Linosa Diaries- Overhead
It’s a volcanic island with a lack of easy landing for some species and some birds are highly aerial anyway. Here’s a flavour of some very interesting birds seen essentially overhead during my 10 days on Linosa in November 2011.
All photos taken early November 2011 and © Michele Viganò (with very grateful thanks), apart from the big spider at the end, which is mine.
Eleonora’s Falcon. Available daily in juvenile and adult plumages, often in the same air space as other falcon species.
juvenile Arctic Peregrine ‘calidus’ . These were fascinating and an opportunity to see these huge Arctic birds. They are super migrants, some heading from the Eurasian tundra zone apparently as far as South Africa. I chiefly just watched and listened to Andrea who knows all about these things (so I hope I have this right!). Sometimes a big calidus would get a attacked by one or two of the local resident brookei Peregrines. WOW! The difference in size. It was like watching Merlins chasing a Peregrine.
juvenile Arctic Peregrine ‘calidus’ . Very similar in appearance to the North American form ‘tundrius’.
Hawfinch. Think all the ones I saw were in flight, usually in flocks of up to 22 birds together!
Golden Plover. Any overhead wader gets immediate attention, as there are not many around and ‘common’ or rare species are seemingly equally likely.
Dotterel . Interesting to compare in flight from below with Golden Plover. We did get to see some on the ground and very close range too.
juvenile Pallid Swift.
juvenile Pallid Swift. This juvenile (same bird in above 2 photos) was accompanied by the moulting adult (below).
moulting adult Pallid Swift
moulting adult Pallid Swift. Has replaced inner 3 primaries (nice one Ottavio who picked up on this). Also had very nice flight views of Red-rumped Swallow and Crag Martin.
juvenile Night Heron. I know this one is perched, but most views were of dusk flights over the town, often in small flocks
adult and juvenile Greater Flamingos. A fine sight over the sea, presumably heading north from Tunisia, North Africa
Ya big spider. Sort of aerial!