birding will produce Scopoli’s and Yelkouan Shearwaters, and also cetaceans if we are lucky.

To participate contact Andrea Corso at: zoologywp@gmail.com

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